I don’t know if she follows my blog at all, but still I would like to give a shout out to a young woman that I encountered about two months ago. Her name is Becky Jo. She worked at the restaurant where my first art show was held over the summer and randomly spotted me while I was out one night. She could hardly contain her excitement as she went on to tell me how she loved my show and thought it was one of the best that was shown at the restaurant in all of 2014. She even introduced me to her friends and continued to praise my work to them. I can’t describe how touched I was and truly humbled by that experience. It was something that I will never forget for as long as I live. She was particularly moved by this self-portrait:

Self-portrait with Chest Wound

She seemed to feel a deep connection to what I was expressing here, and remarked that she liked how real and honest my work is; that it was different and refreshing to see such openness from an artist.

Becky Jo gets it.

In those moments of running into her and listening to her words about my artwork, how it touched her, it was probably some of the most encouraging and validating moments of my life. She doesn’t know me at all, but she could feel me through my work. It’s that kind of connection and mutual understanding that fuels me in life, and as an artist. To be able to have those moments is a reason why I live, why I create and why I dig so deep within myself for my work. Without that motivation, I wouldn’t be nearly as brave as an artist. I probably wouldn’t even be an artist, or at least I’d be creating completely different kinds of work. I am grateful that Becky Jo and I had the opportunity to cap off that connection in person. It happened at just the right time for me. She helped me more than I could ever tell her.

I hope that she will see this one day.