I NealJhay I

        I was never one to compete in life. I guess you can say it was my shy side kicking in when it came to others. I did things for the fun of it, the love of it, for the fact that I was good at it. I thought that I could get by without competing against others until the rubber met the road. Growing up is all about making it known that you’re the best for the job. In school, it was always about having the highest grades in class, the most friends, winning the most races on sports day, being the teacher’s favorite. And when it didn’t happen, I was the kid who got discouraged and upset until I got older and learned about Resilience.


            See, being resilient wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. Before learning that my life had purpose, my horizons were tunnel visioned and close minded. I wasn’t the most technical person when it came to finding avenues to work out situations. When it came to art and creativity, I only knew how to draw cartoons and that’s all I stuck to. My mind was geared on cartoons until I attended Bermuda College, learning techniques from a great teacher and well known artist, Mr. Ed Smith. “Why does something have to be complete to be complete?” was one of the famous questions I remember from him and it has stuck with me throughout the years. My confidence level was boosted, my mind expanded a bit more to create new ideas, even though I still felt I had so much more to learn. I graduated from Bermuda College in 2009 and attended Savannah College of Art and Design in September of 2010. That’s where I really questioned my life of creativity and made some steps and some major decisions.

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            SCAD was a very competitive school but I was persistent on learning as much as I can to become one of the greatest international students. I listened to my professors, took so many notes, took time out to draw in my sketchbook in my free time, I opened myself up to obtain more. And I can’t forget the fact that being in a new country, especially Atlanta, broadened my horizons and opened my mind to new creativity. My education was abruptly disrupted, which caused me to thrive in a dark place. I honestly needed to pick myself up and find avenues to revive my passions; find avenues to pick up life again. September 6th, 2012 was the bittersweet day that I met Resilience. I had a very bad accident that caused me to be VERY dependent, contrary to my independent behaviour, and my self esteem had been shattered. During recovery, I started to pick up my pencil and draw again. I had road rash on my knuckles but that didn’t stop me from creating. As my wounds turned to scabs, scabs to scars, I learned that resilience was only for the strong in mind, heart, body, and soul. For me, it took a really bad experience for me to dig deep for my talent, my God given gifts, my drive and determination.


            Now I’m constantly thinking of different pieces to create, different ways to exhibit and expose my talent to make a name and legacy for myself. I stay driven, keeping the fire on my trail so that I can fly higher than my expectations. Even though I’ve learned there are artists that may be better than me or do something better than me, I remember that I have my own style, my own trail to blaze, my own name to flaunt. I’ve realized that there is NO TIME to be getting discouraged by the “competition” but to just develop your plans, bring your dreams to reality, and become YOUR OWN SUCCESS STORY! Be RESILIENT! When life knocks you down, get back up! If you get artist block, knock it down! Your creativity and your gifts will make room for you; they will make a path that no man will be able to blow away. Even if you stray, God always knows how to shine the light of resilience to show you that THIS is where you need to be. To my fellow artists, creatives, and designers, strive for the best, be resilient until victory and success becomes yours.