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Art of Recovery – Video 1 (3/20/2013)

Art of Recovery – Video 1 (3/20/2013)


OK, my name is Lucy Infante. I’m a mother of two and I have six grandchildren and they’re all adorable I got into the art business on my own I’ve always loved colors and uh… So I started studying on my own, you know, going to Barnes & Noble, and reading up on Matisse Van Gogh, and Picasso and just studying their art, and one day I found myself sketching my daughters when they were little girls and that’s how I started by sketching them and now, every time I do an art piece, I sketch it first before I do it you know to get the gist of it like this piece right here it’s a still life abstract and I incorporated both of them because uh… I had, like I said, I put layers I had something here before and I didn’t like it so I added these flowers to brighten it up because this seems so serious to me you know, a woman holding her child and it felt like she never wanted to
let go of the child so you could tell that she’s really
holding back the child you know that’s that’s what I was
feeling at the moment And maybe in my own life you know since I had two daughters in my life there were times when I was holding on tight and not letting go I guess it came out in this picture I mean painting it helps me because I love flowers I love nature, it brightens me up I love being a mother and having my children, so in that aspect that it brightens me up and because I love it so much there are times when I’ll paint and I’ll say oh no, this is not good and I’ll just and then I’ll just blacken it and just stare at it and now, what should I do? I don’t like this black, so then I change it put the white over and over until it’s really white and then I’ll paint something that’s cheerful because I love colors so
I’ll look for the brightness and colors not to… only sometimes But I like more colors they’re more expressive I love this one because it is an exaggeration of Van Gogh’s painting that he did and I can relate with Van Gogh because he
also was mentally challenged the flower you know what the exaggeration of the sunflowers so I can relate yes I can relate with him I like a lot of good emotions but sometimes I will express some sad emotions since so it it depends on how I’m feeling that
day if my mood is right because one day I will be fine and the next day I could be moody so it comes out in the paintings This is “Lost in Thought” and the reason I put this because I was lost in thought I couldn’t finish the painting You know it was from 2010 that I started and I haven’t finished it it was like half half and half and I don’t know what got into me that I just made her face I tripled it and stepped back and looked at it I said my god you know she really is lost in thought, like me and you know in a way, it started also as I was trying to do because I started doing it and that’s a portrait of me I have short hair you know I used to wear it like that sticking out like that so in a way she’s a little bit of me you know, lost in thoughts. What motivates me to paint? that I love it and that uh… it relaxes me and there’s nobody around to tell me
what to do or interrupt me or uh… just I just engulf myself into it you know and it’s another world, it’s like you’re in another world Hi, my name is Jamal Williams, I’m 29 years old I come from I’m originally from the Bronx but I moved her to North Carolina in August of 2009 to be with my family I like being here also, it’s a good environment I saw it I came here in February of 2010 because I had a mental illness starting way back in 2002 had a mental breakdown so it was a very long time before I came here in February of 2010 I felt like I could communicate with other people, I could feel more normal-minded so that’s why I like coming here, it’s a really good place for me When I work on my drawings, it makes me feel more happier it makes me feel happier it makes me feel calmer, more calm It makes me feel like I have a tie something I can display and work on that’s for myself and that’s mine That’s why I like drawing I have been doing this for a lot of years, so I’m kind of used to it but I guess it has changed my life a bit but as I grow my characters grow, my drawings grow I mostly draw spirit characters, so I have been drawing my own spirit characters since I was nine years old my first group of characters I have drawn were … I remember the date, Nov. 17, 1992 so when I say that my characters have grown as I have grown I mean that I give them new powers, new origins I give them new allies I give them more enemies to fight, bigger, stronger enemies especially Ninjas, I give them bigger and stronger enemies and make them grow more as the other characters I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to my drawings, so I think, you know, you think they look like that and they’re really good, but I think they could look a lot better the drawings and the art are the biggest things in my life and in my day Honestly it’s I guess you could say it’s enjoyable but sometimes I do get frustrated that it doesn’t come out right so I get a little upset if it doesn’t come out right, so but you know one day I’ll be able to achieve my goal, which is to make it look like a quintessential comic book character I can look forward to it I can really do better with my drawings But I feel like I can look forward to it more so again it’s fun for me even though it is stressful sometimes I want them to say, “oh man, that guy did a good job on his drawings.” I wish I could be like him someday maybe a little kid will look at it and say “gee mommy and daddy I want to be like him when I grow up” it makes me feel inspired, it makes me feel more motivated to do my drawings even though drawing makes me happy, it would help to get my work out there and show it to other people so yeah but I think drawing would make me happier I decided to participate in this project because I want to get my work out there I want people to see that I’m a good artist so yeah, it’s good that I can do that I would love a scout to find me and give me a contact at Marvel or DC Comics or whatever I know that even if I don’t get to work for Marvel Comics or any of that I can still get some cool it makes me motivated to do more better at that with better drawing skills so that’s what I’ve been thinking about if I go to the art exhibit then they see my work and say oh this is good, but you need to work on that that will get me more hopped up to do better and make my drawings look better that’s really the payoff for me the drawings help my mental recovery by making my mind feel more uplifted more energized like I can do more if I want to so if I draw my characters I think oh man I can’t wait to draw this character I say I can’t withdraw a character my mind will be racing and