An expert who still has yet a lot to learn.

For the most part of my life: I’ve never used the word “expert” for myself, rather I would resort to using the words if anyone asks “So what are your hobbies, what are you good at.” My response would lean towards those immediate words “I’m not a professional”. Expert. It sounds so final, so complete, like an upgrade from amateur to the best of the best. That’s what I’ve always thought whenever I see that word expert. A Professional. The best of the best. The last level. There’s nothing after expert. I had to think beyond all my beliefs of that word. How odd is it that even though I don’t need anyone to say it- if I had to choose between someone telling me I’m an expert to saying it of myself that I would choose the first. I don’t mind others recognizing or telling me I’m so good in this or that but for me to actually say “Oh I’m so good in this or I’m an expert” seems strange or that I’m bragging or that I’m giving myself all the “self praise”- which I tend to divert from. Yes, this assignment made me reflect on all of my hobbies of all of the things I love doing and especially reflect on a piece of important advice given.

A professor once told the class that you should never discredit your talents (what you are good in) even when you don’t have a degree in it. The day I heard those words I felt like that was a message. Me. A person who had always believed that to be an expert-for me to be deserving of a title “expert” that I had to have a degree. Only then would I get to use that title. Silly thinking of course! but that professor made us think. Why isn’t the thing we’re good in or good at, be our own kind of expert. Why do we have to have a degree? Why shouldn’t we give ourselves that title with the inclination and the openmindedness to the phrase “there’s always room for improvement.” With a degree that phrase still applies. We know that phrase well- yet most of us tend to shy away from giving ourselves credit for things that we are good in at least in other people’s eyes. Humans are their own worst critic-myself included. So having said that although typically I would never tell someone that I am an expert, I will make the exception and say just this once that I am an expert in creating art and recreating other people’s art-that includes drawing characters which I especially love as well as painting and using many different types of mediums- graphites, chalk, pastels, ink, charcoal even unconventional (like nail polish and eye liner) both of which I have used in my works at least once.

Since I was a little girl at the age of 6, maybe 7 years old I loved creating things on a piece of paper. My primary school teacher Mrs. Codrington was the one who nurtured my love for art and established my dream for wanting some day to own an art studio. I can remember the day I learned to draw a rose from her quick tutorial in class, using only two colors red and green. On that same day a rose became my favorite flower and up to this day, it still is. On that same day I was into all things and anything artsy. It’s been well over a decade that I’ve invested into learning what I’ve come to know over the years, in this fun hobby called art.

Art is so complex. There are so many techniques, styles, tools as well as many famous artists and their works. For example, what’s the most famous well known painting of all time? To me that would be the Mona Lisa by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. I grew up hearing and reading about Leonardo and without a doubt I would say he was an expert and his famous painting, a masterpiece. The Mona Lisa continues to be a relatable painting, it shows us the simple form of a human- a woman in those Renaissance times with modest clothes; who wears one expression- a simple smile ( or maybe it is two, if her eyes are included which has always been talked about over the years) as well as techniques that many artists implement into their works (light, shadows, using earthy tones and bright colors). Other artists that showcased the themes of emotion/expressions into their paintings and sometimes unrealistic shapes were Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. All of these artists in each of their contrasting styles were experts in their time. I could never compare myself to them just because with limited resources they did considerably well. The only difference now I would have to say is since their time- art is not just the common drawing and painting on paper, it is and has become a lot more-and is regarded as something good- even deemed an activity that is both relaxing and therapuetic. I would say my knowledge is a bit profound or rather updated to modern times because of the many people that have become artists who have incorporated both the “old” and “new” to develop something that is uniquely their own. Many have also chosen to do tutorials and share them with the general public for free through certain sites-so art is very accessible, and all in the comfort of your home or not because on a sunny day you have the option of sitting under a tree and looking at the landscape before you and creating your own impression, in any format on any of the different types of paper there are. There’s just no limit and because of this fact I’m always looking for ways to improve in all areas, even the ones I already know. All that is really needed is some motivation, imagination along with some guidance and materials.

Just like in the movie Ratatouille, that phrase “Anyone can cook” well “Anyone can dabble in art!”~JP

Below are a few of my drawings (tools used: graphite pencils, charcoal, ink)

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