My Artistic Journey: A Tale of Luck and Stubbornness
When people compliment my artistic skills, I don't consider myself talented. Rather, I attribute my success to luck and determination. I wasn't a child prodigy with a paintbrush in hand. In fact, I wasn't interested in art until I turned 15. My family was moving to the US, and I had one year of high school left to complete. My father proposed private painting lessons as an alternative to attending school. I jumped at the chance to learn.
Shortly after, we moved to Los Angeles, and I found myself in a high school where everyone spoke English except me. Art became my favorite class because I didn't need to speak. I knew I wanted to be a traditional painter, but training opportunities were scarce 30 years ago. My journey led me to several schools and locations, such as Loyola Marymount University, Art Center College of Design, Florence Academy in Italy, and Student League in New York. Despite attending all of these schools, I felt lost and confused.
It wasn't until I met David Leffel, a master painter, that things started to click. David was my guide for the next seven years, and he often said, "Painting is logical and therefore learnable." I desperately wanted to learn, so I painted hundreds of bad paintings until something finally shifted.
Every artist's journey is unique, and mine was long and winding. However, I feel lucky every day to be painting, learning, and discovering new things.