On My Love Affair with Art

Up until a few years ago, I’d never really thought of myself as an artistic person. I was decent at sketching as a kid and up until about the 6th grade, I had dreamed of becoming a singer- but I never really honed into my artistic and creative abilities until I was about 20.

My love affair with the English language sparked at a very young age. Growing up, my mom would read me a story every night before bed. By the time I was 3, I had memorized my favorite books by the page and would pretend that I was reading them myself. As I got older my parents used to take me down to the public library every week and let me pick out books to borrow; I’m talking a stack of around 10 picture books. (I think 10 was the library’s limit) I don’t remember how, but I was placed in our elementary school’s small GT (“gifted and talented”, see also “advanced”) English class where we read books like “Because of Winn Dixie” and “Bridge to Terabithia” and wrote stories on the boxy macintosh computers. I had my very own floppy disk with all of my work and was told by the teacher that my writing had “voice.” When I got to middle school, I didn’t write as much. My stories turned into essays cited in MLA format, and writing just didn’t seem romantic or enjoyable to me anymore. This continued throughout high school, and my leisurely reading consisted only of Nicholas Sparks and the occasional book from the “Divergent” series.

I’m actually not even sure when it was that I realized I had an artistic eye. I think perhaps it came about when I started shooting with film. I was so stingy with my exposures and always looked for the absolute best  shot. I began looking for the beauty in everything.

My love affair with photography began when I was 16. I was mentored by the amazing Tracey Lyn, and I was obsessed with capturing the world in the exact way that I saw it- vibrant and bright. It was a fun hobby, but very expensive and I never thought that it could ever become an avenue for success for me.

I think that that is the thing about art and the people that create it. It’s such a deeply  personal thing. As an “artist” (by the way, I use that term verrryyyy loosely) what I’m basically doing is trying to bring everything on that’s on the inside to the outside and share it with others. The way I see the world, the way I express what’s in my *ahem* soul. I’ve been given this passion for a reason and I now realize that it is such an injustice to suppress it. I express these through the avenues of fashion, photography, visual art and just plain words. 

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ve probably seen me write about my ugly duckling years. I was a quite awkward and quite ugly child in my pre pubescent and pubescent years. I always felt like I didn’t have much to “offer”. I wasn’t visually traditionally beautiful, which seemed like the only thing that mattered at that time. This was when I knew that I needed to create room in my soul for beauty. I wasn’t outwardly “pretty”, but I was smart, and I was humorous, and I was artistic. Of course, I now know that this way of thinking isn’t healthy or accurate at ALL- feeling less than and like I needed to “make up for” what I was “lacking.” I know that I’ve been created this way on purpose.  My God crafted me carefully, and so intentionally, and although I felt like I was simply making up for something I didn’t have, I now know that He was whispering to me the entire time, showing me who I am, and reminding me that I didn’t lack anything in the first place.

The thing is, it was always in me, and I feel it now more than ever. Each day brings new inspiration and I’m excited and eager to see what I can create, whether it be with a camera, with other people, or with words. With everything I create, I somehow hope to inspire, encourage and remind people of just how much they’re loved.