This is what I wrote 2-22-2011.
What's my story? Who am I? I don't think I could sum it up to a few pages, but here it goes. My name is Kendra Ann McCartney, I'm 25 years old and currently living in Lubbock, Texas. I spent my childhood ready to leave Canyon, TX and didn't think I would ever look back. I ran 5 hours south to San Angelo to start college at ASU, met some of my best friends, became a Sigma Kappa, broke some hearts, and had some fun. At 19 I moved to Orlando, FL to work as a lifeguard for Walt Disney's College Program. I have always loved Disney, but now I had a place to love instead of just movies. I would go to Epcot with my camera & sketch book and just sit for hours. I saw the firework show so many times I could sing the music and even now I crave a Dole pineapple float from Magic Kingdom. I met some great friends in Florida and fell in love with a yankee from Conneticut.
Life after Florida got crazy. I went back to San Angelo, the yankee moved to Texas, and I was going to school full time, always busy with Sigma Kappa, changed my major to art and was working two p/t jobs. I went through way too many roommates back then, bought a cat, pissed off my parents, and got my heart broken. I moved in with the best friends I could ever live with and started seeing my high school sweetheart Brandon again. Moved home, then to lubbock, which I never thought I would do. That was 2008, life was sunny. I had my own apt for the first time, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, balcony that overlooked the pool and got hired at a job in like 2 weeks of moving. Then in September I got a phone call from one of my good friends that his little sister had been killed in a car crash going to class. It was terrible, my whole family hurt and was affected. Two weeks later, I got a phone call that my best friend had committed suicide. I cried for a year and was like a zombie. I don't remember much, it was a blur.
Then my body finally said enough and I relapsed with mono. I spent 2010 being weak, sick, running hospital test and blood work, turning back to God and reading my Bible. I hated Lubbock, like my life would have been fine if I never would have moved here. And Brandon barely even had a full year of dating me before I fell apart. Thankfully he stood by my side and I love him for that. I'm not 100% over the mono, but bits and parts of my old self are coming back. I actually laughed until I cried which felt like a small miracle. I spent alot of time with God last year and my faith began to show in my artwork.
This is me... a small town girl, a Christian, an artist, a dreamer, a dancer, a Disney junkie, a sucker for swing music and anything vintage, I play in the mud (clay), an art instructor, a big sister, a girlfriend, a friend, I think my parents are cool and talk to my mom almost everyday, I love list, journals, reading, Friends the tv show, and I don't have cable. I still own a VHSs and watch them, interior decorating, cooking, hosting parties, sewing, I'm getting hooked on running a website and blogging. This is me and part of my story.... What's Your Story?
xoxo Kendra McCartney
*In the margins I wrote...
My cat Ziggy thinks he is a person... so I am writing children's stories about him! Meow
I look at the stars and still think of you
My sister is my roomate and becoming one of my best friends
I'm going to marry my H.S. sweetheart
"What's Your Story" started out as a simple text project. I featured it as a sneak peek on my blog, worked on it, had then had a critique. After throwing some ideas around with classmates, friends and family it has grown and I am really excited to see where it goes. I am getting the book ready to travel and already have plans for the next few so I can have multiple books traveling. My goal is to introduce TWLOHA to as many people as I can, create an archival of stories, and have people interact with each other through the books and this blog.
Here is the orginal blog for this artwork from 2-17-2011.
This weeks sneak peek is a look at an interactive sculpture using text. The inspiration behind this piece is a message very close to my heart. For the past two years I have been wanting to create something that addresses suicide and the pain those around suffer and then I thought, what if I could address this issue like TWLOHA organization does. So I am creating an interactive sculpture that will get people to think, write, and read each other's stories. Everyone's story BIG or small is important.
For those of you not familar with TWLOHA,( To Write Love on Her Arms)" is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." ~Mission Statement
They also are there for people that have lost family and friends to suicide. I encourage you to go and check out their vision statement and website.
So this sculpture will tell people's stories, introduce TWLOHA, and hopefully open up conversations between friends, family, and strangers. If you are interested in telling your story and will not be able to physically write in my book, feel free to handwrite and scan or type your story and then email it to me at email@example.com. There are no rules or limitations it can be short and sweet or as many pages as you like, just be honest. Remember everyone's story is important. What's Your Story?
Created the traveling book to get the word out on TWLOHA, get people to think, write, and read each other's stories, and as a way to remember the loss of a friend.
As author of this blog, I receive the rights to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.