It all started thirty years ago . . . .
[Not a reader? Skip straight to the art at my Etsy shop.]
I was twelve and apparently my teachers saw that there was something different about me. So they called my parents and said we would like to test your son to see if he can get into ________________ (insert name of magnet school here). My parents said ok. At the time I was getting into fights on a routine basis because I was that “different” kid in school, so this was really a God send for both me and my folks.
I tested into the magnet school. Then there was another test. This one would determine which program I would be slotted in based on my primary skill set. There was Math & Science, Arts & Design and the Humanities. I scored highest in Arts & Design. The first week of school was blissful. I met some of the most talented people I had ever met until that point in my young life. It didn’t matter that they were kids. In fact one of the kids in the class “Akbar” could paint better portraits than the teacher . . . with no formal training.
After my first week in school my folks had a sit down with me and asked how I was adjusting to the new school. I told them things were great. I get to draw and paint, the classes are small, the teachers actually care. You should have see the shock on my dad’s face when I said “draw and paint”. No, he could have none of this artsy fartsy stuff. My parents marched right over to the school principal’s office and said that they wanted me tested again to see if I could be placed in another program. Pursuing art was just not practical according to my folks. The principal said that I had also scored high in Math & Sci so I could be placed there. That is exactly what my parents demanded. And so, for the next 30 years of my life I would not be exposed to art.
In those three decades I would go to a top notch business school, start two successful businesses, own a 25% stake in a fast food franchise and become a father (my greatest accomplishment). All the while, something was missing. So at the age of 41 I started to draw again. I was transported back to my 12 year old self, blissfully enjoying my first few days at my new magnet school. There was a part of me that felt pursuing art was impractical. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by my wife and son. Now I draw, create, and blog daily. I couldn’t be happier. It’s never too late to pursue your passion in life. I am living proof of that.
Hey, I’m able6. I’m an ugly man that makes pretty art. You can find my modern art + linocut style prints on Etsy.