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My Coming-of-Age Art Journey – From Right-Brained to Left (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a post titled My Coming-of-Age Art Journey – Finding Inspiration (Part 1). Have a read through the first bit of my art journey by clicking the above link!

Throughout the vast majority of my life, I’ve managed to convince myself that science and math were my natural subjects. I was always great at them. I’d bring home As and A+s throughout grades 3-12, and would mentally beat myself up if I didn’t perform to the heights I set out to.

My life direction was essentially set; except, there was one problem.

I hated both subjects.

I was excelling academically, and made a conscious effort to put my best foot forward. English was my weakest subject. I couldn’t stand reading and analyzing Animal Farm or Macbeth. These just weren’t in a category I’d define as entertaining. Art class was also a total dud. Cutting out magazine clippings to create color and texture patterns just wasn’t my forte—it was a little bit too elementary for my 15-year-old self to enjoy.

To think, now writing and art now make up a huge part of my day-to-day life.

Essentially, I was led to believe that I thrived in subjects that relied on the right side of my brain. And with a lackluster social life and non-existent confidence, doing well in school was the only affirmation I needed to feel like I was worth something.

So, in flooded the limiting messages I unconsciously fed myself on a daily basis:

“You have a strong analytical mind. You pick up numbers and facts relatively easily. Yes, math and science aren’t necessarily fun, but you’re good at them. And this is all that matters. Creativity simply isn’t your forte. Avoid. At. All. Cost.”

Note that I stopped taking math and science classes the second I could. Too many moments of frustration. Too many tears. At 17, I came to realize that my disdain for these subjects wasn’t worth the high letter grades. So come graduation, I moved into business. Still very analytical, but also widely applicable. It just made more sense.

This is a mindset that I’ve carried for as long as I could remember.

I was never that person who drew in their notebook as a kid; rather, I was the person ferociously writing down every word that came out of my teacher’s mouth, because God forbid that I missed a key study note.

I wasn’t that person who constantly had her nose in a novel. I was the person planning out my week while staring at a random book during silent reading sessions as my own form of rebelling. English was a useless class after all.

And I wasn’t the person who cheered when being offered the opportunity to pursue a creative project over completing a final exam. Instead, I’d groan inwardly, and eventually settle on writing some form of an academic report.

For the first 20 years of my life, I managed to convince myself that I didn’t have a single creative bone in my body. It just wasn’t in me. Art just wasn’t in me; nor was it something I’d ever wish to become decent at.

So being inspired to draw based on Miraculous Ladybug fan art definitely seems to have come out of nowhere.

Emphasis on seems.

Because there was one thing that gave me a high greater than seeing straight As on my report card. One thing that meant more to me than making a new friend during a time when I didn’t have any. More than getting paychecks from my minimum wage job, finally getting a few lines in our school play, and so on.

This “one thing” was watching cartoons.

Throughout those awkward teenage years, animation was my way of coping with everyday stresses. In fact, playing reruns of my favorite animated series remains my main coping method to this day.

I’m well aware of how lame this sounds. But putting it into perspective, this act is my version of going for a run when feeling overwhelmed; indulging in a smoke break during the stressful workday; and plugging into a video game after school to escape the pressures that come with balancing tuition fees and a part time job. Everyone has a method of decompressing—watching cartoons has always been mine.

Miraculous Ladybug meant a lot to me when it was first released in 2016. It has the perfect amount light heartedness that I deeply appreciate. A cast of lovable characters, beautifully fluid animation, and of course, fun teasing romance that I find exceptionally entertaining. This television series created for kids half my age was the perfect fun-loving escape from my 5 upper-division courses, 2 part-time jobs, and club executive role.

The strong fondness I held for the TV show, in combination with my enjoyment of studying communication and media—a program I transferred into after earning my marketing diploma—led to my overwhelming desire to contribute to the MLB fanzine that was announced via Tumblr almost exactly 3 years ago.

I had a newfound fire in my soul.

For the first time in my life, I decided that it was time to explore my creativity.

To be continued . . .

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