The Artist in Me

"You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul." --George Bernard Shaw

I grew up in the 70’s when everyone was into free expression and love.

My father was one of these free thinkers. He was eccentric, a real character and a true artist. He was always creating. It wasn’t unusual for him to create a mural right on the wall. Then he would change it up a few months later. He painted people, abstract objects, even UFOs. He was something else. My siblings and I were all gifted in the arts. My brother won the Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger contest and we were all in awe when he got a brand new Huffy Bike. My little brother is a graphic artist. All of my siblings have done art and are extremely talented. I always drew and in elementary school I was always drawing a crowd around me when we were assigned to do art work. I got a lot of "Oohs" and "Ahhs."

I took it for granted that I drew, and it wasn’t until I auditioned and was accepted into the Fiorello LaGuardia school of the Performing Arts that I realized there were many talented artists, some way more talented than I was. I started to become perfectionistic about my art, to a point that I stopped doing it at all. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized I needed to express myself, again. It started in a therapy class and I began to accept that I didn’t have to be perfect in my art. I realized this wasn’t a contest this was life and art was my way of expressing who I was to the world. I took an oil painting class and watched the students just enjoy themselves. They painted for themselves. I began to relax and have fun in my classes. The dormant artist in me woke up, and I began to see art everywhere I went and in different ways: the way someone danced, an actor reciting poetry, pottery, writing, body art, a skilled salesman. I heard it in music and song.

I realize today that for me to live, I have to create. Whether I’m writing poetry, a book, singing a song, dancing or painting, it is a way for me to express myself. There is an artist in all of us and it is through our inner artist that we can be our highest selves.