When I was in Grade 8, my first year of high school, I was so excited to discover that Art was a subject. But I soon found out it wasn’t the subject I thought it was going to be. I thought we’d be taught art techniques. I thought we’d be taught how to do art in our own style. I thought we’d be taught how to draw. That dream was shattered when we did our first project. A life drawing project. We had to draw one of our fellow students then transfer that drawing onto a large copper sheet to emboss and age. Copperart. I know, I know but it was the 80’s.
My teacher made me use someone else’s drawings because mine weren’t ‘good enough’. No guidence. No teaching (which is what I thought the teacher was supposed to do). The student who had to give me their art was just as unimpressed as I was, so she gave me her worst drawing. So my best wasn’t as good as her worst. What a great introduction to art. Despite this, I did art from grade 8 to grade 12. The teachers ignored me the whole time unless they were sending me outside for talking too much (that part hasn’t changed much). The rest of the time, they left me to my own devices and spent their time on the ‘talented’ kids.
A couple of years out of high school, a friend showed me rubber stamping. That moment where the card was held over the toaster, turning powder into embossing was like a light bulb. Since then, I’ve played with ATC’s, altered books, shipping tags, mail art and art journals. Oh, how I love my art journals. I’ve been published in Somerset Studio, Somerset Studio Gallery and The Stampers Sampler as well as Australian magazines The Rubber Gazette, Stamping & Papercraft, Australian Paper Arts and Australian Paper Crafts.
I was involved in online forums and it all got too hectic, cliques began to form and it was no longer the encouraging place it had been for me. And so I stepped away. Not only from others but from doing art completely. I still visited blogs of my favourite artists. I still bought my magazines every month. But I wasn’t DOING art. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My heart was a little discouraged.
A few years ago, the fire kicked in again and I had the courage to get my hands inky and painty. And so, I’m slowly figuring things out. Finding my way. And learning from amazing teachers that believe we can all be creative. If only my high school art teachers had thought this way.
I want to share the adventure with you here on the blog. As I figure out this whole creative life. Finding my own style, learning from my teachers, experimenting. I hope you will share your adventures with me too. Because we are all in this together.
And you can email me: coral [at] findingfirelight [dot] com
Want to know more?
I believe in good spoons and special cups.
I laugh easily – or it might be just that I am easily amused?
I’m a bit of a rev head. I love my car and I even have a favourite gear – it’s 3rd. My dream cars are a 67 Fastback Ford Mustang in metallic ice blue. (21 Jump Street and Johhny Depp have a lot to answer for) and a Subaru Impreza WRX STI. And I love the Fast & Furious movies. RIP Paul Walker.
I adore the art of Anahata Katkin, Jane Davenport and street art team Herakut .
My favourite art book is True Colours by Stampington.
Learning from Michael DeMeng, Jane Davenport, Andrea Matus DeMeng, Christy Tomlinson and Chrissy Foreman-Cranitch have been the most beautiful art experiences I’ve ever had. If you get a chance to do art with them…. say a big ‘oh yes’.
Anahata Katkin, Kelly Rae Roberts and Jane Davenport are my art business idols.
And every day I wake up grateful for a husband that makes me laugh a hundred times a day, cats that purr so loud it rumbles and a dog that sings when I come home, reminding me about what’s important. Hint… it’s not that damn day job or getting the vacuuming done.
I am ready to live my creative life.
Coral Lee xo