This was fortuitous, me becoming an artist. Before entering college, I was at a point where I felt that my field of interest was health and fitness. I wanted to be a dietitian. The idea of being an artist was not really anything I had thought about at all. I was in a program and I had a strong interest in helping people with their health and well being. While taking my first few semesters, I was just trying to get excited about my goals. My first nutrition class was amazing and I knew I was in for something great. Concurrently, I took my first drawing class, and then I took another. I liked it alright. I loved drawing really large and I knew that was something that got me excited.
After my first two drawing classes I decided to try a painting class. In this class, we started with still life paintings of objects inside of boxes with colored walls. I found it SO BORING. We had to use only a palette knife, no brush. This was interesting, but I also didn’t like it because I couldn’t get it right. However, during the course of painting my first still life my professor came to me and said he liked what I was doing. He told me that my rendering skills were not great, but that I had a good understanding of shape and form and expression and even color. He said that if I worked on my rendering skills I might have something. It felt really good to hear that I intuitively had something valuable. I also liked knowing that I had something I needed to work on: a skill that could be developed over time
I took a second painting class. This time, we were a little more free to do what we wanted. We could make the paintings that we wanted to make. Not that I actually could make what I wanted because I still had a lot to learn. During this time we were also allowed to work as large as we wanted, and I discovered painting on sheets of raw canvas fastened to a large wall. Working large was something that I knew immediately was the thing I wanted to do. Making wall sized paintings and getting to explore on a surface that held unlimited possibilities was what drew me into making art even more.
After making my first large painting, I decided right then and there that painting was what I wanted to do and I changed my major. Not the most reassuring or exciting news to share with my parents, but they were very understanding as well as ridiculously supportive. From that point on I would spend all the time that I could making art. I would go into the studio at school early and stay late. I would go in on weekends when I could, and I did this all the way through my time in junior college and then even more once I had my own studio space at the University of Texas at Arlington. Once I had a space to keep an easel and leave my supplies, I never wanted to stop.
Soon after making this decision to make art my life, I was asked to create a backdrop for a Dallas Opera playbill for the show titled “The Cunning Little Vixen.” Soon after that I took on an apprenticeship to work with a local decorative painter and muralist. I got to paint murals and large paintings that would hang in the stadium in Houston that was named Enron Field at the time. I made art all day and all night.
During my time at UTA, I was invited to assist my painting professor with some teaching at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas. I loved that too. After I graduated from UTA, I starting a decorative painting company with my wife. I ran that for a little over ten years and then I decided to go back to school for my teaching certification because I missed teaching art to kids. I love making art but getting to teach it to others is just as enriching, maybe even more. Watching another person get something from a new understanding of the creative process gives just as much to me as I can give to the student. This passion is something that I am still involved with and hope to be even more so in the coming years.
The idea of getting up and having an opportunity to take nothing and build it into something is the reason I became an artist. The profession that I chose is something that was, and still is, a tremendous gift. I am grateful for this gift. Grateful for the creative process as well as sharing the process with others. Making art is a great opportunity to get out of my head and open up to a moment of unknowns, mistakes, miracles and sometimes just plain simple fun. The idea of endless possibility brings me great joy. Possibility can lead to a pre-imagined success in an artwork, or it can lead to reimagining and allowing something even greater to come into existence that I never saw in the beginning of my process. This is a large part of the magic of creation: the act of intentionally becoming open to the unintentional.
Scott Dykema is a fine artist, muralist and illustrator based in Texas. His highly energetic and jubilant works range from the abstract to studies of such diverse subjects as animals, Native Americans, geishas and angels.