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  • Chance Liscomb

Why I became an artist

I became an artist in third grade because it was what I accelerated in. My teachers encouraged my gift I was encouraged by their words. Yet I took a long loop to come back to art because my parents,though they encourage art, said I could not make a living as an artist. Perhaps somewhat true, but I regret not going full out for my calling as a young person. But had I to do it all over I’d certainly dedicated myself completely to art. Instead I did myriad of other things (all of which have helped me and shaped me) but kept me from pursuing my true self and desire early on.

Fortunately I never let go of art; it was close and some what to my perifiall, but close by. I found success in everything I tried because I understood the limitations and advantages of both materials and tools. I had good skills and knowledge from being a carpenter most of my life. Having a trade or skills is imperative to being an artist. If one can do a trade well then you have all this knowledge which can translate directly into art work.

Both my parents were artists, so they encouraged me and provided me with stimulus and materials from the high chair to present day. We still talk art each time I’m around my parents, who are well into their 80s. Mom was a painter and loves history and culture and anthropology and archaeology etc. She instilled in me the need to travel and see the world — which I have seen a lot but not enough. My dad, a sculptor, taught me how to laugh at myself and add humor to my art and life, clever in his execution of his works and his tool and material selection. I’ve learned so much from them both and continue doing so.

I think being an art teacher has also strengthened me as an artist. I finally got away from teaching due to health concerns which was both a blessing and a curse. But I accepted both and am happy were I am now. I could not be an artist teaching art; there were too many demands, restrictions, and busywork as a teacher so I was always frustrated. Now I can focus on making art fully without obstacles. I do miss students and accept people who want to learn about art and techniques. I have taken some under my wing and enjoy this time teaching and learning from one another.

I believe the greatest reason for becoming an artist is the freedom it allows me. There are so many restrictions on us. Now that to me it is the only time I feel completely free to do as I wish and make what I want with out judgement and expectations. I believe there would be more artist if we would engage the right brain more in school. But 95 % of education is left brain and so the right brain is not exercised nearly enough. This is a travesty because we function best as humans when both sides of our brains are equally engaged. I tend to be more right brain than left. Right brain function is lacking a sense of time and strong with spatial relations, curvy linear and fun. Left brain is numbers and order and time concerned and conscious , ridged and up right, and judgmental.

Perhaps there is no better place to be than drawing, creating building lost in time when both parts of the brain are fully engaged. A great book I read several times per year is titled Art and Fear. Get it, read it often! The premise is to continue doing art non stop with out judgement. Hear is were people fail they feel each piece needs to be a master piece. ( the left brain speaking and judging) Which is a big lie. How many meals have your burned before getting a good One or how many revisions does it take to make a good research paper. or to learn how to p,so an instrument of a sport?People think art should come out perfect each attempt. This is bullshit. The key is to do lots of art and never stop. This is what I do and this has made all the difference. Staying with it working through it making some good pieces and some not so good. And most importantly suspending judgement on self.

If you make something it’s wonderful because you attempted something that most people haven’t the courage to do. Regardless you are successful and you learn as you go and make more attempts. Failure is a good teacher I’ve learned this. Yet I don’t fail often because I think through the processes and know my skills and tools and materials and their limitations.

I became an artist because it is my true calling and I have searched myself and know myself when I am most engaged and happy and fulfilled is when I amidst creating my art. I hope this inspires you to find yourself and your art. We all have gifts find yours And exploit then to show the world your talent that was given just to you.


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