When Did You First Start Drawing?

Penelope Dullaghan from Scott Hull Associates Tantrum
Penelope Dullaghan from Scott Hull Associates Tantrum

When did you first start drawing? When did you first know that you were meant to be an artist? Do you believe destiny was involved? This is the question we posed to our artists for this month’s feature.

There is a common vein that runs through all of the Scott Hull artist’s earliest remembrances….they all knew at a VERY young age they were meant to illustrate. It was instinctual, a gut feeling. A way of life they felt viscerally led to follow. And follow it they have—straight to a successful career in a job we all would hope to have. A job that fulfills their deepest passion.

Lisa Ballard My first memory of artistic accolades was in 2nd grade. My teacher Miss Dillman submitted my first work of art, which was the Statue of Liberty, into a coloring contest and I won first place: a $50.00 savings bond. (I still have it! Like the first dollar bill that a bar makes.) I was presented the award at a ceremony that my parents and my teacher attended. I was hooked from then on.

My favorite part of any job is actually getting it. It is always a competition and there is no better feeling than someone recognizing your talent and saying that you are the best one for the job.

The biggest inspiration that got me into graphic design was my oldest sister Kathy, who went to UC DAAP six years ahead of me. When I saw what she was doing there, I knew it was what I wanted to do (I was in 8th grade at the time).

Andrea Eberbach I knew when I was 8 or 9 I was meant to be an artist. My fourth grade teacher drew a rabbit on the blackboard. I drew the same exact rabbit on my paper. I had an epiphany in that moment and realized–I was an artist! From that point on, there has been many influences artistically; my first was C.W. Anderson, for his beautiful art depicting horses. I also love Gauguin, Paul Klee, Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, the list goes on and on. It’s a very eclectic mixture. I don’t necessarily believe in destiny …I believe in following and molding your inclinations…. when you are on the path of your life, details unfold.

Larry Moore When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9, my brother was in college and was studying art. He was quite good and was my oldest brother, so I wanted to be like him and took up the drawing thing. He went in another direction and I went with art. It was pretty clear from the beginning that this was my life's choice. Lot's of positive feedback and encouragement from family and friends kept my interest and focus on art. Another factor was my dad who worked in the space program introduced me to an illustrator who worked for N.A.S.A. He was doing a rendering of what the LEM and astronauts would look like when they were on the moon. That further clinched the deal.

I don't believe in fate, destiny or that life/God/universe is trying to teach us something. I believe that we are generally intelligent enough to learn lessons from what obstacles are placed in our path. Too bad the lessons don't transcend to the next generation. However, I am grateful every day for what I have and the opportunities that I have had that many, many haven't had. Luck of the draw, I guess.

Geoff Smith I knew I wanted to become an artist –illustrator when I would draw Hot Wheel cars, then I would show my friends and they would play me 3¢ a piece to gave one for themselves.

Kind of like now... except I’m not in the third grade.

John Maggard My interest in art was not gradual, nor a lightning blot -- it just always was. There was never a time I can remember not drawing, or not wanting to draw, and/or meant to be an artist. I do remember thinking as a very young kid (probably while I was in school one day) how cool it would be to be in jail and have nothing else to do but draw...I have since revised that view for any number of reasons.

I saw the wildlife artist Ray Harm at a state park somewhere in KY while camping -- a huge memory and influence, if for no other reason than to show one could make a living doing this, but his paintings were and are very cool. I drew and painted birds the rest of that summer -- the more detailed the better. John Negy also had a painting show on TV that I never missed, predating the happy little trees to come later.

Then came the comic books, which became an obsession around 1963 when I discovered a secret cache belonging to my cousin, and just before my next obsession named the Beatles. In the Comics world, Steve Ditko was king. I also followed Jack Kirby, Gene Colin, and Bob Kane. Life Magazine proved influential to lots of us young artists, with their articles on the body and other scientific subjects being so spectacular. I wasn't looking at a lot of fine artists at the time, but in looking back always responded to Grant Wood and NC Wyeth, their art was everywhere. Everything else was in museums and not cool until sometime in college -- what a moron I was.

I think your destiny can be consciously changed, so maybe that makes it something else.

Von Glitschka When I was 5, I won a "Hot Wheels" coloring book and realized if I did cool art I got cool toys. Nothing has really changed since then. I credit comic books to part of my younger influence, and it has been a steady stream of creative energy since then.

Mark Riedy It was in Kindergarten. The teacher broke out the "colored " chalk, which must have been a big deal in 1962. Each student had to draw an entry in a parade. She must have had some foreknowledge of my talents because I got to draw the lead entry-- a man on a horse. Some years later, Readers Digest hired me to illustrate a story about Roy Rogers, a man on a horse. Good thing I practiced ahead of time!