Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here's to New Beginnings


Well just when i was getting into the full swing of things with illustration such as finishing and awaiting the release of my first book and working on a speculation for a possible second book, the unthinkable happened, the worst nightmare imaginable. Our whole apartment building burnt down. All of 16 units lost their homes and personal belongings. I stood in horror with my sister and our frightened cat as we watched across the street a fire spread throughout the whole building until it finally reached our apartment and ate everything we owned and loved, including my art. Luckily no one was injured in this fire, and to think it had started from one cigarette butt just two doors down. It was hard to cope the next few days thinking about all my paintings, supplies, and computer with any trace of artwork saved to my hard drive was now nothing but ash, or so I at least thought. With the help of my amazing friends and family to help my sister and I get through this mess we were able to revisit what was left of our apartment a few days later to try and salvage anything we possibly could. I was just hoping to save my artwork, after all everything else could be replaced with time, but the sketches my college work, my recent published pieces, they were in the building. Even the firework scratchboard piece I had made in second grade, the one I won third place in a huge regional competition, the reason I wanted to be an artist, was standing in it's frame with it's ribbon last seen on my nightstand next to my bed.

I entered our old beat up apartment with the help of the firemen. I saw that the roof had collapsed onto most of our belongings. The fire destroyed most of my clothes, and all of my shoes. But I had just crossed my fingers when I made way to the closets where my art was kept. My eyes teared when the fireman pulled out the Jerry's Artorama bags I had my stacks of paintings in. I had discovered that some of my recent pieces on top were warped and the edges were dirty with soot and debris, but they were still there in my hands existing. When the fireman asked if there was anything in specific I wanted him to search for I knew there may be a chance I could save my second grade masterpiece. He climbed over what was left of my bed and pieces of roof, broken glass, and ash and there it was delicate and in a broken frame: my first piece of artwork that ever meant something to me. I was ecstatic because now I had my artwork it wasn't all lost I still had something with me to call myself an artist.
Months went by and my very dear friends threw a fundraiser for my sister and I which helped fund our furniture and new clothes. My amazing college friends formed a collection to help me get a new laptop so I can finally write about all of this to you. Art school friends sent me loose art supplies in the mail to help me get started. Even people I have never met saw me on the news and sent me gift cards to help us get through this and to start all over. My heart goes out to these amazing people, it is through times like these that we see the good in people and I can't thank them all enough.
Finally in an all new even nicer apartment my sister and I have started picking up the pieces. Yes our apartment lacks some decor and wall ornaments but we will get there. I still need just about every art supply I have ever owned, but I have the computer and purchased a new printer to get started on some new promotional postcards. My hands ache to hold a paintbrush again, but I hope soon I will because that is finally next on the list now that the living necessities have been attended to. So here's to new beginnings, new art work, and yes finally a long awaited new postcard.
News and Updates from Christina Ann Rodriguez