Meet 3 Very Different Artists With 1 Thing In Common: Doing What They Love!
The author Chuck Klosterman said, "Art and love are the same thing: It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you." This idea—that our identities are necessarily reflected in our art—runs through the veins of three artists we spoke to about their work. Each of these artists is demonstrating that in order to live life to the fullest you must pursue what makes your soul sing.
1) Born without arms, Rosie Jon didn't let adversity prevent her from pursuing an deep-seated passion for art. It was with support from a ministry called "We Want More" that Rosie started to paint using her feet. Invigorated by that experience, Rosie kept at it. Now she paints full time, is a motivational speaker, has a wonderful family, and is proving that anything is possible with determination and bravery.
"From the beginning, I knew there was a special reason I was born this way," she said. "I'm always striving to be extraordinary rather than ordinary. This motivates me to get there."
2) Michael Reagan is a portrait artist and a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. 13 years ago, he started drawing portraits of fallen heroes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a way to help the victims' families heal.
The impetus for Michael's art was always one of generosity; when he got a phone call from a woman who had lost her husband to war requesting the price for a portrait, Michael realized that he could offer his services for free. So he combined his dual passion for art and for helping people, and created the Fallen Heroes Project. Michael knows that all the effort he puts into the portraits are worth it, when he hears from families who find great solace in the artistic renderings of their lost loved ones.
3) In 2009, Peter Mikulak was an average guy working as a contractor in New Haven, CT. But when the economy took a turn for the worse, Peter nearly lost everything. In a sort of silver lining, this was a wakeup call for Peter. He decided to sell his house and pursue his dreams of becoming an artist.
With his easel and a toolbox on the side of the road, Peter worked his way through hardships but never lost sight of his goal of earning money through art. "Success is a choice," he says. "If you choose to focus and put all your energy towards something, eventually there will be a breakthrough."
In A Dog's Journey Home, see the dedicated Tracy's Dogs team in action, led by Tracy Whyatt, as they work tirelessly to save the lives of thousands of dogs and find them proper homes across the country. In this emotional episode, see the team save dozens of dogs from a "kill shelter" in San Antonio and bring them to meet the owners of their new forever homes in Buffalo, New York. Watch the full story only at onlygood.tv!
"The best way I have always put it is: If you wake up in the morning, and you have cancer and you don't feel well, you can call into work and say 'Hey, I have cancer, I don't feel well,' and everyone understands. You are told to rest and not worry. Now, try to call into work and say, 'My anxiety is so bad. I can't do this today.' In that case, you are told to get it together and get to work. How is that possible? How are these two conditions, which are both life threatening, treated so differently?"
While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, Marine Corporal Juan Dominquez lost both legs and his right arm in an explosion. He may have lost 3 limbs, but it hasn't stopped him from pursuing his dreams.
Art classes allow young people to express themselves in important ways. Unfortunately, arts education is disappearing from schools in America; since 2008, 80% of school districts have cut funding for art programs. Simultaneously, student creativity scores have dropped. Fortunately, there are people and groups out there fighting to keep arts education present and vibrant in schools across the country.
Tennis is a popular and fun pastime, in that it requires mental focus and athletic ability. But due to the cost of equipment and court time, lots of kids never get the chance to try their hand at the sport. Leaders of the Junior Tennis Champion Center (JTCC) recognized this cost challenge, and decided to do something to change it. In 2009, JTCC launched a Community Outreach initiative, with the goal of introducing underserved kids in Prince George's County, MD, and Washington, DC to tennis. And the program has become an indisputable success.
What's more fun than watching a fashion show? How about a fashion show featuring incredibly cute dogs??
Jim Curtis is an award-winning health industry pioneer. But reaching the pinnacle of success, as he has today, was no cake-walk. Only after accepting the curveballs and challenges that life threw his way could Jim find happiness and thrive in his career.
The inaugural Universal FanCon (FanCon) is the first large-scale, 24-hour, inclusive event that celebrates the diversity of fans, the diversity of fandom, the true needs of those who love pop culture and a celebration of the differences that make us strong. Hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD, April 27-29, 2018, FanCon's mission is to create a sense of belonging by providing authentic connections and experiences through fan-centric parties, programs, panels and partners.