When I was in junior high school I had my first real awakening as an artist. I took an art class and made my first drawings. I remember the awe I felt as I pushed my pencil into the paper for the first time and drug it across the page, attempting to create an image. I was and still am happiest when I find paint stains or pencil marks on my person, evidence of creation. The smell of an art studio always fills me with a sudden rush of euphoria. I fell in love with the arts in spite of a terrible art teacher, this was 1992, B.C. (Before Copelands). I desired a creative life and felt it was my responsibility to pursue art. I am lucky enough to have had several encouraging voices in my life, voices that told me that I could do anything if I tried hard enough. I believed them and still do (within reason, I don't think any amount of effort will give me the ability to breathe through my eyes), but what I didn't realize was that this road is a long one a very long and challenging one.
Over the years there have been many distractions: from poverty (undergrad was awesome...), to work, moves, college degrees, kids. Some of the obstacles were wonderful distractions that eventually led to new artistic growth and opportunity, but at times it seemed as though the world were conspiring against me, to keep me from art. Regardless I have still continued to trudge forward, always forward. Admittedly there have been long periods where I progressed very little, unsure of what to do or why I was doing it. Art can be hard to justify.
Finally, the last few years it feels as though a door has slowly been opening. I have had some remarkable opportunities come to me. While I am still a bit nervous to publicly discuss any of these exciting developments I will say that I am finally beginning to feel a bit like a real artist. I do hope that the future holds a full-blown professional career. I still believe that with enough effort it will happen. So I continue.