Today I went to the art supply store and after filling my basket with assorted inks, oil pastels, art markers, glass bead gel, and paper–I went to the cashier. As she was ringing up my loot; she asked me if I was a student. I smiled at her and said no. There I was in the art supply store, filled with people buying art supplies, ink stains on my hands, telling the cashier that I was no longer a student, and thinking to myself that I was a professional artist. Hah, I thought to myself if she only knew what I was going to do with all this stuff. I rushed home, smiling to myself, put my stash away, cracked open a cold Starbuck’s Frappuccino (my second one of the day) and turned on the computer. There it was in my email–the news that I didn’t win the contest that I was sure I was going to win. Well, I wasn’t that sure but I was hoping–a little at least. I looked at the work of the guy who won (who deserved to win) and felt immediately that two Frappuccinos were simply not enough for this brutal day. When I graduated grammar school; I thought I was done with contests. Remember saving all your bubble gum wrappers and sending them in to get a Joe Bazooka something or other. Who was Joe Bazooka anyway–an art critic, an art collector, perhaps a contest winning, emerging artist who’s resume is as long as his–never mind? Well anyhow, thank God for my sister (she patiently listened to me rant over the phone), thank God for this blog, and thank God for Frappuccino (as I cracked open my third bottle and drowned my sorrows in caffeine and sugar.) When I told the cashier that I wasn’t a student–I, of course, knew that I would always be a student. I will always be taking classes and I will always be pushing to make myself a better artist. However, when I thought to myself that I’m a professional artist–well that’s true. This is no hobby–my kitchen is a mess, I spend all my time working on art and I keep saving up those bubble gum wrappers (my work) to send them in to contests to try and win the Joe Bazooka something or other.