Artistic styles can come and go. In my case, I think I might make a (permanent) switch from sketching to wood carving. I've decided to start out as a whittler, and progress from there.
I'll be honest when I say I tried to embrace being a "pencil-and-paper" kind of artist. But, unlike my earlier years, now I found nearly nil satisfaction in it. I felt I had to take a hiatus for other things in life, and I guess the sketcher in me slowly died.
Afterward, I completely forgot about it up until a few months ago.
Trying again was somewhat satisfying, but it wasn't enough to ignite the spark into a flame.
But that doesn't mean art must end. I knew I could take up a new form.
And I will be honest with everyone: If I hadn't found out about Pete's Dragon (2016), and Robert Redford's character Mr. Meacham, then my discovery of woodcarving, my gradual attraction to the craft, and my adamant decision to become one myself, would never have happened.
I was also inspired by this story:
It was also a good eye-opener for me, because like the author, Maura, I too went out into the workforce after high school, hoping to build a meaningful future for myself, only to work four different jobs over a four-year period (2006-2010), and discover that none of them held any satisfaction for me.
But aside from working jobs sporadically, I had nothing to do, which prompted my grandma to enroll me in university.
I gave it a shot for two years (2013-2015), yet like the jobs I’d held, I found no satisfaction there, either.
Only one course I took, astronomy, provided any enjoyment; I strongly believe that that, coupled with all the knowledge I had gained over many years prior to university, helped me excel, allowing me to achieve what I believe will be the best grade I’ll ever have (78%, a B+).
But how was I to know that I’d flunk every subject but one? I started thinking that what if God had given me but a mere glimpse of such a dark outcome? Maybe I could have done something different.
Although, reminiscing, I realize that university may have helped in some small way after all, and my parents assured me that even though a person may give college everything they had, sometimes they don’t pull through.
Afterward, I spent the next two years doing nothing, as before, but occasionally went with my dad to help build the cabin at our farm in Riding Mountain.
And as I continued working on the cabin, I soon found that I had a knack for carpentry.
I enjoyed working with the tools and wood, but something still didn’t feel right.
The answer would finally come to me upon watching the 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon”.
Upon finding out about Robert Redford’s character Mr. Meacham, and thus discovering woodcarving, I was fascinated by such a craft.
A few months later, after some genuine soul-searching and thoughtful consideration, I realized that I had finally found something that I could do...and enjoy.
After all, it made me remember a quote from St. Francis that I found a few years ago:
“A man who uses his hands is a labourer, and a man who uses his hands and mind is a craftsman, but a man who uses his hands, mind and heart is an artist.”
Those words changed my life forever, and finally made me realize that the sole reason I was so unhappy with all my previous attempts to make my way in the world, was because my heart wasn’t in any of those endeavours.
It was at that moment I knew: I had finally found something I truly loved; something I could devote my time and effort toward.
This begs the question: Why do so many people devote their time and effort into a cause, and come away miserable every day, when the real problem is that their heart was never in what they pursued?
Like so many people, I too learned that lesson the hard way.
But like I always say, “Anything can happen if you try.”
I feel that I have tried, by way of experimenting with different occupations, and now I know without a doubt that I have finally found what I have been searching for.
I’ll be honest admitting that I wish I could have discovered woodcarving long ago, but the past is the past, and I have to focus on the here and now.
I know I have found the right occupation with woodcarving, and am just beginning what I think will be one of the greatest journeys I have ever taken!!
Who knows? In time, a fantastical carving of a griffin or dragon, of my own creation and design, may wind up on the mantel of someone halfway around the world.
And for my skill to be known, would be just the beginning...
I can't wait to see where this new artistic journey takes me!!