A friend having doubts about his art, made me think of my own self-loathing and self-doubts. My father was categorically against paying for college if my ultimate goal was a subject and career he was sure would bring me failure and starvation: art. We compromised for a while but he could see I was really passionate about the art and my college possibilities soon ended. I married and had children and art seemed something I would never be able to get formal training in again. I went to the library and checked out everything I could get my hands on concerning my passion: watercolor, oils, acrylic, printmaking, biographies, etc. So basically I became self-taught.
Years later when the kids all left home, the idea of finishing a college degree seemed ludicrous at my age. My opportunity had passed me by and that’s life, right? Wrong. When the online classes presented themselves to me I thought that it may actually be possible to get my degree after all and not be laughed off a college campus. I loved it so much I didn’t want to quit with just a BA so I began working toward my Masters as well. That doesn’t mean I don’t have moments of self-doubt and the voices in my head, saying “who do you think you are, at your age.” I just refuse to listen to them.
One of my professors wrote: “Frankly, I feel I was a late bloomer and my success ultimately arrived in the field of Fine Art, rather than illustration, and looking back, I received my education at just the right time, for me.
In a study of the Great Masters of art, success arrives at different times and ages for artists. Some peaked young, others old. Just when the right combination of skills, ideas, life experience, etc... all combine at the just the right time, happen at a different age for everyone, and culminate in each artist's greatest potential.” Warren Chang, Academy of Art University
So I’m not upset about the lost time, because as my professor says, I am obviously learning the right thing at the right time, bringing the right life experiences for me. All the ducks are finally in a row for me and at 61 I’m not done. I’m just beginning. I have many things to bring to the party: experience, determination, age, wisdom, some aches and pains I didn’t used to have, but excitement at the fulfillment of a long lost dream. Forget about age; all things are possible if you refuse to give up the dream.