On Becoming An Artist

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." -- Maya Angelou


I accepted an invitation from my daughter to attend an art class with her three years ago. I think getting an invitation from my children to do anything together is a high honor and so I said yes. At 50, I gave myself permission to go back to school and to pursue a desire that had been waiting on the inside of me for a long time. A dream that had been waiting to be expressed. It was intimidating to be the oldest one in the class, but I soon realized everyone was there to accomplish the same goal, just be better artists. Here I am, seven classes and 3 years later into refining this passion.

So the first step, is to give oneself permission to step out into the unfamiliar. There isn’t much happening in the comfort zone. Get out of it. There are talents awaiting on the inside like a buried treasure. Don’t waste them because of fear of failure. Take the first step in faith. Whatever the creative side is calling out to do, carve out some space and time to do it. Even 15 minutes a day devoted to an artistic endeavor is better than doing nothing. For several years, I made it a goal to take one photograph a day and edit it to the best of my ability. That was all I had time to do. But even in that small space of time, progress was made and I became a better photographer.

Be prepared for the roughness and awkwardness of being new at something and be okay with it. Every great artist was a beginner.
Maybe the results of first few tries or the first few 100 tries are not ideal. The only solution out of that less than ideal result is to keep practicing, keep pursuing, keep painting. Beginning is learning, it is not failure. Begin. Before long, it will be evident how far one has come with practice.

Don’t give up your daydream, it’s in your heart for a reason.

Brenda Schwend
Artist/Oil Painter
Recipient of the Eleanor Allen Best in Show Award 2019

FSCJ Art and Design Awards

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Humble and unassuming...that's what you may think about Brenda Schwend when you first meet her.  She's also funny and loving and has a flair for sarcasm when you least expect it.  She's a devoted wife of a great husband; a proud mom of two amazing adult children.  Her cat, Bill, has his own Instagram and he (with a little help from Brenda) provides interesting insight into Life As A Cat.  She's a photographer and an artist and a wonderful, generous friend.  Use the link for her and Bill's Instagram for more life as an artist (and as a cat).


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