As I begin this new journey to becoming an artist, I realized it's best (and important) to have my audience understand, and get-to-know the "real me".
I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, but have since re-located, and along with my fiance, we now call Charleston home. We're in the midst of planning our dream wedding, and life is exceptionally wonderful right now.
Blah Blah Blah. But who am I really? What truly excites me? Why am I choosing now to make my debut into the art world?
Let me start by saying, I am by no means a writer, but I hope to answer all of those questions (and more!) while revealing myself, my passion for art and painting, and my love for all things colorful and wild.
noun: art; plural noun: arts; plural noun: the arts
the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
"the art of the Renaissance"
works produced by human creative skill and imagination.
"his collection of modern art"
creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture.
"she's good at art"
the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
"the visual arts"
subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects).
"the belief that the arts and sciences were incompatible"
a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.
"the art of conversation"
Growing up, I have always been the one in my family to have all of the creative bones. I struggled a lot as a kid with math and reading. It wasn't until the summer after my sophomore year of college that I would be tested to find out that I have mild dyslexia along with a math and reading disorder. I was always just a C-average student, while my older brother always achieved straight A’s across the board. For a long time I felt like I was living in his shadow and I wasn’t able to ever catch up to his level of intelligence. I felt stupid, but more so, I believed I actually was stupid. I gave up. I felt lost because I wasn’t able to make the grades that he did. I let school define who I was as a child. It wasn’t until the end of my 5th grade year that my mom and I heard about a middle school that was a magnet program with a communication arts focus. I applied as a magnet student to League Academy and to my surprise, I was accepted! I was so excited I couldn’t even stand it. This school had a drama department, a HUGE art studio classroom, and a dance studio! All three principles of art I was focused on conquering--and a LOT better than the school I was zoned for that had a math and science focus...
During my time at League, I entered multiple art shows with my photography, poetry, and art. I walked away with some kind of award from all of them. For many, middle school was the slum of their days. Besides the obvious hormonal changes, I also got braces (which I wanted…go figure), I was awkwardly skinny/lanky, and I started running varsity cross country for Greenville High School. Middle school holds some of the best days of my life. I met so many incredible people that I still get to call friends today, but more importantly I got to experience more of the arts than I could have ever imagined. I felt that I had finally found my niche, my place, and my purpose. My creativity was at an all-time high and for once I felt like I finally had a direction and was no longer standing in my brother’s shadow. Even though I still struggled with math and science, I made up for that “downfall” in the arts.
My 8th grade year at League Academy I tried out for the advanced art and drama classes. I luckily got into both and was able to take both classes for the entire school year. In my drama class, we were putting together a production of children’s books to perform to elementary schools around Greenville County. The show was comprised of a few different books like, “The Rainbow Fish” and “Where The Wild Things Are”. I was chosen to play “Max” from “Where The Wild Things Are,” except they changed my name to “Maxine.” I was elated to say the least! This was my favorite book growing up and the character fit my personality perfectly! She was adventurous, curious, a leader, and always down to have a little fun!
Now let's fast forward to today. “Maxine” is very much still alive and well in me, which is why I decided to name my first art collection after this book. My love for animals and colors that are bright and vibrant are reflected in the pieces I have put together. Animals are a gift to this earth and I think they bring out the most curious aspects of my personality.
As quoted in the book, “There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.” Art is my place where I can make things happen. If there is anything I have learned over the years through art it's that it is judgmental, it is courageous, it is imaginable, it is feeling, it is moving, it is complex, it is boundless, it is aggressive, it is contemplative, it is awe-inspiring, it is unpredictable, it is energetic, it is stimulating, it is eclectic, it is honest, and it is me. Art is an expression, it is aesthetic, it is a release of emotions, and it is a true spiritual being. My hope and prayer is that I can continue to make pieces that strike up a conversation, that ignite a playful nature within my audience, and that truly express who I am and how I, as an adult (and as “Maxine”), love to capture the world that surrounds us all.
I’ve been through a lot of struggles trying to find out exactly who I am as person over the years. I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to do in life, but nothing ever seemed to make me feel like I was fulfilling what I was called to do on this earth until I decided to focus on my art. There’s no denying that I’m a controller. I like to know how and when things are going to happen. If there’s one thing that I have learned over my 26 years it is that I am NOT in control.
It's taken me longer than normal to let God take the reins of my life and it’s still something I continue to pray about on a daily basis, but I am proud to follow Him and allow Him to bring me to my calling.