To My Biggest Fan: A Love Letter

Recently, my eldest daughter shared with me that she often visits my website while she’s at school. This really floored me. As an artist, I do that thing that most creatives do – I think no one cares about my work. But there she is, my biggest fan, visiting a site I thought no one cared about to look at my artwork that I often don’t think people like. So, this is to her.¬†

Dear Adelaide.

It’s hard to put into words how much it means to me that you take time out of your day to look at my artwork. Sometimes, when I create things, it’s because I’m very sad, or lonely. When I paint, or draw, or write, it makes me feel better, except, I’ve been so focused on whether people like my work, I forgot that my biggest fan lives right upstairs.

You are incredible to me. You’re so smart, and very stubborn. I love that you have such a strong desire to learn and understand things around you. I admire that you don’t accept simple explanations for how things work, you need to really¬†understand¬†them. I am often frustrated, but usually amused, at your wit and sarcasm.

Sometimes I’m afraid that you’re too aware. The burden of intelligence and compassion is that you understand not only how things work, but how they affect people. Sometimes this hurts you, because you’re not like most kids your age that can take things at face value and find comfort in that. I often look at you when you’re clearly deep in thought and I wonder what you’re contemplating, or what you’re feeling. I know there’s a lot in there.

Anyway, in case I don’t tell you enough, I appreciate you so much. When you tell me that you come here, to my website, it really and sincerely brings a tear to my eye. I don’t expect anyone to ever care about my work Addie. But you do. And because you care, you’ve made me care again.

After Dylan passed, I had a hard time creating because I was so sad. He was my buddy in my studio and I felt like I couldn’t create without him. And then, you mentioned my website, or you would come in and just look at my paintings or sketches and smile at them. Or when you walk in and the first word out of your mouth is “whoa”. Slowly, the more you did that, the more comfortable I became in creating again. Now, I’m sitting here for the first time in months writing to you on my website.

When you think you don’t matter, or when you think that no one cares about your opinion or the things you say, please come back and read this. You have impacted my life in many ways, the greatest of which is encouraging me to be myself, loving me for who I am, and being my biggest fan.