Way Back When

One of my first memories is sitting next to my grandfather (whom I’ve only ever known as Poppy) at a table, watching him repair a cuckoo clock. It’s only a flash of a memory, my most vivid recollection being holding primary-colored plastic tools and “helping” as he worked.

Thinking back on this now, I realize this may have been the first time I recognized how to work with my hands; how to create, or build, or fix something. As I learned more about my Poppy as I grew up, I discovered more physical evidence that enriched our artistic connection: a cardboard box full of art supplies, dozens of Psyanky (traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated in a wax resist method- that may be a post for another time), a sketch on the back of an index card. I even turned this shared creative interest into material for my undergraduate admissions essay, stating how my constant need to know MORE and always understand “how” and “why” people are connected drive my actions and perfectly reflect my chosen course of study.

As I return to this memory as the start of my last year as a graduate student approaches, I am still finding inspiration by trying to discover the source of my creative urges, the most obvious being my love for 3D arts. To make an item that can be used or handled or broken and put back together. To me, these objects hold a different meaning as they interact with the people who create them and people who have physical contact with them. They occupy space and affect that space as well as the people within it. We use artifacts to document history and culture, and that is what art becomes. The cuckoo clock from my Poppy became my personal artifact, and that memory, a point I can use to mark where my interest in creating began.

Featured Image: Jill Sibio, 2018

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