Originally, I didn't have a post slatted for this gloriously warm last Friday of July, but then something happened that moved me to my core and which I
I've had the great pleasure of knowing Lorena - a very talented artist from Brisbane, Australia - through both of her engaging, beautiful blogs (Balea Raitz Art and In Vogue One Day) for quite some time now, and we've long enjoyed swapping comments on each others sites.
Lorena had indicated before to me that she was interested in drawing me, and I'd happily said I would be honoured to have that happen anytime, but I didn't know that she was hard at work on a sketch this month, nor that she posted it on Balea Raitz Art until today. Imagine my double take inducing surprise when I visited her blog a few minutes ago was greeted with an illustrated image of myself.
This is the first time I've ever had anyone draw me as an adult, and I truly cannot begin to express the mixture of joy, appreciation, and amazement I'm feeling at the moment over the awesome image of me that Lorena so thoughtfully created (which is based on a photograph from this outfit post taken in the spring of 2012).
As I've touched on at various times here over the years (such as in this post), I have struggled with some really hefty self-esteem, self-confidence, and body image related issues over the years (which are not helped one iota by my battle with severe chronic health problems). Though I have gotten somewhat better in this regard, it took me a very long time - almost all of my life - to not look in the mirror and think that I was horrendously, hideously unattractive.
I am exceedingly well aware of the fact that I'm not, in most peoples' eyes, what one might call conventionally beautiful, and between all of these points, I honestly never imagined that anyone would look at me and choose to see me as a source of inspiration for their artwork - let alone want to draw an image depicting me.
At the age of 29 years old, I am incredibly humbled learn that I was wrong. Dead wrong. Someone found inspiration in me and created art with that. My goodness, I can think of nothing more touching or uplifting for my soul, spirit, and self-esteem.
Lorena's incredible piece exudes a sort of radiant beauty that I have honestly never seen in myself when I looked at my reflection, but which, clearly she was able to wisely see and transform into art.
The words "thank you" fail to do justice for gift of this incredible illustration, as well as for what, in one lightning fast instant, it taught me to see in myself. However, I will say them with as much conviction and sincerity as anyone has ever held before all the same: thank you deeply, dearly, and forever, Lorena.