It is hard to believe but in a few weeks it will be the first anniversary of the blog! Reminiscing on almost of year of writing, my first blog post came immediately to mind and I could not resist the opportunity to revisit this memory. It is a pleasure to retell this story of a Valentine’s Day where I received a special treat, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.
While writing this post, I realized this gift not only serves as one of many sources of inspiration but also gave my young self an opportunity to embrace my love of art without apologies. It is a gift to arrive to this realization and a greater blessing to share it with each of you.
Eddie and Lucy starting to read “The Mitten” by Jan Brett without me.
Eddie and Lucy enjoying “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.
In a few weeks it will be the first-year anniversary of my blog! Reminiscing on my first post, I want to re-share this memory of a very special Valentine’s Day with you while also emphasizing another angle of the story. In this memory my eight-year-old self was introduced to one of many books/ illustrators that still influences me till this day. As a child, my second dream after being a Disney artist was to become a children’s illustrator. Art was the one thing I never doubted my abilities in as a child and felt safe in this world of creativity. During bedtime stories, I admired the work of many illustrators and imagined what a wonderful life it would be to draw all day. One of the many books that fueled this dream is “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. Here is how this book entered my life….
When I was in second grade, my school had a Valentine’s Day parade where best dressed awards were going to be awarded. On February 14th of that year I arrived at school ready. From the white tights with red hearts, red corduroy skirt with a pink heart balloons applique (made by my mother- a very gifted sewer), red sweater with an applique of a dog holding a heart, and my braided hair with sweet heart barrettes I was ready for the parade! Yes, I won (shocking, I know!). Once crowned as a winner, I have a vivid memory of walking around a table in the school office to choose my prize. “The Mitten” was the treat I picked out that day. My guess to what drew me to this book is the illustrations. Earlier that year I started taking formal art lessons and all I ever wanted to draw was animals. Needless to say, my 8-year-old self fell in love with this beloved story and the beauty and details of the illustrations have been imbedded in my mind ever since the initial read. I admire this little girl who trusted her instincts and embraced what she loved. She was proud of her choice and never questioned it as she did in her art classes where she proudly painted her animals on canvases. This is a memory that my adult self looks to when I am feeling a moment of self-doubt and am craving a boost of self-confidence.
Thinking of the work of Jan Brett and other children book authors and illustrators that have formed my present self, my dream is do that same for a child. Create a memory that will last a lifetime and an opportunity demonstrate confidence in their choices…. In the path of reaching this goal I equate this blog to my fearless eight year old self on that Valentine’s Day who saw no limits and found a treasure. I believe the audaciousness to draw, share and write will lead to something much bigger and beyond the present moment. I am grateful to have each of you on this journey for you give me the confidence to see the possibilities are endless!
Kristina Lucia xoxo