In my junior year of high school, I had this art teacher who hated everything that I did.She told me my self-portraits looked like someone who didn’t exist, my still lifes of fruit lookedrotten, and all around that I had no concept of how to draw from life. After hearing this for thetenth time, I cried for a little bit, but then I decided that I wouldn’t let that stop me from creating.Since I made art in a rather childish way, I continued to do so, but with all of the next pieces Iwould create, I added my favorite art supply: glitter.Coming up with a list of things that I am obsessed with, I am only aware of three things;googly eyes, fairies and glitter. When sitting down to write this piece, I scratched my head andwhen I looked at my hand, I saw glitter. How it got there? I couldn’t tell you, but what I do knowis that it stays with you forever.Throughout the entire school year that I had that teacher, I made pieces of art thatcontained glitter in them. If you think she hated me before, you wouldn’t have like to see herreaction after I started using glitter. It would get everywhere, but I didn’t care because I wasfinally creating pieces that I loved, and that felt like me. This teacher would be so offended bythese pieces, that she would take me into the hallway and yell and yell until class was over.“Stop using this material!” “Glitter gets everywhere!” “Do you think anyone would want to put youin a gallery if you use this?!” Were just some of the variations of things she would say on thesubject of glitter. When she would scold me, I would just sit there thinking about pouring a giantbucket of glitter on her head. One day during art class when the teacher walked away I dumpeda pile of green glitter on the floor because to me, the room just wasn’t sparkly enough. Someoneonce said that glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts.
From a young age, I wanted my entire life to be filled with sparkles. Sparkly shoes,sparkly make-up, I fell in love with anything that shimmered. When I told my mom I was writingthis piece, she told me that whenever we would go to Target, I would only want things that werecovered with glitter. It was as though everywhere I went, a trail of sparkles followed me.I had every type of shade you could imagine. Pink, blue, white, black, salmon, neonyellow....every color amused me. I even used to eat glitter because I wanted to be completelyimmersed in it. When my parents would wake me up in the morning, they would tell me that myface was sparkling. Best of all, I loved how it wouldn’t come off. I was a walking disco ball.Some of my favorite memories from childhood were the times when the tooth fairy wouldvisit me because I would wake up covered in glitter, and was always given a necklace thatcontained fairy dust. Fairy dust was like no shade of glitter I had ever seen before. It lookedpurple and blue and white and black, but obviously wasn’t made by humans because humanscouldn’t have made so perfect of a sparkle.My entire life was glitter. I saw sparkles everywhere I went, they were in my eyes and upmy nose, and stuck in my shoes. I even dreamed of being covered in it. When someone wasmad at me, I would give them an envelope filled with glitter because when they would open it, itwould get everywhere. What everyone else hated was my favorite thing in the entire world.When I was seventeen, I started teaching art classes at this art center in myneighborhood. The South Florida Art Center was divided up between classrooms and smallstudio spaces where artists would work. One day after class I started watching an artist makewire sculptures. From far away they looked like scribble, but up close they were differentsayings. When I approached the artist about what he was doing, he told me that he was usingpliers to wire bend sayings that people told him. Some of them were positive and some of themwere negative and they were things that had always stayed with him. When he asked me what
type of art I did, I told him that I specifically work with glitter, and that no matter how manypeople tell me to not use it, I will always work with it. He was so intrigued by this that he startedbending wire to create the words “I Will Always Work With Glitter.”Months later when I was applying to college I was asked to create a self portrait that didnot contain a figure of myself in it. I sat around for days thinking about how I could achieve this.Finally, I took a 2 foot by 4 foot canvas and some gold glitter and wrote on the piece the exactwords that were written in wire in the months before. I like to think that because of that portrait Igot into college. Even though it was the most simplistic piece I had ever made, It was the mosthonest.On the subject of glitter now, it is still very close to me. Whenever I paint my nails, theyare always sparkly. I am on the search for a pair of sparkly go-go boots, and I still create worksof art covered with it. Using glitter has not only helped me create my lifes work, it has helped medeal with my most turbulent emotions. People who don’t like using glitter, just don’t understandit. It is not for everybody, but in my case, I will always work with glitter.