I have always loved art and creating art. It’s such a passion of mine, and often times I want to wear the painting that I create. So when I was a Kid, I took as many art classes that I could take…. From extra curricular classes in High School to an after school program at the Community Center- I even took 4 semesters of night classes at the local Community College. I just couldn’t get enough art in my life. During my Senior Year, my AP Art Teacher presented the class with an interesting proposal. Campbell’s Soup had just re-designed their Label and was holding a Nationwide Art Contest. The soup company wanted kids to submit their best artwork with the new label. The prize?? 10,000 dollars! This is a CRAZY amount of money for a High Schooler, and I was sure that I was destined to win the Grand Prize.
My submission had to be “Larger than Life,” and I wanted to win this contest more than anything in the world. While all the kids in my class started doodling their best sketches- I knew I had to do something over-the-top to even have a chance at winning. My wheels started spinning at a million miles a minute… and that’s when it hit me. Wheels. Spinning. A MILLION miles a minute.
I went home that night and took a deep breath and held it in as I asked my Mom the unthinkable: “Mom- would you mind if I painted your old station wagon…. I could win 10,000 dollars!”
I couldn’t believe my Mom said yes! And just like that, I was off and running. The next day I had a spring in my step as I waltzed into class and announced to the class that I was using my Hooptie-Ride as my medium for my art project.
I needed a paint that could weather the elements and was sturdy enough make it through the contest. I made a B-Line to the Home Improvement store to arm myself with 20 gallons of house paint. This was a serious job and I was all in for the challenge. I spent days and nights working on my Car.
After 2 long months painting my project, word started to spread around town and the next thing I knew, KTLA Morning News had called my house asking if I would be on their show. I felt like a Movie Star…. it was so cool! Add The Los Angeles Times, OC Register and Daily Pilot to the list of Press and I was a Local Celebrity. The OC Register even asked if I would write the article myself from the Artist’s Point of View which spurred into an offer to write a weekly article about High School life and happenings around campus. Best of all- it was paid job!
I didn’t end up winning the contest. In fact, a 10 year old kid from Paramus, NJ won. He did a cartoon of the Pharaohs carrying Campbell’s Soup to King Tut. It was cute but defiantly not 10K worthy. All in all, I still felt like the Grand Prize Winner. Between the awesome free press, side job at the OC Register and feeling like a Celebrity, This experience taught me many valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my Career. The biggest lesson being- if you want great things, you have to be able to do and be “over-the-top great.”