I’ll come up with more ideas I will feel more in to it I will feel like myself, more normal so that’s how it helps with my mental illness Why is that important for other people to know? Because it can help them with their mental illness as well you help them do better with their mental illness if they draw a picture of their own then they can feel more relived with themselves That’s what I think Hi my name is Loretta McCutchen I was working on this piece here this one in the background here I have been working on it for maybe about a year and a half I started making it when I was in The Caldwell Women’s Shelter, at the Presbyterian Church they have a shelter they partner with the Salvation Army but anyways, I was staying right there and some of the girls were noticing that I had starting picking items up from the ground, off the sidewalks not if it was dirty though, there’s no way, because I have a problem with dirt so I started to save them up to make I knew what I wanted to make but I didn’t really know how to piece it, so I thought well uh… I got the idea that maybe you know how people say you start at square one you know so i thought well I’ll just start in the
middle and work my way out and I just started to glue pieces in a circle, I know in some places it doesn’t look like it ended up in a circle I think it turned out square, kind of, in the end but the things things that I found on the sidewalks the time that I was homeless and I stayed in the Caldwell Shelter and that it wasn’t just me, it was whatever I started to accumulate some of the girls in the shelter they saw what I was doing at night with my with my glue and my weird things when I come home to the shelter in the evening I’d find things laying on my that the girls had donated I started making a some gift bags, too, when I was in the hospital and and my friend Sue, she’s a genius she said why don’t you see, how did I do it? at first I just made them into just regular pictures and put them into some frames that I found at the free store uh… I brought them over to this store called Ruby’s Gift in NoDa and I asked them if I could try to sell my pictures there but I had my little cloth bag that I was carrying and I had some that, a couple that I had put on a bag, you know because that was my friend Sue’s idea she looked in my bag, the lady at the counter, and she well those look nice, why don’t we shoot for these I was like “oh!” and so uh… uh… so I started drawing, freehand drawing, my pictures and putting the color on with my colored pencils and put them on these bags and so I just keep drawing and keep doing my art and and it’s peaceful it’s a peaceful thing to do I hope that they learn that from there is comfort in creating uh… well it it’s peaceful you know you’ve got your glue or whatever you’re doing well, if someone is a painter, I’m not really much of a painter but I mean if someone is like a painter or does what I do or whatever sculpts or whatever there’s relaxation in that I found that for me personally uh… it takes you away from your stress I think well even when you dislike on a personal note when I even just look at some art I try to… like that picture on the wall here, of the dogs this is just me though I try to look for the artist’s heart in the picture what were they going through? or what was on their mind? whenever they made this and did they find comfort in it My name is Wayne Russell I’m very athletic, I play all sports, football baseball, basketball I should have been a pro athlete but I didn’t make it so I found luck. I wanted to be a baseball player, short stop for the New York Yankees but Derek Jeter beat me out for it that’s life this is not very creative, it’s a house that’s beautiful! Thank you. What does that house mean to you then? Independence. I have my own place. I’m not worried about it, I wish I could go for about 20 years from now … this is my house, this is where I stay at and that means independence for me … live there all their life they grow up, move out, and take care of themselves you can’t live with your parents all your life you’ve got to move on how many people go for independence? How many people are going to care for you all your life? you feel like a child, you don’t feel like an adult that’s childish grow up, be on your own take care of yourself I also want to be living in twenty years from now I want to have my own place 20 years from now it doesn’t mean nothing I can’t say what I really mean by it, it’s a drawing it depends on what I feel like that day … those dark colors, look like very sad. Maybe I feel sad, I know why most people they get upset because of the reality they’re going to die that’s why most people get sick most mental people so they get real sad when I started painting and I started to draw it … yeah, yeah, “The Scream” that’s a sound looking painting He must have been sad that day I like painting that’s more more trees I like realistic painting I might could do that anybody could do that, even a child could do that most people can’t draw, reality painting. People draw people, landscaping, that’s the kind of painting I like to look at How does it make you feel when people either look at your paintings or hear your songs? Nice, nice I feel good about myself How do you feel about the fact that I really liked the painting and I would use it for something? That’s great, I feel good But we’re off the topic take your mind off certain things that make you sad be joyful in life, be merry, eat, drink and be merry that’s what I was taught, eat, drink and be merry there is a place for us to live after we live here we go to a better place when we leave this planet Well my name is Desira, and I was born with a disability called cerebral palsey which affects my muscles and sometimes my motor skills words are very hard for me to express because I feel like most of the time some people overlook my work or they misunderstand me so painting is like you don’t really have to be verbal um… painting is like another form of
communication is like something where you can use a certain color and a person can pick up and say oh is that what she’s feeling? Or maybe she’s feeling this type of way because of certain things you know so there’s all different types and forms of communication, it just depends on how you want to look at it well painting can show some of my frustrations, it may show some of my good times, my bad times, and some of my in-between times but it is up to the person sees it to say well that doesn’t mean that she’s a bad person she might be going through stuff just like we are, just a little different or a lot more than I do I may express I don’t know, it could be childhood pain it could be happiness, it could be frustration, it could be anger just whatever your mind and your art your emotions allow you to go well, most of the time I already have an image in my head, or a color I see in my head I try to just put it on the board if I see a mixture of color then I try to mix it and bring that feeling and emotion across Well, it could bring up some negative emotions at times and then when art is all finished it might bring up some things that, maybe I can do this, oh I never thought I could do this because I never had the chance so, I’m always into trying new things, even though I’ve never tried them before that has helped me become a better
