This is the first linoleum cut block I did for a printmaking class, it is my favorite. This leaf print titled “Younique” is the only “self-portrait”, I have felt looked anything like me. The inspiration for this piece came from an experience I had as a young teenager and when I saw myself in a leaf.
I have experienced many health trials throughout my life starting at a very young age. One day as I painstakingly walked home from junior high, I felt keenly, like most teenagers do, like I was a “nobody”. Walking along the sidewalk with fall leaves crunching under foot, I came upon a leaf too beautiful to crush, it stopped me in my tracks. I picked it up and marveled at its beauty. Its unique beauty. Never before had I realized how each leaf was individual and its own self. I felt it whispered in my thoughts that I, like this leaf, was precious and too beautiful to be crushed. I was also unique and that became important to me. My body hurt, but I was comforted as I realized my Heavenly Father was aware of me and my trials. He knew my suffering and my pain. He loved me and if I trusted in Him, He would preserve me, like He had the leaf. Life never really becomes perfect and easy, but knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father does somehow make life easier. This message of hope and love is one I want to share with everyone.
This is also the reason I have adopted the name “leaf” as one of my own, so that I can always remember this sacred lesson learned from the leaf. Leaves and trees continue to inspire me, that is why they are a common theme you will see throughout my work. I sign each art of my art pieces with my Leaf mark.