I have always loved to draw. I was that kid that everyone got annoyed with at playdates because instead of wanting to play hide and go seek base tag or chase down the ice cream truck, I wanted to find the biggest piece of paper in the house to lay out and scribble all over. But I would never have guessed that those scribbles would be able to take me across the world. Here’s how it happened.
After returning from my mission trip to Ghana with Operation Smile, I decided to use the faces of Ghana as the topic of my concentration project in AP Drawing and Painting. I made 12 different pieces, each one portraying a different face, story, and sentiment. I would envision not only a face, but also the story that each person would tell. The rest seemed to just flow naturally.
As soon as the opportunity to go on another mission presented itself, I decided to make prints of my artwork and sell them to cover the overwhelming $3,400 fee for the trip. I know that Malibu is an affluent community where many people spend money on art.. but the thought of these people spending money on my art was a pipe dream. Of course it couldn’t hurt to try. So I made the prints and started by selling them at an event at the Malibu Racquet Club. I sent out an email about the fundraiser to my extended family, friends, and friends of friends. I also posted about it on Facebook. Within a week, I had raised every last dollar that I needed to go to Ethiopia. It was the most incredible project to watch unfold.
It started with some scribbles. It turned into a hobby. It became a passion. And it took me across the world. Art turned out to be more than just an outlet for creativity. It has allowed me to experience more in my sixteen years of living than I thought I would in my entire life. Art has already taken me extremely far (8,176 miles to be exact). And as I embark upon the next chapter of my life, I feel comfort in the fact that I can use art not only to reflect on that changes that are to come, but also to drive my creativity and curiosity, taking me to places, people, and possibilities that I have yet to explore.