Welcome to A Better Shade of Terrible! This venture is brought to you by observations and things happening in the world around us.
I’m originally from San Antonio, TX, but I have lived in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and now West Virginia. I grew up creating art and writing material. The Age of the Internet brought me to PSP and PS and CorelDraw, when I became a self-taught digital artist. I hit a roadblock in my life in the early 2000s and mostly stopped creating. I went back to school in 2007 thinking I could get an art degree, but I didn’t even finish that. I did paint a lot, however, and discovered I was decent at painting. I tried sculpting and really enjoyed that. Then I ventured into spray painting space pictures, but it felt like a one trick pony. I stopped creating for myself. I hadn’t written in years.
While I was creative at my job – I was a graphic artist at an awards shop – I had plenty of arty things to complete, but it wasn’t satisfying and I felt depleted. Every time I picked up a pencil and paper it was the same swirly sea grass, curling lines, stars, an eyeball, all shrouded in disgust. My last fall in Texas, I put on my own little art show at a coffee shop. It was a better response than I originally anticipated. I sold some prints, and people liked my art. I tried jewelry making. I found that my stuff was pretty but no one wanted it. I watched friends with simplistic creations sell all their stuff and the items I made were too fussy. Where are the people who want my necklaces?! I always wondered. I stopped making jewelry.
I moved to the other side of the country. I started my life from the bottom at a restaurant. I worked so much I never had time to be creative, but I had a digital camera, so I took pictures. I lost the camera and a lot of my photos. I told myself I’d go no where as an artist, so I finally went back to school in 2012 for Environmental Studies. During this stint I tried having fun with polymer clay. Fun stuff, but each year in school was more work, so that got put away too. Three more years passed and I didn’t paint or write or draw or take a picture. I finally had time in my last semester to take a drawing class. It had been at least ten years but I found I was still skilled enough to render faces and bodies. I was mildly pleased with myself, but still have trouble deciding what to draw outside of random idea generators. Finally, in 2016 I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Resource Management. I realized after I accomplished this great feat that my degree is so broad and open ended that I may never get a good job in the field without a master’s degree. Also, I realized that I had taken a challenge, beat it against great odds, and still felt unfulfilled.
Last year I was gifted a nice DSLR camera. I love photography. It’s the way the light plays on subject matter and the way someone stares off into space, and the way a flower arches just right. I was taking photos of a Cherry tree this past spring and a stranger asked if I was a professional photographer, and like an idiot, I said no.
If there is a chance for you to make any sort of mark for yourself, SAY YES.
I’ve tried blogging but never knew what to write about and always have felt no one wants to hear my stories – though my stories are often filled with insanity.
My fiance, Dave, is a writer and film-maker. He is the one who encouraged me to go back to school. Part of me wishes I had finished my art degree. I still could if I wanted, but money…. Anyhow, I helped direct and film his first solo project – a tale of Dr. Faustus. Definitely fun and this sort of activity has a way of lighting up the darkness in ones heart. Perhaps that’s how you know you love something…the darkness lifts.