This is a quick sketch of my father, standing on the other side of a bridge over water. Simple but significant. You see, one of the worst things to happen to him completely altered his life and consequently my own.
One night, he had a brain hemorrhage.
The impact was like a rock being hurled full force, crashing into a lake and instantly rupturing the water. What followed was rippling side-effects for him, the rest of the family and for me.
This is my creative origin story of why I became an artist and how this event made me brave enough to cross a metaphorical bridge and choose an arts career.
And all good stories start with Once Upon a time, right?
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved drawing make-believe.
One day, whilst wrapped up in her mother’s arms she read a brilliant new book, full of colours and illustrations about another kid who just like her, spent all their time drawing.
She read how something magical happened when one night a tiger with a massive head, whiskers and tiny little legs jumped from the kid's page.
The drawing had come to life!
After reading this book, the little girl's approach to drawing was totally changed - now it was serious! No longer could she get frustrated and just rub out a drawing, for it could become Real!
A few years later the little girl grew up, as children do, and she became a sensible soul who achieved at school and wanted to please the world around her. So she decided to follow a ‘sensible path,' and was accepted into 'sensible' University courses.
She figured she could always continue her arty ‘make-believe’ in her spare time anyway.
Then on one cold, dark and blustery night, the now not-so-little girl’s world was overturned when her beloved father suffered a brain haemorrhage. Thankfully, after many tumultuous months her father recovered - but it shook the young woman.
Having been faced with the reality that life can be rubbed out, ripped up or crumpled at any time, she decided.
Forget sensible! And so she chose the path of make-believe.
Sometimes when I find myself becoming too comfortable in my decisions or stressing over the little things, I try and remember that period of time and the thirst we all had to embrace the best of life.
I hope you grasp the very best of today, whether that's something big or small and choose to grab that thing with both hands.
In fact, give it a good old bear hug!
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