Painting has been such an integral part of my life, without this passion I would probably not have had the adventures and amazing opportunities that have crossed my path. Luckily for me, as a child, I was always encouraged to paint and be creative. Unfortunately, today, so many young people have their enthusiasm for creative endeavors drummed out of them. The arts are generally viewed as frivolous pastimes not worthy of serious consideration. What a crime this is! For it is only through creative minds and pursuits do truly new ideas and innovations arise in this world. The massive focus on math and science we see at present will, if we do not make amends, bring the world into an era of stagnation and decline.