I remember the first time I painted something for somebody, it was for my aunt. I was young and it was a small painting. I grabbed my favorite colors and painted some shapes onto a canvas, not thinking much of it. When my grandmother Michel, my nanni, saw it she said, “My Colby, you have a gift”. I told her, “I don’t know about that nanni,” but she insisted, “you need to show the world”.
It wasn’t until many years after that first painting that I started realizing my potential. Growing up I always loved art class – in fact it was probably my favorite class. When I was young, I was diagnosed with ADHD which made learning in a classroom difficult. Because of that, the people around me doubted my abilities. I was told “no” a lot or that “you won’t be able to do that”. Art was different though. Art was free and I didn’t have to follow rules – I could do what I wanted. I never thought of art as a reality, that instead I would have to go to college and if I tried hard, I might be able to graduate, and then I might be able to get a regular job. I followed what I was told, not what I believed.
dare to be different.
dare to be bold.
dare to be yourself.
In 2020 my nanni passed away from her battle with breast cancer. I say it was a battle because she fought it until the very end, going through the treatments no matter how tough they were. But she was brave and she didn’t give up, she didn’t want to go. Realizing that I was spending what would be my last few months with her, I was reminded and inspired by her determination and resilience. My Nanni had a deep love for art and she had helped me discover my passion for painting. She’s the reason why I paint and I miss you every day.
When I finally decided it was time for me to stop listening to all the people in my life telling me what I should do and instead started focusing on what I wanted to do, I picked up a paintbrush. I started painting canvases out of the small one-bedroom apartment I was living in with my boyfriend and dog. I was reminded of when I was young and the freedom I felt. Freedom from the structure of work and everyday life. It motivates me create art and to live the life I want to live.
I now happily paint as mch as I can and I hope through my art that I’ll be able to create everalsting bonds and relationships that inspire people to follow their own dreams.