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"The Decision to be an Artist"
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Copyright ©1997

This image from the Ding Dong School book was my first attempt, done around the age of five, at copying an image. My mother had, first, drawn a picture of Bugs Bunny. After she was done, I mustered the courage and tried doing the same thing she had done. Starting at the nose, I finally gave up when I reached the second ear because I could see just how much the relationships between the placements of things were off. There was such an utter sense of frustration, but how was a five-year-old to know that he really should be drawing stick figures of people at that age. That was the day that I set my resolve. I would be able to do that.

Having no children that were my age in our isolated neighborhood, I had nothing to compare myself with. It wasn't until I finally got into Kindergarten that I started drawing the typical 'stick figure people' and square houses with bumps of smoke coming from he chimneys like I was 'supposed to' do. I still had the capability of drawing things as I saw them, but I also would do what was 'required' of me, never knowing that I really should not be drawing the typical round-headed / two-dots-for-eyes pictures that everyone else drew. The power of persuasion is strong and can lead a person into not achieving their highest potential.