A few weeks ago, we launched one of my favourite parts of this website; our Duck Yard. The idea behind the Duck Yard was to create a place where Ugly Ducklings from all around can express themselves creatively. And the work is far from done: we want your submissions! Yes, YOU! Everyone is creative in one way or another… some people write songs, some write stories, some tell stories through poetry, painting, sketching or dance. Whatever it is you do, if you feel like sharing it with us, we’d love to feature it in our Duck Yard. We are still working out the logistics and appearance, but keep your submissions coming!
I’ve only recently reacquired an interest in painting and drawing after quite a bumpy history. When I was in grade four, I won a scholarship to a local art studio for a free 8-week art class. Upon being presented with this scholarship, another little girl from my school, who I thought was a very dear friend, came up to me and said something along the lines of “Too bad you always steal my drawing and put your name on them! I should have gotten this scholarship!” Now, this was a lie. I wasn’t even in the same class or grade as this girl, who there’s no way I could steal her artwork; but the notion of jealousy went right over my naïve little eight-year-old mind and those words really hurt.
Nevertheless, I used the scholarship. I took a pottery class (I was the only student who was able to mix the glaze together just right to get the dark green colour… I still have that bowl)… but art had become a personal thing for me after the malicious comments of my “friend” and the interest had all by died out by the time I reached middle school.
When I went for a tour of my future high school at the end of grade eight, I was re-inspired. Every door of every classroom inside the high school was fully painted by art students with magnificent, bright pieces. My high school literally looked like the inside of a professional art studio. I decided to take art the following year. My passion had been rekindled.
My newly lit passion was slowly quenched by the bitter old art teacher we found in that studio, who didn’t want us to express ourselves artistically. Though there were several pieces of artwork from that year that I still have… I never took art again in that school. I was pretty sure I was done art forever at this point. I no longer had time for the hobby. “Artistic” things still spilled into my life in university as my roommates and I shared a love of singing and dancing and I’d acquired an interest in photography… but as far as “creating art” with my hands using materials… that was done.
A few years ago, I randomly had the urge to start painting. The results ranged from somewhat decent to completely disastrous. But recently, I tried to get rid of all my paintings from this “era” only to find out my mother had snatched some out of the garbage and saved them to hang on her bedroom wall. Not only did this endear me, it gave me the confidence I needed to persist with this as a hobby.
My hope is that this Duck Yard will act as that extra push of confidence that anyone out there might need to continue to pursue their passions and/or talents in whatever capacity they desire. We are all here because of someone else’s creativity and imagination. You’re reading this because we were inspired to create this through someone else’s creativity. Let’s all hope the Duck Yard acts as a similar catalyst :)
– Erin J
The Beaky One