One Piece of Advice that Changed my Life

As a student at school I always felt intimidated in art class. The sight of a blank white piece of paper would make me feel slightly anxious – The act of beginning felt scary. But I had one art teacher in whose company I started to feel comfortable and confident in the creative process. He was an old Italian guy called Vasco Viera – A truly resonant name for an art teacher.

With a gentle guidance he would instruct us to “just draw whatever comes into your mind”.

He would often take the class outdoors, to sketch images of the rocks, grass, and aloes.

He shared a piece of advice that always stayed with me: “Remember: in nature there are no straight lines.” His Italian accent imbued the advice with a musical quality that left its meaning hanging evocatively… a reassurance coupled with a dare.

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