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Artistic Expression-Growing up as an Artist

Mark has always loved art. First it was drawing, then art history, and now writing and listening to music.


Early on in my life, probably age 3, I started to draw and spent a lot of time doing it. I would draw during church and people would turn around to comment on my work. To this day, some of my older brothers talk about some of my early work that was very detailed. For example, I drew a man with cavities a few times.

I probably got my artistic creativity from my father, who is an artist. According to my parents, I would be up late drawing at an early age. When asked to go to bed, I would tell them I was too busy. I did not like to go to bed. For me, it was a waste of time. I still feel that way.

During elementary school, my artistic talent blossomed. Other students, as well as teachers, would compliment me on my work. My medium was typically pen on paper. I would draw comics in notebooks. With my later work, I would color it as well. These amazing stories mostly included men. There was a lot of action. There were monsters, spaceships, and superpowers, amongst other things.

My work was too violent for my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson, who informed my mother. But my mom knew better. I did not want my work to be boring.

I enjoyed the praise from my peers. Many felt that I was the best artist in my school.

As a child, I kept to myself. I was introverted and kept to myself. I stayed out of trouble and was well-behaved. I was a loner, but I felt that it was in a cool way. I was the type that only had a few close friends. In late elementary school, I did learn that the best friends that I had were kids that did not have a lot of friends. Those guys would be true friends and stick it out with you through thick and thin.

On occasion, I would go hang out with other kids and something weird or awkward would happen. Such as when I slammed a kids finger in a door. Or when another kid threw his sister’s big wheel up in a tree. So, his dad kicked his butt. Literally.

Then came junior high. I was still interested in art and would take several art classes. Some praise continued, but many other artists emerged there, and I felt that they were competition for me to be the best. I toned down my work regarding violence per the request of my teachers.

I was nerdy in junior high. I got picked on a little bit. Junior high was very stressful for me. One of the most stressful things was that my junior high was so far away. I had to take the bus every day.

In high school, I continued to take art classes. My favorite teacher was Bill Laursen, who went by Mr. Bill. He was quite a character. He had a great sense of humor and made class fun. He helped me a lot with my work and was encouraging. Art History from him was very educational. At home, I would listen to music and draw till late in the night. I was a loner, but in a good way.

I had not won anything in contests other than an honorable mention on a watercolor.

In high school, I was not getting much praise and recognition for my work, so this was probably why I had lost most of my drive to do artwork. I also lacked patience. I would rush through things to get them done quickly.

I had a close group of friends in high school. It consisted of four guys at the core.

I didn’t really come out of my shell until my junior year. When I went from glasses to contacts, girls started to like me. My first kiss was at age 17. But I dated a lot. I wasn’t picky about which girls I went out with. There just had to be something that I liked about them and it was also good if they liked me.

In college, my minor was art history. I still enjoy looking at art, but I don’t normally create artwork at this time. Although in recent years, I had drawn caricatures a few times for extra money. I may not be as creative on paper now, but I am known by friends and relatives as having a fun personality as well as being fun to be around.


© 2019 Mark Richardson

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