Fanning the Flames
It's Never Too Late to Start


 
A common refrain among people wanting be creative later in life is, "I'm too old to start that now."
 
I beg to differ. People do all kinds of things later in life. Get degrees, change careers, move, you name it. I was thinking about this because a friend sent me this article about the man in the photo, Ken Small. He lives in England. He was an engineer but always wanted to make art. When he retired at 65, he decided to just go for it. Never had an art lesson in his life. When the BBC interviewed him above, he was 68 and had IMPROVED on a classical art piece. He then painted portraits of the royal family just because he could.
 
Now, don't go comparing yourself to him by skill. He's talented, but that's not the point here. He found something he loves to do and did it, no matter what other people thought or said. it's not about the product, it's the joy of the process for him. His own son asked where he was going with it all and he said he didn't know. He developed his own method that works for him. A better question would be "How can I be more like Ken Small? What has he done that I can use for myself?"
 
I highly encourage you to watch the interview; it's only a minute or two long. (Click on the photo or the link below) This is clearly someone who refuses to let others tell him he can't make art. He does what he loves and that's what matters. It makes him happy, no matter the results. I even get the feeling he'd be having fun regardless of how his paintings turned out. Sure, there were a lot of small steps like buying paint and brushes and sitting down in front of a canvas and thinking about painting, but he did them. And you know where he'd be if he hadn't taken that first tiny step? Asked that first little question of himself about maybe trying painting? Sat at the gallery/museum and looked at the stuff he likes?
 
He probably wouldn't be as fulfilled and happy. And he'd STILL be 68 years old.
 
I hope at that age, I'm as happy and still feeling joy as Mr. Small. Each tiny step takes me there, bit by bit.
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Fanning the Flames, copyright 2019 Meghan O'Connor, all rights reserved.
photo screenshotted from the BBC interview page at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p060wbcx
*The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)© by Jill Badonsky
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