Monday, July 2, 2012

Finding Inspiration at a Mormon Mocktail Party

A friend of a friend is moving away to graduate school in Illinois in a couple of weeks.  I had met this friend of a friend and found her to be quite lovely so when the invitation to attend her going away party popped up this weekend, I eagerly accepted.

While the lavish Tiki/Mormon-mocktail party was fun, and I loved seeing my new friend off on her next adventure, the highlight of the evening was getting to meet the party’s host, Maryn Roos.

Who is Ms. Roos, you may ask? Well, I had no idea either until I met her, but she is actually a New York Times Best Selling Illustrator who is based out of Orem, Utah.  She is truly a master artist and she is constantly developing her skills and cultivating new artistic talents.

As we walked through her modest home, she was gracious enough to show us some of her beautiful works of art (my favorite is the giraffe included in this post; it’s based off a tiny black and white screenshot from the original Adams Family.  I think this piece is absolutely magnificent and I need it.), as well as her personal studio.  Everything she works on is beautiful and unique and truly an expression of her creativity.

Well, later this weekend, while doing some research about Maryn and her beautiful illustrations, I stumbled upon a professional interview she did with one of her employers.  At the very end, the interviewer asked her what advice she would give to aspiring artists, to which she replied:

“Draw, draw, draw! Never stop drawing! It’s great to start out by copying art you like, but eventually you should put yourself and your own ideas into your drawings. Just keep drawing and looking and exploring everything the world has to offer; you never know where inspiration will come from.”

Wow, what a wonderful life lesson! In her powerful statement, I truly realized that this is how I have lived  the majority of my life.  I have gone from “copying” one person or group to another, trying to live as they lived.  To be as they were.  But they are not me.   

I am me.

Now, as I have gotten older, more sure of myself, I have come to realize that there is so much more to the world.  I am on a personal journey to find myself and I’m filled with new forms of inspiration every day.  From the beauty and majesty of the Utah mountains that I often escape to, to the bitterest stings of hate and condescension that occasionally fill my inbox. All things “shall be for my good” and help mold who I am – and more importantly, who I am becoming.

I am done copying others and each new day brings me closer to “putting myself and my own ideas into my [life].”  I have my own thoughts, and views, and visions for what I think my life should be and what I think this world should be and I am pursuing them with open arms, eyes, and heart.
I hope you are, too.  Because it is true, we never know where inspiration will come from, we may even surprise ourselves!

PS –

I found out this week that I was accepted to be a volunteer with The Trevor Project. I am super excited and will keep you all up to date as I move forward in the induction process.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post, MJ. And I agree. Copying people is boring. Like Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

    Being raised in a world where I was taught that there is ONE way to do things (one way to happiness, one way to love, one way to god), I was overwhelmed when I learned I could do it my way, that really I HAD to do it my way. There is only one me. Nobody else's answers or solutions or paths are going to work perfectly for me. That idea is both frightening and terribly exciting. We get to create our own lives, our own happiness, our own success...whatever that means for each one of us. And you're right, inspiration is EVERYWHERE!!! Woo!