I am a Christian, a mother, a wife, and an artist. All of those things I chose for my life except art. I was created and born with definate and undeniable identity.
I know that full well.
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
All the days ordained for me
Were written in your book
Before one of them came to be.
I cannot remmember a time when I wasn’t aware even subconsciously that I was an artist. I always remember feeling different, and being sensitive to everything around me. I realized at a very important time in my childhood that what I created was special and unique to me, and that I had an ability that wasn’t common to all the other first graders. I was picked on and bullied from the bus stop in the morning to the bus ride home. I still have vivid memories of really mean things done to me by other kids. I had no friends, and I believed I was the little nobody the kids said I was. Then one day the art teacher single me out, walked into class and asked for me, and only me to be a part of a special project. For the first time I felt shiny, special, and I was. From that day and througout my school years I was,” the girl who painted that”, or, “the artist who won”. My childhood outside of art was often a nightmare, but the identity that I was given saved me. Art was the drug that healed, it was the voice I didn’t have that said, “I’m here”. Art was often the proof I need to believe that I was special . After knowing myself as little else other than an artist, the artist strong, confident and exceptional. My senior year of highschool when I was truly a superstar with recognition and kudos from everywhere I was forced to enroll in a vocational nursing program by my parents who just wanted to do what they thought was best. Something broke in me that year. Like I had lived in a dream, and reality was that art isn’t a purpose, or a calling or a destiny. I have been an awesome nurse for 18 years. Being a nurse would never be my dream, but I will always love the connection to others it gave me. I was passionate about the people I cared for and loved being the reason someone is better. To be important each day with out doubt. My uniform was my supersuit. What about art? I tried to leave it in highschool , but it was always there. I could do anything I tried, I was an awesome photographer, had a business in Guam. I could decorate cakes the first time I tried, I started a business in Spain. I could sew like a seamstress with out patterns. The worst part was being drawn to art and artists. Because to walk into a gallery or studio, even looking at art on the cover of magazines would cause a pain in my chest, a true ache like seeing the lost love of your life with someone else. The last time that happened was two years ago returning to Virginia after ten years. My family and I drove to d’art center in Norfolk. I walked through, remembering some of the artists that were in the old building years ago and still there. I remembered how that place seemed like heaven to me as a teenager. The pain was overwhelming, the sense of loss and heartbreak, I burst into tears. Reconnecting with old friends from highschool and realizing they remembered me as the artist, asking me what had I done with my art. Even my highschool art teacher, after over 18 years that artist was who they remembered. I was a stay at home mom again, now with a ten year old and a newborn. I began to paint, buying supplies, and starting paintings, I realized immediately that I could still draw sure I was rusty but the skills were still there. Something was wrong, when I began to paint I didnt know my work, it was like not recognizing your own handwritting. All I could do was draw or paint what was infront of me. I didn’t have the style I used to, or create from the crazy imagination I used to because, I was not that person. I had to begin a journey to rediscover myself as an artist. Learn to really express this Mika in her 30’s. I spent so much time silencing that voice, ignoring that need to create. I had to give myself permission, to embrace who I am. I had to discredit the innercritic and the real ones that still exist. The key was realizing that not only did I have God’s permission but that being an artist was what He wanted me to do, He purposed me to do. I am still growing as an artist, I still get blue sometimes thinking about what if’s, the time lost, but I try and focus on how much more important it is to not waiste a minute, and live my dream right now.