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Friday, March 1, 2013

Wildfire in Wonderland: Finattan Lina'la

People like to say that if you love making art so much you will overcome the financial difficulties and all the other obstacles that make it hard for you to create, like wandering attention, day jobs, and life in general,  It's true.  Artists will find a way to create.  But artists need to be resourceful and know how to hustle.  I'm finally learning that.

 I'm working on a solo project, Finattan Lina'la, which for my purposes translates to Illustrated Life.  I've been wanting to grow my illustration skills for a while and I decided that a great way to start would be to explore life on Guam, through illustration.  In order to insure my commitment to this exploration and growth I thought an exhibition of my journey would be a great incentive.  Art supplies are not cheap!  And if you live on an island, in the middle of the beautiful Pacific, art supplies are really not cheap.  I guess that's a paradise tax. In June, of last year, I applied for a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. And last October I found out that I got my grant and could move forward with the project, with the greatly appreciated funding.

The actual application was fairly easy to put together.  What was hard was convincing myself that I deserved a shot at some funding.  I kept thinking about the amazing artists I know and thinking so and so could really use this.  I felt like I would be taking something from other local artists, who I felt deserved it more than me.  I believed in my project and it's purpose, I just didn't believe in myself.  I moved forward with the application at the urging of my mother, who is so amazingly supportive.

The grant application required three letters of recommendation.  I sent out some emails to people who have been supportive and inspiring, to me and other members of my community.  I can't express how touched I was by the letters I got back.  Those letters, from people I admire so much, were just what I needed to turn in my application with a smile on my face and optimism overflowing in my soul.  As artists, we create because we have to.  We could cease existing if we bottle up that energy.  We do it silently with out an audience, if we must. But when your art reaches someone and that dialogue from artist to viewer, or listener, or reader, begins and you find out that your creation is acknowledged and appreciated it's the breeze that turns a small flame in to a wild fire.  Un dångkolo' na saina ma'åse to Dessa, Nella, Carmen, Mr. Tenorio, and of course, the Maga'håga of my heart, mom.  A very special saina ma'åse to Cara, for pointing me in the direction of illustration and being a great hustle role model.

So now I'm inviting my friends in Wonderland to visit my project.  The website is a work in progress, as are the illustrations, and the rest of my life.  I will be updating the blog and illustration pages on the site regularly.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy creating it.  I can't wait to invite everyone to the physical exhibition later this year.

Click here to visit Finattan Lina'la!

And since I love all of you for following my blog, despite my neglect, I want to share the rough sketches for one of my next illustrations.