As most of you have heard, I premiered my F3, "Vent Frais" last week. After the screening and a private showing for my family the other day, a lot of people have given me some much needed encouragement about my work as an artist and a storyteller. I didn't even realize how much I needed such encouragement until I received it.
The past couple of days my mom and I have started going through Livvy's room little by little. As one would expect we've come across a few things we had forgotten about. One of those things for me was this cheap Moleskin sketch book that I had given Livvy about two years ago. It wasn't a big deal: I had bought a pack of three for myself and knew I would never get through all of them. Livvy had been talking about wanting to be an animator or at least write animated movies so I figured she could use it to practice.
When I moved to Tallahassee to go to school in the Fall of 2014, Livvy was still toying with the idea of being an animator. She even asked me if I thought the animation program at FSU would be good for her. She was always watching old cartoon series and never missed going to the theaters when a new animated film premiered.
More importantly, every week or so she would send me a picture of a sketch she had done in her Moleskin of some cartoon character: everything from Anastasia and Dimitri dancing to the Rocket Power crew to every single character in Adventure Time (yes, including Lemongrab). I could always see the faint gray ghost outlines where she had tried to erase a mistake. She tried so hard to replicate the work of her favorite artists, and accordingly she always succeeded in replicating them.
One of my biggest regrets now is that I didn't tell her enough that she was an artist. That she was good at what she did. That I thought her drawings were so cool and beautifully rendered. As an artist sometimes those words are the hardest to remember to say to another artist. Collaboration isn't just critique, it's also praise.
Another one of the lessons that I have learned in the wake of grieving my sister: everyone is an artist and everyone is looking for praise in their craft. The trick is now just remembering to take time to tell others that their art means something and is good and is beautiful.