Above and Beyond


Dear Artist,

In high school I was always the last to be chosen for the team. I suffered through that excruciating wait while everybody else heard their name called and ran forward to make the teams. I was simply poor at most sports, and although I made a dreamy effort, it wasn’t enough.

When it came time to choose someone to do a painting or a mural, or to design and produce the school annual, that was a different story. My name was right up there with the best artists in the school. Sometimes I even dared to think that I could call myself the school’s “main” artist.

I had a niche. It gave me a small purchase on the others. Even with the guys who scored the goals. I also realized that science and math and languages were not my forte either. I found myself more and more getting positive feedback from my art. I began to see myself as an artist.


“Portrait of a Young Painter” 1640
After Frans Hals

In university, while I flirted with history and psychology, I still drew and painted. I couldn’t get it stopped. My Psych professor, Dr Bill Geddes, recommended I apply to one of the best art schools — the Art Center School in Los Angeles. It seemed logical when they accepted me. Thus I was able to avoid chartered accountancy which had been a condition in our family for several generations. At art school I was surprised to learn that I was only on probation — I had to prove myself in order to stay. I realized my real work had only just begun. I had to drop my dreaming and apply myself. I also realized that one of the main purposes of education is to find out what you’re not good at. But it was better than waiting to be the last to be called for the team.


Best regards,


PS: “Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.” (Benjamin Franklin)

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” (Samuel Butler)



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