Back to Being an Artist

Today I made the mistake of going to my favorite art store, Dick Blick. The plan was simple: buy five tubes of cheap acrylic paint -- one white, one yellow, one red, one blue and one black -- and one cheap paint brush. I was going to browse through the raw canvas rolls to see if they were affordable and then I'd be done. I took one step in and my knees buckled.


It was as if I had seen my high school crush in all their mature glory. The smell of paint and plastic welcomed me. Indistinctive chatter filled my ears at a comfortable volume and a few art words stood out -- oil paint, sturdy canvas, Van Gogh's ear -- I teared up a bit.

I hadn't been to true art store since my time at an art school. And I didn't realize how much I missed it. Fresh out of high school I enrolled in a trade art school. I've heard all the criticisms and concerns about attending an art school but I'm known to make selfish and impulsive decisions. So off to an art school I went. Everything I learned at the school was pure magic. The friends I made were also great -- it was a one melting pot of good people with great ideas. 

I browsed the whole store, taking mental pictures of things I'd have to buy. Each section gave me ideas for projects. Then I stopped at the sketching pencils aisle and my simple plan suddenly changed without me realizing it. 

Have you ever held a 100% graphite pencil before? Or even better, a little block of graphite? It's like holding a tool that could change your whole life and make it into something more beautiful. When I picked up a pencil, however, it didn't show me my beautiful future -- it showed me my beautiful past. I was an artist and I hadn't realized it before but I missed it so much. 

I want to be an artist again. I can't remember the last time I sketched something that wasn't considered a preliminary sketch for a design. When's the last time I sketched something to just push-pin onto the wall?

I left the store with basic art supplies: compressed graphite blocks, a kneading eraser, opaque white paint and a small paintbrush. I'm going to be creating simple sketches with these for a few weeks before I go back and start buying more supplies. What if I stopped for a reason? I'll see how things go, first. 

The feeling of nostalgia is something nice to feel every once in a while but this wasn't nostalgia. This was a realization of a longing. All the art supplies are a beckoning to return to my roots. I'm sure I'll have to re-teach myself the basics of sketching but if it'll be anything like my drawing 101 classes then I'll enjoy it. 

That's it for now. I'll be posting my sketches on my Instagram account, @PennyPressBlog.