I believe in art.

I believe in the vast unexplored tracks of our creative potential; with a fistful of keys, unlocking those tracks one painting, one poem at a time. Sometimes I wonder how much my time in prison influenced my life as an artist. Did prison make me who I am? I know for sure art has challenged me to tap into my higher existence. To do what I thought was impossible. To find a way to express a feeling or thought that words would only do a disservice.

Some of my happiest days are the ones where I have charcoal smudges on my face, acrylic crusted underneath my fingernails and color stained blotches spreading abstractly across my ruined state issue clothing. Those days, my eyes are unfocused and blurry from long bursts of manic energy quaintly referred to as the zone. The best part is when I find myself inwardly smiling as I reflect upon a newly acquired masterpiece that leans against my back bedroom wall.

Art has been a trial of fire as well. Full of the pain of past mistakes, the loss of close friends, and the isolation from my family and loved ones. However, I choose to not let those things break me. Instead, I use them as the muse to my creative motivation in defiance to the fire that consumes my memories. While I know that fire was meant to destroy things, being an artist, I have challenged myself to be a fire eater.

The pain and the loss and the isolation become merely color tones on my palette as I design my divine breath in a plume of orange and yellow flame. Because when you consume fire, you learn how to shine in even the darkest of places.