Follow Your Curiosity

I watched an inspiring video by Elizabeth Gilbert about following one’s curiosity to figure out pathways in life here . Up until now, Gilbert has always been an advocate of the philosophy to “follow your passion” because that has always worked for her. A letter from a frustrated reader caused her to change her perspective; the reader had been searching for a passion for years, and had reached the point of being depressed because she did not seem to have one. It caused Gilbert to take a step back and think about the pathways of various people in her life that did not know their passions, but discovered them over time. She has now revised her theory about passion to accommodate people who are like hummingbirds – people who flit from interest to interest, and then eventually they are able to look over the field of their lives to see what they caused to bloom. I am one of those hummingbirds. I went through life for years frustrated by the fact that I could not seem to find one passion that really rang true for me. Now the dots of my life are finally starting to come together to reveal what I am trying to do.

One concrete example of how I have followed my curiosity has to do with drawing. Over the summer, I went to visit the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport because I was curious to see how they would present the work of illustrators in a house museum National Museum of American Illustration .

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National Illustration Museum

As I started to take in the paintings, I was drawn to the simplicity of the illustrations. I was inspired by the fact that most of them started as graphite sketches on paper, and I had the first inkling that maybe I could do this as well. Oil painting has always seemed intimidating because of everything that is involved, but picking up a piece of paper and a pencil seemed doable. When I left that day, I decided to sign up for a drawing class at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to learn the basics. As luck would have it, a class started within three weeks of my visit. I attended a class that was six sessions, and I loved everything that I learned. However, I was not all that interested in drawing vases. I was curious about whether I could draw people. It turned out that I could! I continued to find pictures of people on the internet that I liked, and copied them as best I could by drawing free hand on paper. Eventually, I wanted to know more about shading techniques, so I signed up for self-directed classes at an art studio. Four months after following my initial curiosity to try out drawing, these drawings are the result:

VasesDandy Side View Flapper Side ViewViolin

I absolutely love drawing now! I never would have tried it out if I had not followed my initial impulse to just go for it and see what happens. My goal is to be able to illustrate my stories and sell my individual sketches in the future.

I am interested to know where your curiosity has led you; did you make any new discoveries this year by following you curiosity? Or is there anything you are interested in exploring that you have been hesitant about trying?

3 Comments

  1. jazzfeathers says:

    I think you did well to follow your curiousty, it’s taking you wonderful palces, I think.

    I followed my curiousity last year, when I started making jewellery. I don’t even remember how it happened, the idea had never crossed my mind before, but once I tried, I really enjoyed it.
    I’m on hold now, because I want to concentrate on my writing (that’s a passion that was born with me!), but I still like making jewellery very much 🙂

    1. Thank you. Jewelry making sounds fun. It must be great to actually be able to wear what you created.

      1. jazzfeathers says:

        I’ll admit it’s thrilling 🙂

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