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Me as a portrait painter?

Me as a portrait painter?

Sometimes I visit websites from other portrait artists and read the information they give about themselves. Often like: "I was already drawing as a child, or I was born with brushes in my hand". That annoys me and I do not know exactly why. Is it that difficult to write something more original?

The Lustenhouwer siblings and me

The Lustenhouwer siblings and me in the early sixties.

Yesterday, someone asked me at what age I wanted to be an artist.  I thought about it and said that I knew very young I probably wanted to go into art. What ever that might have meant. (First I wanted to be a carpenter, but my mam said NO.)

Now I am older, I do not exclude that one of the reasons for my choice was fear. I remember vaguely that I was afraid not being able to fit into the world of "ordinary" people. Ordinary people went to offices and factories, were bus drivers and police officers. They filled a large part of their lives working for a boss. They knew the things that had to be learned in school - and schools were really a prison for me. As a child I looked up at "normal people". I doubted if I could ever learn to be able to work for a boss. I guess I must have been a little afraid of the adult world. That could have been important in my choices.

It sounds cool to say here that I, already at a very young age, aimed for freedom. No, little by little I discovered I had some tools to escape from what I thought would be doom for me.

I am glad that I have been able to develop my talents. My painting skills rescued me and set me free.

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3 thoughts on “Me as a portrait painter?


By Jing Su on 29 May 2017

Hi Ben, the common artist statement you've mentioned annoys me for it triggers my anxiety on my art journey. I can't remember if I draw a lot in my childhood, and I am not comfortable to credit my passion for art to my vague memories and the unintentional childhood doodling. I have some tracing works from Disney figures made around 13, then I started learning how to draw and paint at 30 when I met my first artist friend. I feel unease seeing those words because I think if I am not sure about that part, plus my late start, my pursue in becoming an artist could be just an unrealistic dream.


By Peter Green on 28 May 2017

Hi Ben I do think that many young children dream of being artist when they are young, however parents don't like this as its not a proper "Job" no prospects. I am afraid I am one of those you speak of I got a proper job and painted when I could both physically and in ones head, I admire that you have been able to follow your dream ,some of us have to start a lot later but we can only have snatched moments till then Now I am retired I can follow my passion I did start drawing at an early age and used this skill through out my "working" life as a tool to express idea's. I love the tips you give as it excellerates my learning I think the best tip is just draw constantly, any where and every where.


By Ben Lustenhouwer on 29 May 2017

Hi Peter.
Everybody has to go his own path. You also, and in the end you could return to the brushes.Count the blessings.

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