At ACTIVE Network, our mission is to make the world a more active place, and one of the many ways we do that is by encouraging our own employees to get active. Be it through endurance races, continuing education or even recreational sports leagues, we are proud to support employees in any endeavor that gets them participating and involved with their local communities. Sara Rathbun, a digital marketing specialist at ACTIVE Network, has not only been developing a new skill by attending an art class but has also participated in a local art show in Dallas. We sat down with Rathbun to hear first-hand about her experience.
Tell us more about your active. How long have you been drawing?
Only since the beginning of last year! I’ve always loved art—ever since my dad took me to our small town’s sole art museum when I was little. One of my closest friends is an extremely talented tattoo artist, and around the start of 2017 I said something along the lines of “I wish I had your talent, but I can’t draw.” She told me that I could draw, I simply needed to learn and practice. “No kid starts out as an amazing artist,” she said. “It’s just that some stick with it and others don’t.” I realized she was right—that I could draw if I simply dedicated my time and energy to it. So, I signed up for an intro to drawing class at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas, and here we are.
What was it like going back to school?
In a word: Nerve-wracking. I hadn’t been in a classroom setting for at least 7 years, and I knew absolutely no one there. I found the class and registered online, so I was going in completely fresh. But it turned out to be a lot of fun! It was a 2-hour class that met once a week for 6 weeks, and we covered all the fundamentals of figure drawing. There was a pretty good mix of people of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds, but it was nice to know we were all beginners. We were all putting ourselves out there to learn a new skill, which made it much easier to critique, give honest feedback and help each other out.
How did the opportunity to participate in an art show come up?
Oddly enough, from Instagram. My art class ended in March of 2017, and while it gave me the fundamentals I needed to create a legible piece of art, I left wanting to know more and to keep growing as an artist. I remembered what my friend said about making time for practice, so I set a goal to draw one original piece a day and post it on my Instagram account to hold myself accountable. Someone from the organization that put on the show, RAW Artists, messaged me to ask if I would apply for their Dallas show because they felt I would be a great addition. I, of course, jumped at the chance, submitted my application that day and got accepted that night by the show’s director.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to learn a new skill?
Be brave and go for it. Forget about looking stupid. Forget about not being good at it. Just try it out and see how you feel. It could lead to opportunities you never thought were possible. When have you ever heard someone say, “I regret learning that?” If you have no idea where to start—Google it! There is bound to be a class for it near you.