I know that people start blogs for many different reasons, hoping for different outcomes. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to gain from blogging, I knew it was a great outlet from my everyday routine, and I knew I wanted to share my artwork with the world, which is truly one of God's greatest gifts to me. As I look back over the past 9 months, I am filled with so much gratitude, from the support, and feedback I’ve received. Although blogging takes time, and I sort of get behind, it is really something I enjoy. I’ve been writing for most of my life, but this is different! There are no guidelines, no rubrics, and no prompts!
From a very early age, I knew that I was a creative. Although ‘creative’ is an adjective according to Merriam Webster, I see it as a noun. I define ‘creative’ as ‘a calling and fulfillment'. A person who has the ability to enhance and strengthen visually.’ Creativity is such a natural urge. No matter the different paths one tries, the different subjects one studies, the desire to create is always at the center, no matter the field.
Living Outside Limitations
My appreciation for art started at the beginning of my life. I was born with mild cerebral palsy, and had many physical challenges. I was 2 months early, weighing 2 lbs 12 ounces. I’ve been a fighter, ever since. Every odd was set against me. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t speak, and I couldn’t do much on my own without help. The doctors set a timeline for my life, told my mother, I'd never be ‘normal’ and that she should pretty much prepare for the worst. Let me be clear, my mother and I do not like being told what to do ... so of course, she being the dynamic woman she is, raised me to live not by the limitations that people have set for me, but by the limitless possibilities that God has set up for me.
Despite having to go through speech, physical, and occupational therapy, I always found my grounding in art. There were many days where I felt misunderstood and alone, because no one around me experienced the same challenges as I. I found a way to communicate through my art, filling countless sketchbooks with images that came to my mind.
As I aged, I matured both emotionally, as did my illustrations, as well as my fashion! My art became more detailed, I experimented with color and dimension. In a sense, my experimentation and growth with art, is a lot like my experimentation and growth with life. Being born with special needs put me in a category of ‘different,’ seemingly by myself. I didn’t know anyone who was ‘different’ in the way I was, and everyone around me seemed ‘normal’…mind you, I use these words loosely, because everyone is ‘different’ and no one is ‘normal.’ I was always very frustrated, I wasn’t sure why this was my path. I wasn’t sure why I had all these challenges that other people didn’t, and I got angry. That anger, turned into drive, that drive created resilience and there was nothing that anyone was going to tell me I couldn’t do! As I got older, I became more ‘normal,’ trying to ignore my differences and fit in as much as possible. I don’t mean fit in as doing what the ‘in crowd did’…I mean, I overachieved and excelled so that people would forget that I was ‘different.’ Let me just tell you, that didn’t work out too well. Lindsay is Lindsay, and there’s no way around that!
Finding Myself and Embracing the Power in My Story
Through my different struggles, different relationships, the good and the bad ... I began a journey of trying to figure out who I was, embracing my differences, being proud of my story. The older I got, my skin got thicker, and I became more confident in who I was and what I brought to the table. Because my story is so unique, I began to take pride in my struggles, embracing my trials, and trying to figure out how I could use this life that wasn’t promised to me…to help someone else, as many people as possible!
Through my art, I hope to share my gifts with the world offering encouragement and understanding to those who may feel ‘different,’ like they don’t fit in. I went from not having full motor control, and not speaking, to getting 2 degrees and being fluent in Spanish! No matter what cards you are dealt in life, any and everything is possible, with faith, hard work, and determination. I know that things get tough, and I know that things get confusing but no one has it all figured out. I only touched on a very small part of my story but I hope it was enough to help someone and reassure that there are no limits to what you can do.
Look at yourself in the mirror, remind yourself who you are and whose you are and start changing the world! Be a creative, an artist, a curator, and write your own story! You are not defined by your past, you are not defined by your shortcomings. Take a minute, look at your growth, remain grateful, keep fighting!
My blog is not a brand, my art is not just eye candy. This is my joy, my pain, my story ... my strengths and weaknesses. These are my gifts to world. My triumphs and my trials. I am here to inspire, and all I can do is remain grateful.