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Beauty is in the eye of the seven-year-old

By Tim Linscott
Managing Editor
Art is such a subjective thing.
As a parent you are confronted with several forms of art, from finger painting to crayon drawings to macaroni glued to construction paper.
My seven-year-old daughter Olivia, much like her older sister Adaline, is quite the artist.
I am glad Olivia is getting better at her art, because she used to draw something and say, ‘Look Daddy, a picture for you.’
I’d look at it and have no idea what I was staring at, only to be told, ‘It is upside down’ or asked ‘Don’t you know what that is?’
Olivia has become a great artist, drawing, painting and coloring wonderful pictures for me often. She has also gotten into abstract painting, something she was very proud to take and show Mrs. Long at school. She puts paint on one side of a page and then folds it over, making colorful dual shapes. I must say she is much better at this form of art than I am and loves to add glitter to everything.
Her love of all things sparkling and glittery is well and fine. That is until you find a pocketful of glitter in her jeans in the washer or you find yourself shaving in the morning with glitter on your face from trying to help clean the art area the prior evening.
I was set on becoming an artist at Olivia’s age. My older brother, Jeff, was, and still is, a phenomenal graphic artist, drawing incredible comic book characters, dragons and scenery.
I held this ideal until junior high when I was put in an art class with two of the best artists I have ever seen. I am still friends with them today and for my friend Blake, art is still very much a part of his life.
Looking around the room in junior high and seeing my friends excel at art in just about every medium, I figured I should try something else to be good at in life.
My career hopes were dashed. I looked back at the comic book characters I had created as a child, feeling blue that I knew I just didn’t have what it took to make it in the art business. I found that I had some pretty good descriptions of the characters and developed the plots for the comics. I was describing how to draw the superheroes better than I was actually drawing them, so I went into writing.
Staying strong in English class led me to pursue journalism.
My parents wanted me to be a history teacher. Being a writer was a risky idea in their mind. I could teach during the school year and write during the summer months was a plausible plan for them.
Journalism was intriguing to me as there wasn’t a lot of math and science involved, my weak points, and a lot of creativity was involved, my strong points.
Before I knew it I was on the school paper and in an instant, here I sit writing this column.
Life can take you in different places from where you intend it in the blink of an eye.
My older brother, Jeff, the artist, has had a career in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and coupled his love of entertaining and physicality into becoming a professional wrestler.
Life can take you on a path you never expected.
Look back at when you were in those formative years in junior high, just figuring out what you wanted to do with life and look at where you are at now: I bet it is an interesting road carved out through life.
A piece of advice given to me in those formative years I still live by today: Never, ever, look back and say to yourself, ‘I could have, I should have, I would have.’
Mr. Peabody doesn’t exist, there is no Wayback Machine, so time travel is a moot point, therefore, live life with no regrets.
Make a decision and go with it, if it doesn’t work out, learn from your error and next time, zig instead of zag, go left instead of right but never regret a decision.
Every now and again I get out the pencils and paper and draw something up, knowing I’ll never be the next Frank Miller (famed comic author that re-shaped Batman), but as long as my cows and ducks look like cows and ducks to me, I am happy. All in all, that is what life is all about, staying happy and washing glitter off.
A great aspect of parenting, also one of the single most frightening things in life, is watching your children carve out their own path in life. Olivia may become the next great Picasso, or she may have a career in the science or medical field. Either way, it is part of the journey of life helping them steer their vessel toward blue skies and write their own story.