Jessie Kate Patterson
As a child, I remember when I was asked to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up and instead of one or two dreams, mine was a list.
I grew up in a behind the scenes world. In a family of entertainers, artists, musicians and craftsman, I was nurtured to create. From childhood, I made blueprints and paper stock models of my future homes (a full on castle at one point), designed imagined toy lines, put on shows. When I was fascinated by old musicals, I learned tap dance from a local who had been a chorus dancer in those same movies. I didn’t just want to consume, I wanted to immerse myself in the process and respond to those fascinations by participating in them.
My family encouraged these various interests. I was allowed to help on our house building or renovation projects, I got to pick the wall colors and come with ideas for decorating. I helped my dad on his custom furniture designs. We produced events and shows together as a family, and we worked as a team. No matter our age at the time, we were encouraged to use our affinities and had real influence over the ideas and choices. Throughout these experiences, my parent’s attention to detail and quality, their respect of our contributions and thoughts, and their desire to impact others through their creations, was an inspiration.
With so many interests and options, I ended up choosing art specifically because I could see it as an all encompassing field. Depending on the story I was creating visually, I had an excuse to study a new field I was interested in and it would be a legitimate productive endeavor. Art (Visual storytelling) allows me to maintain my sense of educational wanderlust while focusing it in a way that helps me move beyond the jack of all trades, master of none fate that I had almost accepted as my path.