DIY art

Posted by Jan Herman on March 1, 2018 in Janet Herman Thread Painting | 1 Comment

DIY? Everyone does it themselves.

If I had gone on to college in the 60s, I would have been a different person. Totally.  To explain that I would have to say, “even if I had, at the time, had the opportunity to go to college for art, I would have been an accountant.” Art was simply NOT a path presented to me. DIY art was play time. I have four brothers who could have continued their education if they chose to. Shocked? Remember that back in the 60s, “girls” were required to wear a skirt to school and could not have a bank account. As I recall, my path was nurse, teacher or secretary. 

“Even if I had, at the time, had the opportunity to go to college for art,
I would have been an accountant.”


I married young and worked my way through office jobs. Again, making art was play time. During those years the term DIY did not exist. DIY was a way of life. Everyone I knew “did it themselves.” I taught myself to sew clothes, coats, swimsuits, drapes and reupholster. I taught myself to refinish furniture and remodel an old house. In the 70s I taught myself how to use a computer: it had a tiny screen and 64K memory. Oh my, did that consume my time. I chased technology for decades. Art? That was still play time. 


Finding creativity

It wasn’t until the 80s that I had the interest and influence in my life to focus on creativity. Thanks to a graphics industry friend who valued my computer skills, I began writing and creating news copy. I learned a lot from him about the printing industry and creating with words. And still, creating art was play time. 

It started with a camera

During those writing years I rewarded myself with a Minolta film camera, many shooting lenses and darkroom equipment. These years were a wonderful experiment in creating images in black and white. There was a time I submitted my work in competitions. Today, film and dark rooms have been replaced by digital images, a computer, Photoshop and inkjets. I am glad I was able to continue DIY-ing to keep pace. And yet, I do miss the film and dark room. There was something so exciting and “hands on” about it. 

It all came together

Fifty years of all that do-it-yourself has brought me to creating my DIY art with paint and thread. Do I care that I never had a formal education in art? Sometimes. I see value in learning. Beyond that, I can see that there is still so much to learn and the only way there is to DIY! 

I would love your comments.

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One Response

  1. Brian Robinson
    April 11, 2018

    Hi Jan,

    Just checking in to make sure your comments are working.

    Have a great day!



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