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  • Derek Matthew Carter

A personal timeline of art and influence - Part Two

In this blog post, I will be revisiting some things that played an equally important role in my journey in the creative world. If you're reading this post and haven't read part one, I encourage you to because I want to avoid restating a lot from my first post on this topic. Although I usually try to keep these posts around a three-minute read, I will most likely write a little more than the first because I have a little more to say on this topic. I spent a few days trying to rehash out the details in my mind, and I realized this particular time was crucial in helping mold my desire to create something different and exciting.

Around the age of ten, my mom and stepdad had started a prominent and well-respected cleaning company. They had built an excellent reputation with some high-end companies responsible for designing and building new high-end houses in what would become high-end housing developments.

It would also be the time in my life where I would extensively learn the value of work ethic and all about basic principles of money, when there was something that I wanted to get, a toy, baseball cards, fishing lures, etc. I had to work for it. While I'm pretty sure this is still a lesson that kids are learning, I am not sure that it is as popular a method as it once was. But to be fair, I have absolutely no proof either way.

When my brother Brandon and I first started accompanying my parents and their employees to these new home constructions, I got to see houses as I had never seen before. It was indeed a fantastic experience to walk through these gigantic houses and to marvel at the extravagant environments. As my parent's business grew, so did the opportunities to work with them. And what came next would make another profound impact on my creative journey.

The companies that hired them for new construction eventually hired them to clean up the architects' offices. It was always on a Friday or Saturday night when the offices were closed, and there were no employees in the building. And This was the first time I had ever seen what I would describe as an arsenal of creative tools. I had never seen things that I had never seen before nor had even the slightest clue what Architects used them for, but I knew they were top-notch tools, even though I had no idea how or what they were. But one thing was for sure, and that was that I would find out.

So after we had finished the basic tasks that we could help with [emptying trash, vacuuming, etc.], Our parents would tell us to keep ourselves busy while they finished up with the more significant tasks that we could not help them complete. Entertaining ourselves at this age usually involved drawing. And I can't imagine a better place to do this than where we were.

Inside this building mainly were independent cubicles. We were not allowed to go inside the artist's booths, but they did have an enormous conference room that I believe they had meetings and lunch breaks in. This room must have also served as an overflow of materials, and I felt like I had hit the jackpot. It was also the time that I realized there was more to the world of art supplies than standard lined paper and no. 2 pencils. Anything and everything that I would ever want to draw with was in this room. Within the next couple of weekends, I had made sure to accompany my parents when they worked the weekend night shifts at my new favorite building. A couple of times, I met a couple of architects working late, and they were very nice about letting us sit at their desks and use their pencils and paper as long as we cleaned up our table when finished. I soon learned how to work with an electric eraser, t-square, different types of graphite, etc.

I believe this was the first time I realized that art was a grown-up job that seemed very much achievable. It was the first time I had seen a scale model of an upcoming project the firm was pitching to builders involved in these projects. There were no 3d printers back then, and I still have no idea how or where those models had been fabricated elsewhere. But I was beyond impressed. I made a decision very young that art was my pathway to the life I wanted. I had no details of how it would happen, but I just knew that this was it.

I feel fortunate and beyond blessed to have had such a unique experience growing up around creative spaces and a childhood that demanded an imagination that I would not have formed around an environment that provided all the "props."

My youth required imagination as much as I enjoyed summoning it. And sharpening those skills has been a life of passionate searching, creating, and an authentic life purpose and perspective that is honestly one of a kind.

In part three, I will be getting into my early days of music and, more specifically, my life-altering experience of discovering my next creative journey: the drums.

Thank you for taking a moment of your day to learn a little more about me.


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