The last in my life-defining moment miniseries with St. John is all about art.
I have a very open-ended definition of the word art and when discussing subjects like this I like to refer to the actual definition first.
According to Merriam-Webster, art is defined as something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings; skill acquired by experience, study, or observation; the quality or state of being artful; the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.
So, going along with the definition, I think art can be a lot of things. I think chefs are artists. Chefs create their art with food, dancers use their bodies, the artist in the image above used index cards to build sculptures, I use paint.
From a young age it was clear that art, and anything creative, was my thing. Give me a box of colored pencils and some paper and I’ll be quiet as a mouse for hours coloring and drawing. My parents must have recognized this at a young age and they definitely fostered it. They sent me to art classes when I was very young and I’ve been in love ever since.
When I was in 2nd grade, I got pneumonia for a week and had to miss school. I was devastated because I was missing an art project that week. I begged my mom to go to school for that art project.
When I was in 8th grade, we could choose one of three different things t0 create for a project. I made all three of them. When we had to create a game inspired by the book The Hobbit (and I still think this is genius) instead of a regular board game like everyone else made, I painted a queen size sheet as the game board, and made hats for people to wear as they themselves were the game pieces, and made a giant dice. Overachiever much? I’m sure my classmates did a collective eye roll every time I presented my project because I would always go way above and beyond just because I enjoyed making things.
In high school I got to pick a lot of my classes and I took every art class I could. I would also take them during the summer months at local museums. I took advanced geometry mostly because the bonus points were all math/art projects. When my brother would come home with school projects I would ask if I could “help” him and end up taking his projects over. I’m sure it was obvious to his teachers. I distinctly remember illustrating an entire alphabet book for him.
Obviously I have a lot of fond memories about art growing up. I thought about going to art school but got scared out of it. I knew I was a good artist, but I felt like everyone who goes to art school is a good artist, and that was intimidating to me. These were the days prior to the Internet, where you can find information about anything, and I thought that if you majored in art you either had to become amazing and famous like Van Gogh, or be a teacher, or work at a museum to make a living in the art world. I literally thought those were my three career options if I went to art school. Now I know better, but I think getting a degree in journalism ended up being a good thing.
I’m also not jaded by any art school teachers or feel like I need to work in any certain box because of any formal training. When I create art, I just create it. I don’t have remnants of a teacher in the back of my head telling me I’m doing something wrong.
Post college, I didn’t make much art that wasn’t for work. I wasn’t painting often. But when we moved to DC five years ago the itch to start painting was too great not to scratch. I started painting again. I pretty much hated everything I made for a year.
It wasn’t until I did a giant painting using a new method was testing out, that I actually started feeling like, yes, I can make art and have it be a big part of my life. This was life-defining moment for me. I knew the painting I did was good (it’s still hanging in my living room), and ever since, I’ve been proud of my work. I’m working on making it a bigger part of my life and career.
Even though I don’t paint every day, I do feel like I’m creating some type of art every day. I believe that fashion and the way you dress can be an art if you want it to be. How you dress can an expression of your style and personality. There are all sorts of reasons behind what you choose to wear every day. When I saw this fringe cardigan I was immediately drawn to it. I love fringe in general, but I knew the movement of it would be fun, and honestly, it’s just a stunning piece of clothing.
As we were shooting this outfit at the Renwick Gallery (which if you haven’t been there to see the WONDER exhibition, you MUST go if you are DC!) three women literally stopped me and asked me about my outfit. They continued to just stand there and stare at me while we were shooting and talk about each item I was wearing. It was so cool to experience how these women appreciated the quality & design of the clothing and the outfit I put together. Definitely a shoot I will remember.
SHOP THE LOOK
Photography: Laura Metzler
Location: Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.
This post was done in partnership with St. John. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this website possible.