I remember drawing masterpieces at only age five; bumpy stick figures with lines for appendages and no noses. My only goal was to win my art teacher's heart, showing him everything I ever drew, wanting his compliments that deep down, I knew he had to give me because he wasn't going to break such a little girl's heart.
I remember the county fair's art competition and creating my piece in the classroom of that same teacher, a fork, cookie cutters, and a small paintbrush my only tools. It was fourth grade, after all. We all entered our pieces, and I got second place, winning five whole dollars. That summer, I decided that painting just wasn't for me.
At age eleven, I drew my proudest piece. Although I didn't color it, (and frankly, I hated the idea of doing so) I knew she had red hair and the most caring green eyes you'd ever seen. A fifteen-year-old with the strange name of Ilene, one my mother considered while naming me, and her story was one of power and love. She was intelligent, caring, bold, and extremely talented at riding her pegasus, obviously. the best story ever wrote, as well as an eleven-year-old could do. I filled my composition notebook with her story, etching a "PRIVATE" into the cardboard cover and my name, crudely in cursive. I was so infatuated with Ilene that I begged my mother for red hair dye and the tattoos on my hands like I knew that she would have. Of course, I was met with a "No.", but I told myself that at fifteen, I would be just like her, but unfortunately, I'm not. I'm not powerful, I'm not bold, and not as talented as her. But, I still draw all the time, though it's not the same.
Ink and pencil lead mark my hands, but my masterpieces never seem to come through. None of my characters have names anymore, and they don't have stories. I keep drawing though, waiting for my next Ilene to appear on my blank page.