My Art Journey: The Early Years
Sometimes, folks just like to know a little bit about how an artist became an artist and how their backstory helped to shape their creative perspective and artistic direction.
It’s in this spirit by which I’m sharing 3 early experiences I wholeheartedly credit for influencing my avid propensity towards a creative life.
Here we go … 🙂
The palettes of island life
When you’re born on a Caribbean island, as I was (I was born and raised in the suburbs of San Juan, Puerto Rico), your environment is one of instant color. So seeing bursts of color was an early-on and natural experience for me. But beyond the vibrancy of my childhood setting, there was also my stepmom Leany. My earliest memories of drawing and coloring with markers, crayons, and such exist because Leany would always have some kind of coloring book or creative project waiting for me.
Oh and the fabrics!
My grandmother Juanita (or abuela, as we say in Spanish) was another family member who tremendously influenced my affinity toward creative endeavors. Abuela was such a seamstress; she was always in the middle of sewing *something,* and her dresser and closets were filled with fabrics, sewing patterns, and notions. And our outings together (as we rode a public bus downtown) to the local fabric store were, as I recall, intoxicating; walking through the bolts after bolts of fabric (many with bright colors and beautiful patterns) as abuela waited for her yards to be cut was a favorite pastime.
The dancing lizard
My stepmom Leany would later write me often the first year after my parents and I moved to the mainland US. Her handwritten letters were adorned with pen and marker doodles of all types and I remember it being so enjoyable to glance at all her cute little drawings, time and again. But her most memorable doodle was the one of “the dancing lizard,” an endearing reptilian character Leany would dress up in ballet slippers and a pink tutu; she’d also include zany tales, silly rhymes, and fun poems about the dancing lizard’s ballet adventures and these, too, were such a delight to read.
I hope that by sharing these early-years-breadcrumbs with you — specific and key moments that introduced me to how colors, patterns, and creative writings could kidnap your heart, arrest your soul, and fuel your total imagination — that you have a better sense of how far back my creative journey truly began🙏
Yours in art and creative expression,