As a child, you're always in the moment, never stopping to think about how the things you love, or the way you're growing up will impact your life years later as an adult. Growing up in the 90's didn't seem too big of a deal at the time. But looking back, I realized that there were 10 defining moments of my youth that had a huge impact on the creativity I have today.
1.) Oh Barbie. How I loved you. You came in almost any form I could think of, a doctor, a cool high school girl, a princess, a gardener, a mermaid and my personal favorite, Barbie Color Change. With just a little bit of water applied to Barbie's face, I was introduced to a borderline obsession with makeup, ultimately resulting in my overall learning of makeup artistry and painting.
2.) I had to be about 9 or 10 years old when my cousin Kary introduced me one Christmas to Lisa Frank. I was transfixed. It was like everything I ever wanted to be staring at had somehow magicked its way to lay before me, with bright colors, big and boldly beautiful characters, and oh, how absolutely gorgeous that glitter was. Lisa Frank's Glitter Art was my first row with mixed media, which despite some literal hair raising results, ended up helping me learn some essential mixed media tricks when making.
3.) Growing up in Kansas, my first experience with sand came from RoseArt's Sand Art, which for some reason never seemed to turn out like the gloriously colorful makes that were advertised on the box. As hard as I tried, I always ended up with sad brownish bottles of sand, most often due to me accidentally tipping the bottle over or inadvertently shaking the bottle too hard to settle the sand- thus mixing up the colors into a muddled mixture. But, what Sand Art did teach me, though rather messily, that patience and precision are necessities when making.
4.) Caboodles were my first "tool box"- both for my makeup as well as my art supplies. These awesome storage containers were LITERALLY something I begged my parents for every year at my birthday, and in retrospect, I think my parents were pleased with the pride in organization I developed from having them. But the exposure to the world of embellishments and decorating those boxes was where my true love of these containers laid.
5.) Friendship Bracelets seemed to define my elementary school days. It was an unspoken knowledge that the more of them you made and wore, the more popular you would seem. But strangely, it wasn't the quest for popularity that intrigued me about making my own friendship bracelets. It was the actual making of them, with any color string I wanted, and any knot I could think to braid or tie. This trend of jewelry making segued itself into me getting a job with a jewelry designer as a teen, and learning to make jewelry of my own, something I still do to this day.
6.) I don't know who realized that you could make bracelets out of toothbrushes, but I would sincerely like to thank you. Toothbrush Bracelets didn't really teach me anything, they were just fun to make and wear, something that I've gotten a kick out of making with my 4 year old.
7.) Cute handwriting in colorful inks. Ah, the Gelly Pen craze. What am I talking about, I still love me some Gelly pens. I was transfixed with how easily I could doodle and write, especially after learning cursive and adding my own personal twist to it. I loved being able to take notes and write in my journal with these writing utensils- but the art of folding those notes we passed in class always seemed to elude me. While the note folding really has nothing to do with my life now, the writing style I developed from using Gelly pens has stayed with me- which is pretty cool as calligraphy is a hugely growing trend.
8.) It's alright cuz I'm Saved by the Bell! (I'll probably have that opening song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.) I adored coming home from school to watch Zack Morris, A.C. Slater, Kelly Kapowski, Jessie Spano, Lisa Turtle and of course, Screech on Saved by the Bell. The ONE episode that really stuck out to me was the one titled: Bayside Triangle. In it, Lisa and her friends put on a huge fashion show and, a love triangle seemingly develops, threatening the friendships of those involved. While I never had any love triangles growing up, this episode has always remained with me. Lisa designed and made all of the clothes that were in the fashion show, with all of her friends readily helping her to make the fashion show happen. Even though Lisa didn't end up reaching her ultimate goal that drove the episode plot-line, she walked away from the episode with more confidence in her abilities and makes. This unwittingly motivated me to enter in art contests and try out for school musicals, and to this day, this episode seems to come to mind when I'm questioning whether or not to put myself out there, be it writing a blog, or doing makeup for a bridal shower demonstration.
9.) Josh Harnett. Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Freddie Prinze Jr. Oh the overload of girl crushes. I was in about the 4th grade when I fell under the spell of cute boys in movies and on TV. What better way to express my silliness than by creating collages to put in the clear plastic on the outside of my trapper keeper. The older I got, the better my collages became- which eventually morphed into some pretty nifty mixed media projects.
10.) She's All That was the love story of the end of the 90's, with Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr taking center screen. I still adore this movie today. While it carries the typical sappy underdog finding true love plot-line, what has stayed with me all these years is that the main female character painted. Painting was her safe spot, regardless if she was happy or sad, painting was her form of expression which she never wavered from throughout the character changes she went through in the movie. This tiny little nuance that seemed to evade the notice of my friends has always been a point of motivation for me- that no matter the changes life throws at you, and despite the ways in which you choose to adapt, to never stray too far from those "safe spots", be it painting, doodling, making, quilting, crafting... this list could go on forever. Those safe spots keep you rooted to yourself, and being yourself is the best version of you you can possibly be.
What memories do you have from the 90's that inspired the creativity you have today?