I grew up surrounded by art. That sounds much more fancier than it was because, being devoutly Catholic, my mother plastered our walls with oil paintings of the crucifixion of Jesus, thorny bleeding hearts, Mary stepping on serpents. You know, the usual things that make you happy.
But despite imbuing me with a plethora of psychological issues that I can now channel into my characters, art has affected my life, career, and outlook in ways that I’m only beginning to realize now. My childhood was cluttered with paint tubes, brushes, pencils, canvases. I watched my mother create masterpieces from a blank plane of white. I watched her turn old canvases she bought from thrift stores into an oil mural that traveled from Catholic church to Catholic church throughout the country.
And I learned that that was a possibility. That one person could create something so beautiful, so alive…pretty much from nothing.
Over the past years, I’ve made it a goal to meet new people and learn new things. Last year, I bought a DSLR and took a photography class. I learned so many technical things from the course, but more importantly, I started looking at the world from a different angle. That sounds really cheesy but seriously, every week we were assigned a photo-taking task. Of course I told myself I’d go out on the weekend and take some photos, but I’d always end up leaving things to the last minute, and rush out during my lunch break to take a few snaps. In the short hour I had, I took a closer, different look at things around me. Buildings I took for granted suddenly seemed beautiful. Alleyways I walked down every day became darker, had a story to tell.
When my photography class was over, I missed it–the push to create something every week, to capture a beautiful moment in my life, to challenge myself to look at the world in a different light.
As writers, our stories are usually all in our heads. It can be a lonely experience that can sometimes drive you mad. I’ve discovered that it helps to channel this madness into another creative outlet. So I looked into art classes at the local college, found one that fit my after-work schedule, and signed up.
You can expect a lot of stick-figure drawings on this blog forthwith.
Also, now I have an excuse to go out and buy a bunch of art supplies.