It’s the things we do not see that truly begs the question.

What makes a person tick, for example. I for one have always been fascinated by this. It may be because as a former actor, my old job required me to understand and identify emotion to bring forth to an audience. This curiosity made me always want to decipher peoples' minds ever further and deeper.

For example, how does a painter or a sketch artist arrive at the composition of his or her artwork? What were the parameters in choosing the design and concept of the work in the first place? Is the work based on a personal experience? Is it an image in their minds eye that they wish to bring forth via pencil and paper? Why that particular scene?

I grew up surrounded by creatives and have been blessed to call one of the country's premier artists of all time as grandfather. Furthermore, my uncles, aunt, cousins and siblings express art in their own unique ways. I do, to a certain degree, possess the same innate skill of sketching and drawing.

Yet I cannot confidently call the sketches i produce as beautiful works of art. I can't even say to myself that they're beautiful.

Growing up, I've spent some afternoons drawing and sketching away while my granddad does the same. One clear memory was me drawing a sarimanok in color. When done, my lolo would look at the work and tell me that it was good. Recently, my now successful younger cousin and i were having a conversation about art. It’s only been 5 years since he started professionally painting, yet his works command prestige and attention beyond the borders of this country. What we talked about was something like "you know when we were kids, since you (me) were older and I see your work and your youngest brother, I felt insecure about mine and did not pursue it (my art)."

My cousin's work is awesome. My lolo's work -truly legendary. On a side note, my other younger brother has restarted with sketching too. His works are eye catching and seemingly different. It's amazing how he arrived at what he has chosen to sketch. They are beautiful.

I can't even call the sketches I make as art. I'll be honest, I'm bummed about this. I know I have the skill, the talent and the lineage of great artists yet I cannot create works I can truly be proud of.

And to go full circle with my opening line, is there something about me then, that I’m not seeing?


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