person not so angry, not so alone not wanting to be around people so i think that uh… it gives me a better if people are better understanding of who I am as a person because they don’t just see my wheelchair they see my art through a different light back in the day, I guess when people were becoming social workers and case managers doctors and clinicians and you know those doctors, they’ll prescribe medicine they’re stuck on the fact that we have to go about it this way and you have to do what I say you know, but that’s not giving a personal voice you should work together with that person, well say, what can I do to help? you know, because we work together as a team Basically, art can keep you out of institutions, it can give you something a broader door opens you know it can close down doors that should have been closed down a long time ago and it can help you release whatever you’re feeling, whether its pain, frustration, feeling left out or discriminated against it may help you know close some of those doors down I think that you know there have been a lot of people that have been stuck on the fact, well, I have a mental illness and my case manager said I can’t do this or my parents say I can’t do this because of such-and-such, and I think what we have to do is bring a lot of families together and say well just because your child has a disability and a mental illness it doesn’t mean that they can’t reach for the stars that it doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to limit them whatever their ability is you should work on that ability and help them become something that they desire whether its working for themselves advocating for themselves drive a car it shouldn’t matter Because I’ve had a lot of people who have said I can’t do this and I can’t do that Maybe I can’t do it as well as you but I can do something in this world If you give me the chance, I could probably do it But if you stigmatize me or put me down then you’re missing out Well, my name is Richard Melgar I’ve been coming here to purchase for some two years now and I stay at home with my parents my mother, my father, and my sister I enjoy coming here to Bridges I enjoy doing art to help me with recovery Here I’m part of the food group and we learn things about the kitchen and the supplies and I’m also part of the expressions
group where we learn different types of art we get to um… show it to each other
and talk about things and I like those things well um… I think my case manager uh…
suggested it for me after she was working with me for some time and we were thinking this would be a good place for me I like to draw with drawings and I like to use colors with them too and it is something that I enjoy doing and it make me feel good about myself and I also like the different colors that I could use and I get to show things about myself to other people, and they get to tell me about it what they like and what they don’t like okay uh… well some words uh… in
different colors for example here the word “strong” and here the word “hoping” and it’s just how I think I’m doing in my recovery And I like to use different colors to make different shapes and different things that I like for example you know I have two people hugging and in the background in blue I have the word “hugs” So it makes me feel happy and I try to feel positive things there Because it makes me feel like I can do something to something positive something for
myself and I enjoy the process of it because I can learn how to do different things from time to time I can check it at a different time, maybe I was wondering could I have done this better? things like that I wanted to show some good things about I try to do something I get involved with, for example, basketball I like to play basketball and just the sun, for example, I think about how the sun makes people think about a great day, things like that Because they’re always telling me that I’m doing a good job and my father, for example, he tells me from when I was younger this is something he likes seeing me do and he’s proud of me and he gives me some confidence in myself So, I really enjoy that My friends have been telling me that they like my drawings and they think that I should keep at it It helps me with my self esteem because it makes me feel like I can keep going forward and doing better for myself if I know that they think I’m doing good they think it is something I should keep at. I just thought it would be a good thing for me to participate and I think it’s a great idea for people to see other people’s work and say look what he did, he’s doing something good I think something people need to hear sometimes because if you go throughout the day
sometimes feeling bad about themselves and if they can see that they’re doing something that they know is helping themselves, then they say hey, you’re doing a good job to try and help themselves out Well I think it can affect a person and how they see that person it can show them certain feelings like if they’re feeling happy
or sad they can see that in the artwork some people like to do those things for
example and I like to put positive things about things that I want to be about they say he’s only showing certain color patterns and it’s something they’re good at Yes, I tell myself I want to do this type of thing at this time and it will slowly but surely come out and I’ll start saying I want it to turn out this way and then I’ll just try different things that sometimes times I might feel sad and I’ll try to think about something that I enjoy so I’ll try to put that on the paper the canvass and see how it can go it is something that has been with me since
I was young and I really enjoy how I can do things and show them to the people if you put it down and they can see it and talk about it and you can learn something different every day if many people are seeing it then you get different views and you can say oh this is something I didn’t know I was showing but it is something that they said that they saw in it so that’s interesting and I hope people can try to see those things when they see the artwork and project, and I think it’s good to try to show some clear pictures in their heads that they trying to maintain some stability in
life I think it helps out that way.

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