I grew up in a very small town. As in one stoplight, no McDonald’s, I graduated with 80 people, small.  Our gas station was also the video store and the local hang out. We were surrounded by lakes, streams, fields, flowers, and forests. My brother and I didn’t have video game consoles or cable tv. In the summer we put grasshoppers and bees in jars and made them fight. We saved toads from snakes and caught salamanders. We made our dog pull us in the sled and run through the culvert. We picked raspberries for homemade pies and went fishing. We fell asleep to DIY firefly lanterns. That’s what we did in the summer. But the winters were cold. I know you might think you know what cold is, if you’re from Chicago or Detroit or Boston or any other northern town. But this was a different kind of cold. My camera froze mid-shutter while taking a picture of the bank clock that read 25 below zero. School was sometimes canceled because the busses and cars were too frozen to start. So I took piano and cello lessons and drew for hours to pass the winter time in our small and sleepy town.

My English Grandma was the local choir director and neighborhood piano teacher. She cut hair for the neighborhood ladies for extra money. She taught me the piano and bought me a cello. My Japanese Grandma was a seamstress who made me dresses for the dance. I always loved the artwork when I went to her house- the pattern, the movement, and effortless beauty of Japanese art. Many family members play an instrument or are a craftsman in some way. One Grandpa was a woodworker and the other refurbished model Ts. Creativity through art and music in our household was always encouraged.  My mom taught me how to draw and write poems. My dad played the piano and would make me harmonize with him to ‘70s pop songs whilst running errands in the pick-up. You may be able to recognize all of these influences in my work.

I loved growing up there and will always cherish my time, but I have always been pulled to the West to explore the big city and to be part of an art and music community. So I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University and took off to Phoenix, Arizona in 2001.

To me, creating is a necessity. It’s like breathing and if I don’t get to do it, I become cranky. Inspiration gnaws at me in the back of my brain all day. I know I should be dealing with life’s banalities—health insurance and getting a windshield and paying the bills and cleaning the house. But Elizabeth Gilbert says you have to grasp inspiration when it comes knocking, or it will knock on somebody else’s door. And she would know. I am inspired by so many things: people, beauty, nature, dreams, music, poetry, life. . . And so I give in, like new secret lovers, that for whatever reason, are disapproved of. I keep creating music and art and thanking God everyday for it. I want to create work that is beautiful, meaningful, personal, and symbolic: to provide inspiration, a sense of magic, and hope.

I hope you enjoy my work and I hope it sings to your heart. Thank you for looking and reading. Much love and success to you all, Tara Lynn Weeks  a.k.a  Lovely11