Art for Life

This is the Blog for Afromine.com, the official website of Delaware artist Michael J. Riley.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Drawn to Drawing

During a recent television appearance, I was asked about my favorite medium. The answer was quite simple enough. When it comes to available art supplies, my preferences range from oils to crayon. So, naturally, I replied that I love them all!

The interviewer posed another question. “With which medium did you begin to draw?” As do so many budding young artists, my drawing experience began with crayons. From the beginning, I fell in love with them. I loved the way they felt, the way they smelled and yes, I even loved the way they tasted (I would not advise that our youngsters out there try that one at home, although my guess is that many of them already have).

I believe that all of us are born with a creative spirit. We just might tend to express it in different ways. Some are drawn to music, while others might gravitate towards theater or working with their hands.

My joy in art comes from the feeling of freedom it provides through the many forms of expression and inspiration. Discovering one’s talent at an early age is a blessing. However, as many will attest to, talent alone probably will not suffice if one is sincerely interested in building a fulltime career in the many available avenues of commercial and fine art.

There will be times that will try your faith in yourself and, perhaps, try your faith in God and your fellow man. One may encounter many closed doors along his journey. However, with dedication, perseverance, discipline and patience, I believe one’s opportunities for a career in art are as broad as his creative imagination will allow.

The main ingredient is passion for what you desire. As a child, I cried for art supplies the way other children cried for toys. As a matter of fact, for me, drawing was playtime. You can say that I was drawn to drawing. Thankfully, my family and teachers saw that I really loved art and supported me one hundred percent.

If you recognize an early interest in art in your child, family member or a young neighbor, I encourage extending a hardy support. For in the eyes of the innocents, lay the seeds of hope and greatness that will shape our world of tomorrow. We need to cultivate a fresh crop of talented and passionate people to color the world a little brighter.

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