My First Art Crisis
Even though the word "Art" is in the blog post title, the focus is actually about cake. So what does "cake" have to do with art? Well, if you're a cake decorator, your decoratin' is art. However, in this case my crisis had nothing to do with the art and everything to do with cake.
I grew up in a single-parent household, so while my mother worked jobs and studied in school, I spent my early years in preschool and kindergarten. It is interesting what you remember about that time period and carry the rest of your life. Although most of the memories are a bit hazy, there were definitely some standout situations that I call back to frequently in both dreams and waking life.
I'm not sure of the exact time, but I suspect I was between four and five years of age. It was a classmate's birthday that day in school; it may have been mine. I don't recall much up until the actual sequence of events, but it started out with the drawing and painting activity period. That day I drew and colored a tiger that probably could have made Picasso proud. Apparently, that tiger was so good I kept receiving praise repeatedly from all of the teachers. If there was any day to have an out-of-control ego, that was the day!
Drawing and painting time was followed immediately by the birthday celebration. There were activities, games, and a lot of excitement in the air. But as usual, the best part was saved for last: sing "Happy Birthday" and overdose on sugar. Yay! Not the singing so much as the sugar. (I'm sure all the parents looked forward to their kids being hopped up on sugar toward the end of the day.) The teachers dished out the cake and ice cream and served us. We were all sporting huge, beaming grins and then I received my bowl.
The Crisis Begins
There I was face-to-face with my arch enemy: buttercream frosting. Mushrooms, onions, and cooked carrots were also my arch enemies at the time but they paled in comparison to buttercream frosting, since the frosting actually made me hurl on more than one occasion. I vacillated on a plan of action while my classmates gorged on the ice cream and cake. I started to use the fork to shave away the gobs of that horrendous substance but one of the teachers warned me to stop playing with my food.
"Well if I can't shave it away, maybe I can just dilute the foulness of the frosting by mixing the cake and ice cream together."
In a frenzy I used my fork instead to blend the two desserts together and received another warning shortly thereafter about playing with my food. This time though, there was a "if you don't stop playing with your food, we'll take it away" clause added to my warning. Suffice it to say that I did not heed the second warning and proceeded to mix again. One of the teachers approached me a few seconds later and took away my fusion of ice cream and cake.
WOW! I probably passed through all stages of grief in the matter of minutes. A least the cake frosting was no longer an issue :D
So what is it about this particular experience that sticks out amongst all the others? It really didn't dawn on me until recently, but it seems to resonate with the fact that not everyone will appreciate or even like your creative pursuits for whatever reason(s) beyond your control. Despite that fact, I've never stopped drawing even though my passion had been overshadowed by other life goals, challenges, and responsibilities.