My name is Glenn C Gladden, a local artist from Omaha, NE. My artistic potential was unknown to me at the age of seven when I started off creating simple doodles. As I grew older, those doodles turned into rough sketches, and then those sketches turned into drawings. I can remember completing my first official childhood drawing in fifth grade at age nine: a silhouette portrait of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln.
Sixth grade was an adventure by itself, with new surroundings and new friends. Shortly after starting and meeting my peers, my family moved away. My old friends faded to memory, and I made new ones in my new school.
At my second middle school, I elected to take a sewing class. It seemed like a challenging skill to tackle, but my teacher started off with simple instructions on how to weave a pouch. It felt like clockwork to me, and I still remember the patience required to hand weave a blue and yellow pouch.
After sewing, I was determined to take on a different artistic medium, painting. I had fun exploring the messy side of art, painting with acrylic, oil pastels, and even watercolor. My favorite was watercolor; I drew great inspiration from Claude Monet’s famous work Water Lillies.
When I entered high school, I unfortunately fell in the wrong crowd. I started misbehaving and expressing mt creativity in negative ways, leading to my eventual expulsion. I then transferred to Blackburn Alternative High School.in Omaha, NE,where I spent my remainder of my sophomore year.
In school, I honestly thought “This just isn’t for me,” and it took a while for me to realize that my new school was a second chance and an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. I signed up for a Basic Blacksmith course, and it turned out to be a fantastic way for me to channel my energy into something productive. With hard work, I completed the course and became a certified Apprentice Blacksmith.
After completing my sophomore year at Blackburn, I switched schools again. During my junior year, I had many opportunities to explore my creativity, but it wasn’t until my senior year that I had the chance to see my artwork displayed on a billboard for Youth Art Month. I felt incredibly honored and proud to have my art publicly displayed. I spent most of my senior year challenging my abilities and and exploring other mediums, such as ballpoint pen drawing.
After graduating in 2014, my old friends sand I sort of drifted apart, but my art kept me occupied. Art classrooms were replaced my galleries., but there were bars to entry; fees or a college degree usually. To get myself in the door, I enrolled in a community college as an Architecture major. The Bachelor’s in Architecture was a great plan, but the advanced mathematics courses proved an obstacle I couldn’t overcome. Instead, I found a whole new outlet in.
In 2016, I took another English class, Composition 1, and my professor noticed one of my in-progress drawings. I then showed him a completed drawing, untitled at the time, and he offered me a chance to contribute my drawing to a published book; all I had to do was think of a title for my piece. A few months later, A Spring Smile was included in the book Fine Lines edited by David Martin (Summer Issue, Vol. 25, Issue 2).
All of these experiences and opportunities have led me becoming a young commissioned artist in Omaha, NE. My goal is to deliver affordable, quality artwork to everyone who’d like some I hope my story has given you an idea of who I am, both as a person and an artist. Thanks for reading.