My Inspirations

Tayo Heuser

Tayo has been a major influence on both my artistic and personal development for the past five years. I met Tayo at Roger Williams University, where I received a bachelors degree in both Visual Art, and Art and Architectural History. Tayo's work varies from sculpture to drawing. She inspired my work as an artist, giving me heart when I needed it. She showed me how to look at art, how to understand my emotions through art, and to allow my visual creation to show me my thoughts. She taught me that I AM and artist, and that what I make is beautiful. She gave me backbone when I needed it and inspiration when I could not find it. Tayo has a nature about her that is radiant and beautiful. She is an inspiration as not only an artist, but an educator. She has shown me how to care about students and how to support them. I look to Tayo for advice always, she is truly, the mother of my artistic education.

 Michael Rich

As with Tayo, I also met Michael Rich at Roger Williams University in my first year. Michael was my adviser, my mentor, and role model throughout my years at university. Michael showed me not only how to look at my world, but how to interpret it. At times, it was very difficult. He pushed me like no other professor, mentor or parent had ever pushed before. He made me question myself, my intent, my inspiration. From Michael, I learned how to be a philosopher, an artist, a writer and critical thinker. When Michael hired me as his studio assistant, I learned how to run the business of art. Sitting with him, creating frames, critiquing artworks and exploring new ideas of environment, place and history, I found an intellectual companion. He inspired me to always question, always dig, and always produce. He inspired a fierce passion for art and creation. That passion I will always owe to him. He opened doors for me, and helped me find myself in the process. He will forever be my inspiration, my mentor and favorite artist.


Michael Jackson 

Michael  Jackson has been an inspiration in my life since  the age of six.  Perhaps unconventional, and almost always controversial, Michael Jackson  has been hard to avoid. Everyone knows how eccentric  Jackson was, but what I found as I looked past the media's image of the man, was one of the greatest artists and humanitarians of our day. Unlike many who know Jackson's music, I began my fandom with his album HIStory. As a six year old, I was of course attracted to the music and rhythm of Jackson's songs, but as I listened closer, I recognized  the lyrics of the artist. Lyrics like:

"No force of nature can break your will to self-motivate"
"Everyday create your history"
"How many people have to cry the song of pain and grief across the land? and how many children have to die before we stand to lend a healing hand?"
"Did you ever stop to notice, all the children dead from war? did you ever stop to notice the crying Earth the weeping shores?"

These lyrics were taken from that first album (HIStory) that I ever owned. In these songs, I learned not about the bubblegum love that was sprinkled through the airwaves by the other pop starts of the 90's, but instead i learned about self determination, excepting responsibility as a child of the earth, and what it means to love.

Later, I my mother bought me the album "Dangerous", which included songs such as "Black Or White" and "Heal the World". Each of these songs, as well as the imagery in his video's are not only artistically beautiful, but major works of the a true humanitarian. It may seem silly, but Michael Jackson inspired to me become a community activist, and taught me that art, whether it be music, visual, written or performed CAN make a difference in the world.

Although Michael Jackson has many stigma's attached to him, I will always see him as the artist and humanitarian that he was. I will honor his art, and his work forever.


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