Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story

Dear Laura,

A friend of mine pointed me to this TED talk and it inspired me so much that I wanted to share it with you and our readers.

In my early twenties I was obsessed with learning more than the ‘single story’ which I was taught growing up through college.  Moving to Boston and riding public transportation daily, opened my eyes to a million different lifestyles than what I had witnessed growing up the Chicago suburbs.  I sought out authors such as Howard Zinn and  Ronald Takaki which lead me to women’s stories written by Adrienne Rich and bell hooks.  Their stories fascinated me.

This also marked a great time of growth for me as I journeyed to understand my own voice as a woman and artist.  It was a lot of fumbling around, dead ends, and restarts to be honest, but I think this type of struggle is inevitable in figuring out who we are.   Doesn’t it seem strange that we don’t automatically know who we are?   It takes time to be comfortable in our own skin.  I tell my students that I can teach them all the techniques out there with mixed media art, but to then DO something truly unique and engaging with it…..THAT is being an artist.   To be an artist takes a giant leap of faith after cultivating many years of understanding oneself.

It is a delight to witness your cultivation as an artist here on the blog Laura.  Recently in your post about how your garden influences your painting, you are really hitting your stride.  To see the paintings among your inspiration is something truly unique.  I know you don’t quite see it based on our conversation yesterday, but I am quietly cheering you on, not wanting you to overthink anything.  Just keep on doing what you are doing.

How lucky are we that technology can help us be heard by others?  How lucky that art can tell a new story.

Thank you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the inspiration!

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