I recently entered into the Jerry's Artarama Artist Merit and Achievement Awards contest. This contest is in honor of their 51st Anniversary as well as their founder, Jerry Goldstein, who always loved to hear a good personal story.
This is from their website:
"With the help of the Jerry Goldstein Foundation, Jerry's Artarama, and its sponsors, we are giving away a minimum of $51,000* to artists with great personal stories, incredible talent and/or unique creativity and achievements to share! Jerry always liked a good personal story and we hope that you share one with us. No matter if you have achieved immense success, are still struggling or are a student wanting to go to art school your story is important to us!"
Here is my story submission:
"To be honest, I was slightly hesitant to share my story but I feel it’s crucial for me to share what brought me to where I am today with my art journey in hopes to inspire others. I am a self-taught artist who loves experimenting with color, texture, and movement when it comes to painting.
I, like most artists, had a love for creativity and art at an early age. I grew up drawing and coloring and was mainly inspired by comic books and cartoons. I never took up painting but always wanted to especially when watching Bob Ross. I remember my mom purchasing me a Bob Ross painting kit, but unfortunately I never used it.
Through the years I kept up with drawing but eventually that phased out once other things took precedence.
Fast forward to 2013, the year that was a defining yet difficult year for me. It was the year that my mom passed away. It was sudden. It happened while I was with her. It was heartbreaking. I hadn’t hit such a dark period in my life prior to that moment. I kept on with life because that’s who I was and still am. I persevered. I needed to keep on…not just for myself but for my kids and family.
From 2013 to 2015, I had to do some soul searching. What was my purpose or meaning in this world or this life that can be gone in an instant? That’s when I prayed and asked God for guidance on what I should do. Slowly but surely I started to listen…paint. Take that pain and paint. Just paint. At that time it wasn’t about creating a masterpiece, but just to paint until I felt complete or happy with what was on the canvas. Once I started to paint and started to open myself up to the idea that I could be an artist, the ideas flowed.
Painting became my therapy as I finally started to grieve my mother’s death and painting will always be therapeutic for me. I want my emotions to become a teacher, not a master. With each brush stroke, marking, and layers I am able to clear my head, heart, and soul and what bogs it down. Once I get my ideas or emotions on canvas, it is a sense of release and calm.
Whenever I question myself as an artist, I remind myself that my mother would certainly be pushing me and encouraging me to keep doing what I am doing. The fact that I have already inspired and reached others through my artwork and my art journey is one of the biggest motivations for me to keep creating. Having loving and supportive friends and family is also what keeps me continually motivated.
I truly do believe that I was created by my Creator to create.
I would love to be able to win this award to purchase art materials for my canvas work as well as funding future projects that will require more expensive materials and supplies. My goal is to continue creating art for sale as well as helping with community projects and organizations through my art and/or art sales."
Thank you to Jerry's Artarama for holding a contest like this. They have so many wonderful contests and opportunities for artists.