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  • Writer's pictureHannah Blackmore

The Beginnings of a Passion: How Childhood Influences Shape Artistic Careers

Updated: Jun 22

Growing up in a creative family, my journey towards becoming a professional artist was a path paved with inspiration, encouragement, and countless artistic experiences. From a very young age, I was immersed in an environment where art was not only appreciated but celebrated. My mother, a talented artist herself, was a constant source of motivation and guidance, and her influence on my artistic career is immeasurable.

A Creative Household

In our home, creativity flowed as freely as conversation. I remember spending countless hours in my mother’s studio, mesmerised by the way she brought her paintings to life. The smell of watercolour paints, pencil shavings, and instant coffee still lingers in my memory, a nostalgic reminder of those formative years. My mother’s dedication to her craft showed me the value of hard work and persistence, crucial lessons that would shape my own approach to art.

As a child, I often took sick days to stay at home, not because I was unwell, but because I couldn’t resist the allure of the studio. Watching my mother paint, I learned techniques and absorbed the subtleties of colour, composition, and texture. These early experiences were like informal masterclasses that laid the groundwork for my future career.

Early Artistic Endeavours

My love for art was evident from the start. Even at school, I found ways to integrate my passion into daily life. At seven, I ran a small pattern-drawing class during lunch hours, guiding my classmates through step-by-step demonstrations with coloured pens. I thrived on inspiring others, a trait that grew as I matured. Winning colouring competitions and being known as the arty one in class were early affirmations of my budding talent and dedication.

High School Challenges and Discoveries

High school art classes presented new challenges and opportunities. The art room, with its intoxicating scent of oil paint and white spirit, opened up a world of potential. My mother’s introduction to my art teacher, a respected figure she knew well, was both inspiring and intimidating. I boldly declared my intention to become an artist, a statement met with a mixture of encouragement and reality.

These classes were rigorous, pushing me to explore different mediums and techniques. I struggled at times, particularly with drawing and oil painting, but these struggles were essential. They taught me resilience and the importance of finding my unique artistic voice. Through pen and ink drawing and photography, I developed a style that was distinctly my own, even if it was still rough around the edges.

The Supportive Environment

One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was the understanding that art is a journey, not a destination. She reminded me that even the most successful artists were once beginners who had to overcome their own obstacles. Watching her career evolve, I saw firsthand that success in art requires continuous improvement, patience, and a deep passion for the craft.

The beginnings of my passion for art are deeply rooted in my childhood experiences and the creative environment nurtured by my family. Growing up surrounded by art and having a role model in my mother provided me with the tools and inspiration to pursue my dreams. These early influences ignited a lifelong passion for art, shaping my career and guiding me through the inevitable ups and downs of the artistic journey.

For those embarking on their own path, remember that every artist starts somewhere. Embrace your early influences, learn from those around you, and let your passion guide you. The journey may be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding, filled with endless opportunities for growth and self-discovery.

Adapted from This Business of Art: How To Become A Professional Artist. Available from Amazon, Fullers and The Hobart Bookshop.


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