I've never had full faith in myself (does anyone, really?), owing mainly to the depression and periodical nuisances. Confidence - or lack of it - in myself as a person was affected fairly early on, but again, I owe that to depression. Belief in my abilities as an Artist came later, when I went to college.
I knew I could draw but when I learned the skills, techniques and methods to create simple sketches, it was like an entirely new world to me. I did something, the "authoritative" person approved, and I felt good: when I sketched, I loved it. And when the Art tutors told me how good I was, I believed them. Granted, it took me a while (a few months) but once I saw other people's reactions, it sort of cemented my faith in myself. And yet more was to come, when I got the highest achievable grade - Distinction - for my GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualification) work over 2 years.
We, the students, were told our respective grades in pairs in the tutors' office, after the "outside" judging chap had left. When my 2 lovely tutors, P and K, told me and Gemma (one of my most prized possessions... I mean, friends, she's a friend...) that we had each been awarded the best grade possible, we both said "What?", smiled, grinned like loons, hugged each other, thanked P and K a lot, left the room and said "Oh my God!!" a lot. The other students knew what we'd got without us having to utter a word. I hugged another student (most unlike me to do that: I'm not a huggy bear... no, person), initial of H, as she got a Distinction, too. And then I went to the toilets and cried. My first ever tears of happiness. Previously, I'd only ever known tears to be a sign of sadness and dread and horror and fear.
Today, Ma had yet more visitors in the form of her Auntie D and her sister (the latter we'd never met). So, of course there were more flowers! They are, seriously, beautiful. Roses are always lovely to me, anyway, as they happen to be my favourite flower. But I do rather love an English Rose. Those which are not to messed about with, not the sort where it seems like just a massive head on a stick. That's not my idea of a rose. They are pretty, the flowers Ma got today, though. They are. So, now we have 2 more vases of flowers, which is OK spacewise, as I had to remove 2 vases of just going/past it flowers in vases. Rotate and restock.
As usually happens with visitors ("guests" sounds wrong to me. Visitors sounds medical, though. Anyway...) I was asked to show my Artwork. I love doing it and it's a tremendous ego boost when someone sharply takes in breath when they see my Jimmy Stewart picture, which is possibly not something to which one should admit but I know my work is good. Is that bad? To admit that? It possibly is but I feel I'm "allowed" to feel that way; it's like I'm still in debt to myself for all the years I doubted everything I did, everything I felt, like everything I was was meagre.
Retrospect, is of course, a marvellous thing. Oh, what we would've said, what we would've done, had we known. But we didn't know. We could never have known. I would have offered a hug to my 13-year-old self, told her she was not useless, she was not deserving of the situations in which she found herself. Oddly, though, I wouldn't change what happened. The fact that I can't is neither here nor there... nor over there... but if I changed anything, I wouldn't be me. I still find days hard, sometimes, not least these last few months. But the low times show how great the good times are. One can appreciate the OK days when one has had a lot of proverbial shit thrown in one's direction.
Basically, then, it took a long time for me to appreciate my Artistic talents. I haven't done anything remotely Arty for months. And I miss drawing and sketching. I really miss it. It has been such a long time since I did even the simplest of sketches, I worry that I've forgotten how to do it. Or maybe that I'll not be as good anymore. Watercolours. Pencils. Ink. Swan feather. Expensive waterproof pens for sketching that really do the job. Textured paper. Ooh. I love it. I love it. My passion for Art is sometimes dampened but it's always there. This weekend, I shall endeavour to do something Artistic. I shall draw or paint with watercolours or make a birthday card each for my Dad and Uncle with multicoloured card and paper from the pads I got from Lidl at superbly cheap prices. Dawn Bibby ain't got nuffink on me. Let the creativity commence...