In my last year of high school my Mechanical Engineering teacher (Mr. Norman Striet) introduced me to carving. One day after school he suggested for me to get an apple and carve a face out of it. To this day I can't remember why he wanted me to do it, it wasn't a class project or anything like that but
I do remember how nice he was and how much I respected him, and that is what motivated me to go ahead and do it. I was so excited, that very same day, I asked my mother to buy an apple for me. Once I finished carving the apple I put it in the oven to dry as he instructed, the finished result was pretty impressive. I took the apple to school the next day and he was very pleased and encouraged me to do more.
Mr. Striet told me to find some wood get a knife and carve something else. I started carving almost every day. The significant part I remember about the whole experience was how magical it felt to me, to be in the moment as I was creating, developing a bond between myself and the wood.
My parents were very supportive of my new craft. My father had many talents in the arts as well. He was excellent in drawing, and painting alongside being a very skilled furniture maker. So when he saw the interest I had in carving he supported me the best way he could by encouraging me and buying whatever I needed. One day my father suggested that I try sculpting clay, it felt so good the first time I put my hands into the clay, the messy hands and all! Art took my way of looking at life to a whole new dimension and I realized at that moment, that grades from a test do not make me who I am, nor does a person’s perception of me. My strengths, along with my personality and how I use them is what truly matters. I want to share with you a quote I once heard, "Don't allow the approval and attention of others to destroy you. Remain humble and grateful for all your accomplishments, and know that a force greater than your ego is always at work in your life."
It wasn't until 2008 I decided to take my hobby of sculpting to another level becoming a professional sculptor. I started to recognize the importance of fulfilling my own legacy and I wanted to inspire others to do the same, by changing the way they view life and by getting involved with some form of art or a hobby of their own and having the fulfillment of life that we all can be blessed to have. .