I would look over furtively from the "craft" side of an arts and crafts store, to try to see what was in the "art" side. All those tools - what was their purpose? All those colors. All that paper...
After learning a bit of decorative painting in a class at age 15, I was able to walk boldly to the paint section, confidently picking out tubes of acrylics and oil paint, but those pastels still intimidated me. I felt sure the real artists who worked there just knew I didn't really belong.
What was I afraid of? Snooty art store staff? Didn't I know that they are in business to sell me those pastels?
After attending my first Creative Memories scrapbooking class (more than a decade ago!), I grew bold about acid-free pens and paper. Hurray! Another section of the arts store conquered.
Now, just now, as a middle-aged homeschooling Mama, I am finally losing my fear of art supplies and embracing the lay artist I could be. What has opened up the world of art for me? Homeschooling!
I've actually ventured into the art section of our library, as though I was...an artist. Here are a couple of things I found there: The Decorated Page, by Gwen Diehn, and Altered Books, Collaborative Journals, and Other Adventures in Bookmaking, by Holly Harrison.
Now I'm working on an art journal. Here is some coffee-staining in progress. More next time.
I checked out I Draw, I Paint: Colored Pencils, by Isidro Sanchez; and Earthgirl, that intrepid child artist, took it to her desk and went to work. Look at those cat eyes!
Evidently she has no fear of art supplies.
By the way, I have some oil pastels now.