On Becoming an Artist…

The path of becoming an artist can be varied and full of twists and turns. Some people are born knowing that is what they want to do, and they follow that dream and never think twice about their decision.

Most people, however, pursue a more conventional career path somewhat (if not completely) unrelated to the arts in order to have a life of perceived stability and comfort. At some point though, for so many, the desire to express one’s creativity starts to surface again and becomes this nagging feeling of wanting to move beyond stick figures and blurry photos and paintings that turn out like something their youngest grandchild did!

Like all things mastered, one must begin with lessons and instruction as a way to get acquainted with a new subject or skill set. Even if one is born with a natural artistic talent there is so much to learn about products, history, trends, techniques – we could all be in school forever and still not learn everything there is to know.

Enter….The Naples Art District! An alliance of over 70 members, our artists are here to share their talents and years of practice with anyone who would like to dabble a bit in order to add a fun and creative outlet into their lives, or really help someone fine tune their skills in their choice of artistic medium. In addition to the time spent working with your instructor there is often the side benefit of becoming connected with the arts community on a more personal level, and the opportunity to exhibit one’s work for the public can happen too. It is a great feeling to see one of your creations hanging on a gallery wall, amongst other beautiful works.
So empowering!

Currently we have around 20 members who offer instruction in watercolor and oil painting, acrylic, encaustics, book arts, monotype, abstract and representational painting, drawing, pottery and clay hand-building, beading and necklace design, paint pouring, alcohol inks, batik and shibori, mixed-media and
collage…to name just a few!

One of our instructors also offers classes in art therapy, an amazing resource for the elderly and those with
dementia. She has created an environment of no stress, with a focus on tactile elements that engages their
eyes and contributes to their quality of life. This does require a caregiver to be present. and is done on a case-by-case basis.

For now, social distancing precautions have been put into place at each studio, and classes are generally small with private instruction an option, too. And don’t forget – art instruction also makes a wonderful present! Check with our members to see if they offer gift certificates – I suspect they will all say yes!

For more information on classes visit www.naplesartdistrict.com/events/category/events/classes/

Cynthia Adams is the past president of the Naples Art District, and artist owner with her husband Steve, of casa | art | studio on Shirley Street.

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