Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 11: Turning Point

Day 11: Turning Point
This one is gonna get a little personal. Its how I realized I wanted to be an artist. This image gives you the shorthand version of the specific moment when it hit me.
I’ve always loved drawing, ever since I could hold a pencil. My parents have home videos of me at around 2 years old falling asleep at the desk while drawing circles and squares. (There are multiple videos of this). My parents had a paint program on the computer before MS paint that I would play around with all the time. And I also played with ms paint. My dad was teaching my brother how to draw and I insisted he teach me too. As I grew older I never stopped drawing. But it never really occurred to me that this is what I could actually do with my life.
I started playing piano when I was 11. It turned out I was pretty good at it and was able to get into performing arts school for middle school and high school. It seemed like music was what I was going to do. But I liked so many things! I loved music, acting, drawing, movies, cartoons, comics, reading, writing, math (yeah, I enjoyed if for a while).
There wasn’t a certain movie that made me just “know” what I wanted to do with my life like most people. It happened one summer I went to CIY. Its a christian conference/camp held at christian colleges around the country for high school kids. I had gone before but this specific summer was in between 10th and 11th grade. I had brought my sketchbook and pencils with me and decided I was going to reflect each day with a drawing. One night while I was drawing for the day, I heard some of my fellow youth group mates singing a song.  I’m terrible with names so I don’t remember what it was called but if you ask me in person I could sing it for you. It inspired me to draw an image for the song. I showed it to them and they wanted to have it up on stage with them as they performed the song they were singing in the talent show. It was really cool seeing someone else like my artwork and want to use it to share with other people. 
The day after the talent show, the main speaker for the week says he had to get on his soapbox and share something with us. I think he actually stood on a box too. This wasn’t the normal time for schpiels to be made, but he had something important to say that he felt he really needed to share. He starts to talk about how some of us have really awesome creative talents. We can sing, write, draw, play music, etc. And if we are lucky to have that gift, we NEED to be using it. God gave us these gifts for a reason so we can’t hide these things and shove them off to the side. At that moment, I felt like he was talking directly to me. I never thought of my art as anything more than just something I do for personal fun. But my gift and passion was meant for more than just my personal gain. It was meant to be used and shared. Just like what just happened with my drawing and the song. I have a gift. This is what I’m meant to do.
I started sharing my art with more people, shared it with my youth group and youth leaders. Immediately they wanted to use my talents. I began to use my art to help people. I used it to deliver messages. I used it in church, I used it in school. It became the thing that I do and what people came to me for.   
College was close, so I began to search into what I wanted to do with my art. I took all of the things that I loved to do (drawing, comics, movies, cartoons, music, acting) and discovered that what I wanted to do was right in front of me the whole time. ANIMATION! Everyone seemed to be growing out of cartoons but I never grew up. I knew that its people’s job to make these movies and cartoons. I had watched a bajillion behind the scenes dvds. So I found my college I wanted to go to, Ringling, and got cracking. Taught myself as much as I could about art, made a portfolio, and miraculously got in. Never thought I would make it in since I never had any art classes. 
This story isn’t really over. I’m graduated now and I’m still striving to become the best artist I can be and use my gifts to their full potential. There are some exciting things in the works that hopefully I will be able to tell you about soon. God has been with me every step of the way and none of this would have happened without Him. I could talk for hours on how my life has been proof of that. Yes, I am already a focused and driven person on who fights for what they want. But I can honestly tell you that these things did not happen of my own doing.
In short, this one summer at camp, I found out my life purpose was to be an artist.

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