I remember the first time I painted. I remember the room I was in, the way the wet paint felt under my finger nails, and how the world slowly quieted itself and it was just me and color. I was three. And I was in love.

That love affair continued through my childhood. I never considered myself an artist. I was deeply invested in creating things, painting, drawing, crafts, pottery… anything that I had an opportunity to create through school, camp and art supplies which were basically my entire playroom as a child. When I was in high school, I visited an art studio in Asheville with my high school art class. There was this seventy year old woman in her studio, surrounded with what seemed to be hundreds of paintings she had made. It was as if she was connected to something bigger than herself.  In that moment, standing in her studio, I said to myself, ” This is it. I am going to be like this woman and dedicate my life’s work to making paintings.”

I didn’t know at that moment that ten years later my art journey would have taken me across the country to California where I would be graduating with a Master’s degree in Fine Art and that I would have my own studio where I was surrounded with many of my own paintings.  I am not sure nor do I want to know exactly where this art journey will take me in another ten years, twenty years, thirty years, and hopefully forty years… but I know that I am in it for the long ride. Painting is how I best communicate with myself, with this world and it is where I feel most free.  

This tattoo represents my life’s dedication to painting, and to honoring the very sacred space this practice has on my heart and soul.

I got this tattoo for my 35th birthday in LA at the Shamrock Social Club.

Tattoo by East Iz.

Follow East Iz on Instagram.

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