April 24, 1996
I'M OFTEN ASKED when I knew I'd want to be a creative type.
Sometime in the early 1970's. It started with the blocks.
My first toys ever
were building blocks, and from then on, through the Legos, the
crayons, the clay, the fingerpaints, the
spirograph sets, the colored pencils, the construction paper,
I had the seed of the artist in me.
My best-loved toys were for making stuff.
I had enormous collections of old, dried-up magic markers that I
held onto because
they provided hues that you just can't get
in brand-new ones. I loved fingerpainting, which I was introduced to
during preschool, in a dinky one-room house called
"The Little Red Schoolhouse." Even then I knew the red in
"The Little Red Schoolhouse"
was not the same kind of red as a fire engine, or an apple.
In retrospect I'd say it was Cadmium Red Medium.
Really, though, the germs of my artistic career started with the dolls.
Late at night, before any sort of school, I secretly turned
on the light, opened my boxes of clothes, and started working.
I made new outfits. I put clothes that belonged to one doll
onto another, and fancied it an important act of creativity. I
worked late into the night, obsessing over the need to have
things look right that my parents didn't understand, then, anyway.
"Leave me alone!" I said. "Can't you see I'm busy?"
Kristen Ankiewicz is an artist when
she's not webmastering.