The Magic of Sherry Nevius

If you have not read “A Helping Hand” in my blog, please do so. It was the first story I published. It’s an inspirational piece about how in 5th grade Sherry Nevius dared me to an arm wrestling match. But there was so much more to it than that.

Writing the story about Sherry Nevius was easy simply because her existence is the catalyst that motivated me to write.

As a person who makes a living as a humorous illustrator (paintings & children’s books), I have been reflecting upon the things that truly inspire me—things that set the flow of creative thought. While there is usually a spark of an idea that is directly related to a vision for a painting, there are other times when the spark comes from something not related at all, but is equally as useful. Such is my reflection about Sherry Nevius. From an outsider, there would not seem to be a link between her story and the creation of a painting involving African animals depicted in a humorous and unusual situation. But there is. This is because thinking of how Sherry has overcome her disability is motivational. And that motivation leads to an excitement for living, which leads to a state of creative thinking.

I would say that Sherry’s story is of tragic inspiration. Tragic because of the life-long handicap she has endured, and inspirational simply by how she has made the best of her situation. On my days when the creative juices are apparently running dry, I often think of stories like Sherry’s that give me motivation to stay the course. I’m going to call it quits because I can’t drum up a humorous idea? Absurd! Sherry has made it through over 50 years of unfair circumstances.

Giving up is not an option!

 

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