Nineteen years ago on October 30th, 1989 I packed up a portfolio of about 15 pieces and headed toward NYC with my parents on my interview at Pratt Institute. There was no turning back. I was leaving my hometown and was determined to make a real go of my love of art. I will never forget that day as long as I live because it changed my entire life. Nothing was ever the same again. From the moment the administrator looked at the third selection in my portfolio (which was basically a huge clear bag since I had nothing else to cart all my over sized pieces in) and said the words, "You are more than welcome to attend our institution." my mind wandered onto what life might be like in the "big city".
Little did I know at that moment I'd be paired with the oddest roommates in my first year. One was a party gal from India the other was a rich gal from Beverly Hills who tested my character by leaving emeralds and diamonds about the dorm room. Her family owned gem mines in the south of Brazil. She said she decided to attend Pratt to see how the "other half" lived. After she felt my character was in order she became focused on finding me a rich husband. She probably should have just done her illustration work. I'm a very bad study in things of higher culture. I guess its the artist in me. I take pride in my paint stains.
On that day I remember the advisor talking to my parents, as some pigeons peeked at the window, about how safe Brooklyn was and that the town received bad press. Never in a million years did I think I'd wind up marrying someone born and raised in Brooklyn and never did I think I'd stay here. Years later I look back and wonder how I ever managed to live in such an isolated area of Pennsylvania. Heck, we only had ONE street light when I left nineteen years ago. Now they have two. LOL
During this time of the year I love to reflect back on where I came from and what I have accomplished artistically. The journey has been a wild one filled with lots of positive excitement and of course, many disappointing moments. Artists learn to deal with the disappointments and somehow they become sturdy footholds in the ladder. Looking back today I feel like I am only halfway up that ladder. There is so much more to do artistically. Nineteen years later I am more excited about art than I have ever been. It's the dream job for me.