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Emerging Artist

My personal transformation right now includes learning to express myself through art, exploring myself as a creative being...

“Rebuild” Mural art selected for outdoor installation at Bellevue College, Bellevue, Washington (digital file/Adobe Illustrator)

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I have sometimes felt deeply broken by life. Each time, I rebuild, and I rebuild stronger and more resilient. 

When I first heard these words spoken by Hannah Gadsby: “There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” I felt affirmed, for both my brokenness and my strength. I understood her to say that not only can I rebuild, the gift of rebuilding is greater strength, deeper understanding, and a chance to make the world a better place not just for me, but for everyone.


By recreating Gadsby’s words as art, I hope to give that same sense of affirmation and inspiration to any woman who is in the dark place now—you are not alone and you have powerful examples of success. If you are feeling hopeless, let this message inspire you to disregard seeming barriers and limitations. Let it strengthen your resolve to rebuild stronger. Let it inspire you to reach out, to ask for help, to remember that you are courting emotional and spiritual depth, that rebuilding is a process that has no particular end point but many gifts. Let it remind you that creating a better world for everyone starts within each one of us.

“Pandemic” Self-portrait selected by ArtOut 2022: Queering the Pandemic Art Exhibit, LGBTQ Resource Center, Gulfport, Florida (charcoal on paper, 48” x 36”)


I drew this in response to an August 2021 class assignment: Make a 48" × 36" self-portrait in charcoal that captures something personal about you or about where you are in your life.

I was isolating at home with my beloved wife who has Parkinson's when my mother died (not COVID related) in June 2020. Then I became very ill with COVID myself in July. Over the next year, I experienced significant long-COVID symptoms. By the time of this August 2021 assignment, all the needless death, all the pointless and divisive rhetoric, all the loss, and even my own physical state had birthed a darkness that permeated every part of me.


The act of creating this—getting so intimate with the physical representation of my face, of my grief—then living with this portrait propped against the wall in my work room over the last 18 months, have cultivated my being with my grief as though it were a friend, come to set me free from my old fears of judgment and even my old hopes of reconciliation and acceptance. I am more at peace with myself and with my experience of loss and of life. I am a whole being, sustained by something deeper than judgments or stereotypes. I am sadder than I used to be, but I am also more at peace, and that feels like a good trade right now. 

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