Family Ties That Bind Through Art

by Maya (’15)

When asked whom they most admire, many people would talk about famous artists whom they revere. I could do the same and write about Sylvia Plath or Margaret Atwood, but the truth is, I cannot fully admire someone I do not know. Because of this, I choose my brother, Julian, as the artist and person I most admire. I admire Julian because he inspires me to do my best in the arts.

Julian pushes me never to give up in the arts, no matter how incapable I feel. He is constantly changing and improving his work, trying out new things, and immersing himself in his art. When he practices his monologues after school and on the weekend, I am inspired to lengthen and develop my writing practice. His passion transfers to me through the art that links us together. All art is connected through the art that is created in response to the lasting impression it stirs in people. My brother and I are both artists, so we are constantly inspiring each other to create and improve.

Sometimes, a line from his monologue sticks with me, and I use it as a prompt for a poem. He delivers it with such force that the clarity and truth of the words are unavoidable. This sparks in me an interest about the performance of poetry, which manifested in the poem I read for the first Creative Writing show. Writing this poem was such a powerful and engaging experience, that I knew it needed an equally strong delivery. Instead of reading it as a mere bystander, I became the speaker. I embodied her feelings and conveyed her message to the audience. I do not think this would have been possible without Julian. From the very start of the creation of this poem, his acting pushed me to deliver my poem to its fullest. I envisioned Julian performing a monologue without inhibitions, and I strived for the same. He gave me advice on how to strengthen my piece, and told me what to emphasize.

Julian’s complete selflessness in his art makes me wish I could write uninterrupted by thoughts of doubt. Such thoughts are common when I write, and keep me from a state of absorption (or total immersion in the poem). Although I struggle with this, thinking of Julian helps me to release these thoughts. I know he is not perfect, and I know he doubts himself at times, but I think of the moments when he is so involved in a monologue or a role that nothing can shake him; this is my goal.

I strive for Julian’s relationship with his art, and I know he can help me get there. I know this because watching him act, dance or sing actually pushes me a little closer. This is not only why I admire Julian, but also why I appreciate and love him as my brother.

One thought on “Family Ties That Bind Through Art

  1. Heather Woodward says:

    What a beautiful testimony! Heather

    Heather Woodward

    Director, Creative Writing

    Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

    555 Portola Drive

    San Francisco, CA 94131



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