In this essay, I aim to express my motivation to apply for the Jake Gilbert’s Art Scholarship. My personal understanding of art and its purpose has driven me to learn about art throughout my life. Since my early childhood, I have tried to develop my creativity, and have heard my friends and family say: “You are not cut out for this! It is not your cup of tea. Please think twice before you do it.” My parents has been assured that there is no room for an artist in their family. But the only dream that I have yearned to achieve has been to become a great artist—a person who has a creative mind and, at the same time, one whose masterpieces the world enjoys.
Being an artist is not my chosen profession—it is a calling. When I start drawing, I try to stick to the idea that it is just an act that brings me pleasure, and which allows me to express myself. I do not draw to impress somebody; art is a way for me to find myself. Most artists seek a way to let out their emotions through another medium other than verbal language.
The idea expressed by Oscar Wilde: “Art for art’s sake,” has driven me my entire life. The real artist should possess such qualities as devotion to occupation and creativity. When I turn to art, I think of it as an act that I cannot do without. Art is definitely concerned with emotions. Judging from my personal experience, I can tell with certainty that you should sense a strong feeling in order to create a piece of art that will help you find yourself. There should be something, or someone, that inspires you. Sometimes people involved in art suffer from a creativity crisis and in my view these people do not see the art around them. If you are a true artist, you get inspiration from simple events and ordinary objects. That is what I try to do. Simplicity is the driver of all the beauty in the world.
As Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist and writer, once said, “Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known, toward what is arcane and concealed.” This idea to me is evident from the fact that art is what everybody needs in order to understand and interpret their inner self, and find the way to express their feelings and ideas. This is what I consider the main principle behind my artworks.
Through my dedication to my artwork, I have had five different showings of my art in galleries. One of note is the Premrose Gallery of Port Townsend, where three people bought my original works and I won the first prize in the local artist competition held there. Other than galleries, my artwork is displayed on my website garyhowardartworks.com, where I present over 150 paintings of mine.
I hope that with my accolades, passion, and experience, I can be granted the Jake Gilbert’s Art Scholarship to continue my work as a professional artist without the distractions of modern living, which is not accommodating for artists.