14 June 2012

Remembering My Roots

I know my posts have been scattered, but just deal with it right now.

I have been working on a post about SEO (seriously, wtf is that???) but I put that on the back burner because I was cleaning out my closet in searching for "stuff". You know, STUFF. I found lots of stuff that was "lost" but now is "found" because you know I never really *lost* that stuff, it was misplaced in my memory of where it was exactly.

And in finding the Lost Stuff I found Neat Things (thanks to me being a total pack rat) that I was able to reminisce over!

Amongst the Neat Things were some essays I wrote during my first quarter at The Art Institute of Charlotte way back when in 2002. That was ten years ago. It by golly does not seem that long ago. When I think of "ten years ago" I think of my teenage years in the nineties. Laughable moment!

I found an essay I wrote about my Nana. She was the real reason I am an artist in the first place. She was an artist and created in me an excitement and passion for all things artsy and craftsy. So I want to share what I wrote, because it sounds way intelligent and I'm impressed that I wrote it using big expressive words!

For The Love Of Art

Art has always been a part of my life; sometimes I feel that I was born with a pencil or crayon in my hand. I owe my artistic talent to my grandmother. Nana, (as she liked to be called, it made her feel younger.) was a very talented artist and without her genes I would not be an aspiring artist. Visiting Nana always meant an art lesson was to be taught. As soon as I would step inside the doorway, I knew she had already brought out the proper supplies to begin the lesson. Pencils, crayons, markers, paper and coloring books would be strewn neatly across the coffee table waiting for my itchy hands to grab hold of them. Nana would then greet me with a request for me to draw a pretty picture, which I would happily concede to. Throughout the duration of the visit, Nana would teach me all the wonderful things she knew about art. As an adult I find I cannot live without art because of Nana's lessons. I need to be creating something in order to be satisfied. I can now see that Nana's lessons and faith in me helped to influence my decision in returning to school to pursue a career in art, discovering my passion for graphic design.

First and foremost, Nana instilled in me an interest for art that soon turned into an enthusiasm and desire. She became the wind that fanned the burning flames of my attraction towards art. The wind blew the hardest when she would take me into her art room and show me the most magnificent and amazing pieces of art. There were boxes upon boxes on the floor containing piles of precious pictures Nana had drawn and painted over the years. Many of them were still unfinished, waiting patiently for her final stroke. In the middle of the room stood a monstrosity of an art table with years of acrylic and oil paints crusting off the sides and legs. Also inlaid on the top of the table were scratches, marks, and dents from years of hard work. Cups clung to the sides of the table filled with different paints, brushes, and tools. Standing in the midst of this room, I realized that this must be what it means to be a real artist.

I was fascinated by my Nana's art and wished that I could become just as talented as she was, so I started drawing all the time practicing the gift she had given me. When I would show my creations to her she would "ooh" and "aah" at them with a smile of pure delight on her face. Nana would make such a fuss over my pictures, hanging them on her refrigerator, cupboards, and walls. She even taped them to the ceiling above her bed so she could look at them while falling asleep (she did this with all her grandchildren). Any loving and doting grandmother would do the same, but it wasn't just my grandmother praising my work, it was an artist. i was always nervous showing her anything of mine for her comments and reactions meant the world to me. But she was always reassuring, telling me how talented I was and my confidence blossomed.

I can attribute most things in my life to my Nana. She gave birth to my mother, which in turn gave birth to me. Not only did she bring life, she also taught me important life lessons, like not to open a soda bottle after it has been shaken. I made that mistake once and she called me a jackass. It was all in good fun, I knew what would happen if I opened the bottle but I thought her reaction would be funny, which it was because she was so light-hearted and loved to laugh. In this way she was an excellent example on how to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Through her actions she has shown me not to worry so much and to laugh at everything no matter what situation you are in. Knowing who she was and what she has done gave me the desire to follow in her footsteps. I do not wish to live her life, but to be able to use the knowledge and talent she has given me in a positive and effective way....... I am very blessed to have had my Nana in my life and vow to make the most of what she has taught me.

I hope you all have someone in your life that is your hero and encourages you to be the most you can be.


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