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    Posted December 31, 2013 by
    Memphis, Tennessee
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    Great Artists do Come from Within


    As a sight impaired artist, I am grateful for the many opportunities and experiences afforded me throughout my life. I occasionally reflect on the many individuals who I have come to know as role models, mentors and friends. People who having given me advice, insight and motivation, and yes, there were a few who didn’t believe that I would be able to become an due to my impairment.
    I set forth a goal to prove otthe doubters they were wrong about me and, at the same time, thank them for their feedback. I didn’t see their comments in a negative context. Instead, I saw them as a form of motivational tools. As I continued on my venture, I decided to think back on another local great innovator such as Fred Smith the founder of Federal Express, who wrote an essay about his ideal of starting a package delivery company and was told by his professor it would never work. Instead, Mr. Smith presses onward with his dream started out with just 2 airplanes and 2 vans and $4 million dollars to create one of the world’s largest package delivery companies. I know of others. However, I wanted to use Mr. Smith as primary example of motivation due to Federal Express home base in my hometown of Memphis TN and, not to mention, having to see one of his airplanes pass overhead.
    I have set my standards of accomplishments high due to my belief that one can never know how great they truly are until they start the journey one footstep at a time. I find one must have a sense of purpose in order to live a fulfilling life. Of course, there are no rules set on how many purposes or goals one can work on at any one time and if there were such rules, I would most likely break them just to prove my point. I do have many goals planned and have every intention to complete them and setup more goals to replace the ones completed.
    As a teenager, I would start out drawing and painting and later try out for woodworking and music, still, I would end up picking up a pencil or paint brush and pursue my love for art. I have won many awards, despite being told by one art teacher that they could not see me doing art and was never allowed to enlist in his class. I was a little dissatisfied with his comment, but, never discouraged. I would eventually get the last laugh and revenge by transferring from one junior high school to another where I would have the chance to explore and expand my creative side. I would learn craft techniques. I would later transfer to high school where I would really have the opportunity to show off and I was still met with the same questions concerning my sight impairment and passing the class, not again, was that little voice that popped up in my thought. . I responded by telling the instructor that I could pass the class. Commercial was the challenge I decided take interest in and lean a new medium called pen and ink that would later win me awards and start me off to become a self-published artist.
    As I skip a few years ahead and start to make new discoveries in acrylic and oils, I would take a one year recess from doing any major ar projects and try to start another business and, yes, you guess it, I would end up picking the paint brush again and never let it go.
    Today, I still winning art awards, being recognized and appreciated for my gift and starting the non-profit organization International Association for Sight Impaired Artists, created to encourage individuals who are blind or visually impaired to get involved in the performing and visual arts. I do believe as a sight impaired artist we do have so much to contribute to society and one should never second guess their abilities despite their disabilities. In the past, I would also think about what if I had 20/20 vision, would I still have the same interest in art or would I be doing something else. There have been times as a teenager and early adulthood I would become disappointed concerning my impairment. As time progress and meeting others who were full od wisdome, compassionate and inspiring, they would change my life forever concerning appreciating the little things in life, loving yourself more and living life to the. fullest.
    I have had many doors closed in my face by many art galleries due my sight impairment and being self-taught. I have no regrets but intention. I possess the sheer will to inspire the world with my art, to motivate others who are either disabled or just simply given up hope that all things are possible if one would have the faith the believe in themselves.
    I have come to know that one should never dwell on what they don’t have or wish they had but to discover, appreciate and share those hidden talents they have inside with the rest of the world.
    I have been sight impaired all my life and it was never discovered until I was a teenager and I believe if that discovery was made then there were even greater things to be discovered in me as well and art is one that has allowed me to amaze others. Don’t miss what you never had but cherish what you already have, prove the doubters wrong and don’t let down who believe in you. More importantly, don’t doubt your abilities.
    I come to understand and appreciate that I am a great artist regardless of what others may think or say. I say this not to sound arrogant, I say this as assuring myself and others that I am on the right path of greatness. I have learned many things as an artist and I paint how I feel. I may not be able to see the world clearly or precisely as others do. But, I have a clear insight how the world can become through my paintings. I do my best in capturing my subject on canvas and put the best effort forward to create beauty. It takes me many hours to create one painting and sometimes a few years depending on the subject. I have to utilize a great deal of lightings and do ask that they bring back the 100 watt light bulb, just a thought, saving energy is good, saving what little sight I have with better and brighter light is the best thing to consider.
    I don’t do much public showing due to logistical reasons and I show off most my works online and through a few auction sites, I can’t wait for the self-driving car. I can also mention that my intention to travel the world meet with great leaders to promote peace, hope and unity with my art.
    I will leave with this one though. Although, I have limited sight, I still have great insight. A great artist can come from within. I have so much to share with the world and a great deal of art history to be made, my name is Michael A. Williams for the record.

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