When my art retreat finally ended I finally did my last tidying up of things, cleaned the studio and set back on my day. One year. I couldn’t believe it. It was so much more than just making marks on a page. It was difficult, isolating but I found my footing with every challenge just dedicated to the art form. I couldn’t take for granted that I had an opportunity to study like this, and so much of traditional school just sets up that stage for an artist. It led me to many things. It was not an easy time so close to nature. I understand why people move to cities. I didn’t realize how urban I actually was until we got here. I’ve lived in cities all my life, and often lived as you often find yourself as a young artist in industrial districts. But I’ve changed, and so has my practice. I can make art anywhere. The last piece of this period of art study, through which I mastered analog manga drawing, 3D overpainting and impressionist landscape design, character design and vector drawing, was a science fiction story about a veteran who returns home after a long war to her homeland. And today on veteran’s day I think of those moments I was drawing.
I’ll never understand what it’s like to be in an actual fight. It’s not something I think I can understand. But what our heroes go through is something we can’t forget. I intend to study and think, and listen to their voices today, and even more while I try and make a work for them that can help call attention to the circumstances of peacetime, after a conflict that is something so few of us really grasp. The walk I took to the end of the street and back to adjust to this new beginning of healing, after so much I went through making my work, was uneventful. It was almost on the surface what might be considered boring. But I know that we can only live in those peaceful moments because people we do not know fought for all of us. Just going to the grocery store and back takes so much that I’ll never be able to repay. I hope we all think of these things today. Not a single second of ordinary life can be taken for granted. It was not easy for any of us to get here. It’s time we appreciated each little moment we have, we have been given life through countless generations, and all of us are protected by men and women who we may not know, but believe in our freedom almost more than we can ever understand. I hope we can always protect them when they come home. I’ll do what I can. I’ll help tell that story, even if it’s in fiction, because our veterans deserve it, and while I can’t finish it soon, I will finish the story. Nothing I can ever do can repay what we owe to them, but every moment we have is one more reason, that we need to thank them. They are the best of us. Thank you. I hope our world gives you all the love you need and deserve. And I’ll do my best in the same small way I can. You’ve given so much to us. It’s only fair that we give to you whatever we can.