Faith & Art • by Christina Martin
Faith and art. That is how I begin each day, exactly in that order. As I get older, I realize that faith and art have been part of my survival kit, since I was a little girl. Sometimes on my blog, I touch on how tough my childhood was. My neighborhood was one of the roughest in the city, and life wasn’t easy. And like most kids, my mind looked for the fastest escape. My imagination reached toward me, with out stretched arms. Accepting me, just as I was. I loved that.
The Good & The Bad
There were days I would slip into the library, and read my summer days away. I would pretend to be wealthy, a pretty princess, and a baker, all in the same day. I devoured all the books I could get my hands on. And before I knew it, I would have pen in hand, jotting down my own stories on pages of loose leaf paper. The characters of my neighborhood would come alive through my pen ... the corner boys, the foster kids, the new family on the block. The good and the bad went in my stories.
Love At First Sight
God bless my grandmother, who gifted me with a camera. It was love at first sight, for me. This camera would become the missing piece that would win a spot in my heart forever. This camera would save me from days in my home, when the noise and silence alike became too much for me to take.
Photography became my world; it was a way of expressing myself, when I couldn’t find my own voice. I took photos of everything—the sky, graffiti, the bodega, even my grandmother cooking meals. Photography introduced me to the depth of the world around me; it gave me a sense that I could prevail over the tough times.
There would be many days where I didn’t have art in my life, and some of those days were my darkest. I couldn’t help but pull from my faith, and help myself back on to the path of art.
Doing What I Love
The first time my work was published, I beamed for weeks. I was in my late thirties, and it was a lovely nod to the kid from the tough ghettos, who still lives within me. I would like to gently say this—being published didn’t define me as an artist. I was an artist long before all that happened. I was an artist each time trouble came my way, and I walked in the other direction. I was an artist, when it seemed everyone fit in besides me, and I chose to remain me. It was those times in my life, when I was most true to my art. I truly believe that. Palms clasped in gratefulness.
I am still at that stage, where I create for me, to make myself smile, to move my hands, to stop a moment in time. I don’t ever want that feeling to leave me. Making photos makes me genuinely happy. And the fact that others find something they like in my work is just a blessing of a bonus. Each day I get up and do what I love, and I have always wanted to be able to say that.
To learn more about Christina Martin, visit soulaperture.blogspot.com.