Veteran paints new life outside prison



I just the the painting thing kind of like this grew on me I always liked art always wanted to do some type of Artin because I felt I was good with my hands I mean I made jewelry boxes the gamut of things that you do when you're incarcerated I guess trying to stay out of the way and be positive I found that for me not wanting to get caught up in the gang situation prison gangs and everything I needed to find something to do to channel my energies and I always liked the art a lot of people don't realize the the release and the value of being able to escape into to that because it's to a certain degree of form of escapism you you lose yourself in into what you're doing and when you look up hours and hours and hours have passed you by most guys are thinking that are incarcerated they do time they don't they don't they do the time they don't they don't do use that at their time wisely and so they end up not educating themselves or anything I guess I'd be once I started painting and reading it took me to another place where I could escape for it seven eight hours a day twelve hours a day it was like I wasn't there I was homeless I didn't have any family here that I knew of I didn't have any anywhere really to go I was paroled to the halfway house and I was miserable every day that I was there I mean because it was like you got a sign in for this you can't go there you got to be in the house at 8 o'clock you got to do this you got a report every time you catch the bus and go that so I mean it was like being in prison all over again one thing I made about to myself when I left prison I made a vow that I would never allow anybody to put me cage ever again and that I would rather be gunned down in the streets like a dog than to be placed back in a cage and a prison cell you know for a lot of years I had no contact with my children but they reach out to me all the time now and let me know I probably all maybe it'll help somebody else I used to tell the guys in prison one day you guys don't look up and see me on TV and y'all gonna think back to all them crazy paintings that y'all thought I was doing and they gonna make a difference I feel like it's gonna be awesome and I really look forward to it because that may be the springboard that I need to really really get my work out there if I had my way I would take that piece that I did thank you for seeing me as a veteran and not a homeless man and I would have it put in every VA Hospital in the country man because when you look at the video art in the VA hospitals there is no artwork that represents African Americans really and it would be an honor and a blessing if I could do that I get different emotions I'm sometimes I'm painting in all of a sudden I'll just break out crying you know other times I'll break out I'll be laughing or just enjoying myself well I'll put on some music and really listen to the music and I honestly feel that it's not a matter of if I'm going to be successful and make it in the art world it's just a matter of when eventually somebody will see my work or see me and recognize the full potential of how far I could really take yes I think it's a honor and a blessing man and I hope that I do the hospital proud and everybody that encounters me on my story hopefully they get something from me that my helpful

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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