Those moments that make you think, “Yeah, I rock at what I do!” or make you realize you’re definitely on the right track for this whole life thing.
While I’m not a fan of looking to the past, I do believe it’s important to recognize these moments and openly feel the prideful feelings they evoke. The art world will constantly be trying to tell you you’re not good enough, which is one of the most important reasons to know your worth. Because you rock, and you should know it!
I have quite a few of these moments, but I’ve narrowed it down to a good old fashioned top 3:
1. Making a creative decision at my high school art portfolio show
In the land of 2009, my art portfolio class had a portfolio show where we could all show off everything we’ve done that year and the years before. We all knew prior to the event that we would have access to the cafeteria tables and chairs for our setup.
The night of the show, everyone started setting up pretty much the same way, with one table and a few chairs on top. But the night before the show, I was lying there nervous and very awake in bed, when I had the idea for a more unique display.
So I followed through with that idea, and I pushed two of the cafeteria tables together and put three chairs on top of the tables. I covered it all with the black sheets I bought, and instead of a taller display, I had an original one with more visual depth.
Yes, it is a very simple and silly thing to be proud of, but it was one of the first, out-of-the-box, creative decisions I’d ever made, and looking back on it still makes me feel proud.
2. Making my class laugh while presenting my final project in my college art history class
It was the end of the year in 2010, and I was about to finish my college art history class. The final projects for this class were pretty open. There were no strict rules at all. So I decided to draw my friend in three of the different styles of art that we learned about in class.
(If you’re curious, the paintings they are based off of, in order, are: Bonaventura Berlinghieri – Saint Francis Altarpiece, Rogier van der Weyden – Portrait of a Lady, Jean-Antoine Watteau – L’Indifférent)
My friend, Sarah, was all for it. She was in college at the time a few states away, so in her dorm room using her laptop, she took about 50 pictures of herself trying to mimic the poses in the paintings. Is that an awesome friend, or what?
Now, I am not the best public speaker. I was completely nervous the day of my presentation, so much so that I hardly remember what I said at all. But I do remember that I opened with, “Hi, my name is Kayla Medina, and for my final project I decided to draw my best friend Sarah in the different styles of portraiture we learned about, which I’m hoping she’ll accept as a Christmas present,” and I got a big, collective laugh. I’d never made a big group laugh like that, and it was awesome.
It gave me pride knowing that maybe I wasn’t as inept at public speaking as I thought, and I do have the confidence to be outspoken when it comes to my art.
3. Buying a video camera and the work that followed
In late 2014 I bought a video camera. I have always loved editing, I still do. At the time I was using it to try and get a more creative job, but in the end, I put way too much pressure on myself, and it all kind of fell apart.
However, looking back at the work that I actually did in that time, is some of the work that makes me the proudest out of anything I’ve done. I don’t think I’ve created anything else that portrayed my personality so well (which, to be fair, would be hard not to considering it’s me in the videos).
There came a time where I was in a pinch for money and thought about selling my camera. I uploaded all of the videos to my computer and starting watching them and began to feel inspired all over again. I ultimately decided not to sell my camera, because I might decide to pursue it again in the future. Which is the reason, I think, this one makes me so proud and excited. It’s not finished yet.
So, what are your proudest art moments?
I have to say, even outside of these three things, the thing I’m proudest of is right now. This moment where I have chosen to pursue all art, and to follow my creative instincts wherever they may lead me.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we continue to make ourselves proud. That’s how we know we’re doing something right.
Keep making yourself proud,