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Journal Entry: Thu Dec 18, 2008, 11:30 PM


An Open Letter to a Sleeping Boy

When you still had breath to speak, when your fingertips, not ashes yet, composed your last emails, we talked about what we were going to do with ourselves now that we'd graduated, now that we'd just had our eighteenth birthdays and now that we were probably grown up.



You would tell me about taking new pictures for your book; about the the clothes they had you model in, and about not feeling confident. You would tell me about how everyone at the office you were working at loved you. I knew why they loved you.



I would tell you about how I was making progress with my portfolio, and how I was nervous about presenting it to an admissions counselor at Art Center. I would tell you about how I was working on a new drawing of you, and about not feeling confident. I met with the counselor because you made me feel like I could do it.



A few weeks later, I met with the psychiatrist because after you died, I didn't think I could do anything, and I didn't. I didn't want to draw new things if I wasn't going to be able to show you what I did, especially if you weren't going to be able to model in new photoshoots or write new poems for me to read. I didn't want to go to college and have new stories to tell you if telling you stories wasn't something I could do. So I disregarded my plans to apply to Art Center, and ended up not showing up for the remainder of the semester of classes I was taking at the community college.



So for two years, I've been a brooding mess. I've known the whole time that this isn't the type of person you remember, but fighting to become some amazing illustrator with a lost best friend in mind is hard to do right away.



Two weeks ago, I finished my submission portfolio to Art Center and hand delivered it to the south campus 30 minutes before the deadline. My written statement is about you.



Today I received an acceptance letter and scholarship. I start classes on January 14th, and I'm gonna kick ass.



I want you to know that you're still the fire in my chest and the glow behind my eyes. I'm not going to walk into my first class as one of the amazing kids who stands out as gifted but none of the other kids hold a muse's hand, and I'm going to grow to make you proud. Seeing pictures of you doesn't make me sad anymore, it doesn't hurt to read notes you've written, and now when someone asks who my signature here on deviantART is about, I smile to think that it's about you.



Current Projects


Fortune Cookie 5%


In high school, I took AP Art Workshop 3 times, and every year after our portfolios were turned in, we were each given a fortune cookie and assigned to use our fortune as a theme for a piece.  



AzuPrints




:shop4656635:

Release



:shop4735579:

Pon Mousepad</b>





:shop4315927:

Automne











Add a Comment:
 
:iconkiera-raelyn:
kiera-raelyn Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009
I've just started watching you and don't know anything at all about you except that you are the illustrator of comics that I didn't even know had names until about half an hour ago. And yet, your words made my eyes tear up and my throat close tight. I am sorry for your loss. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it must feel like. I'm glad that you can remember your friend happily now and that you used his memory to fire your ambition. Good luck in school.
Reply
:iconsleepless-dreams:
Sleepless-Dreams Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009
Man.. I wish you could favorite Journal entries..

So tonight I logged into deviantART for the first time in like 2 forevers. I saw that you posted some deviations when I was clearing out my inbox and before I got a chance to take a look at them I came across this and instantly knew who it was to. soo after reading it i'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. I'm not usually all weepy and shit, and to be honest don't know why I am now. I dunno if its because I know what you're going through, or that i still miss him too, or that I'm so elated at the way you can remember him now and smile... anyway reading your journal affirmed for me, without a doubt, that once a person has positively affected your life, no matter how little, they'll be with you forever.

Thanks to both you and Ian for affecting mine.
Reply
:icontermanianstar:
TermanianStar Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012  Professional Filmographer
now you can. :3
Reply
:iconsleepless-dreams:
Sleepless-Dreams Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Thanks for that! I had no idea they added it (:
Reply
:iconlittlefallingstar:
LittleFallingStar Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009
Wow, I am completely overwhelmed! I’ve been watching your art for some years now and I’m very pleased you’ve been accepted! Go kick some ass ;-), you’re an amazing artist and I hope all goes well.
I know, this is a very late comment…I’ve been utterly offline and wouldn’t have written something…but felt I should. Good luck!
Reply
:iconariannablackstone:
AriannaBlackstone Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I just now read this and...wow. I am glad you had the strength to keep going.
Reply
:iconwildefae:
wildefae Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
this is beautiful, even to a stranger. good luck. i'm really glad that you've moved forward, knowing he's still with you.
Reply
:iconelevatorangel:
elevatorangel Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
loss can really kick your ass. and only a few people manage to overcome it so well and draw strength from it like you. Not that it matters, but I'm happy for you. Good luck at Art Center. You have a lot of talent.
Reply
:iconjanaggle:
JAnaggle Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
*hug*
Reply
:iconnocturnalblue:
nocturnalblue Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
I'd been keeping this in my messages for quite some time

I usually delete personal journals since most of the time I feel it's none of my business anyway, but for some reason I refused to delete this one and it had just been sitting there all by its lonesome in my messages center. For some reason I felt like I should read it and today I finally did.

There's nothing really to say that hasn't been said. I'm glad to see you were able to turn your sadness to strength and determination rather than giving up.

:heart:
Reply
:iconrain-drop:
Rain-drop Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2009  Student
Similarly to grenadewings, I lost my father just a month or so ago. This journal entry speaks to me very much. I love the idea that you have been empowered and found your strength again because of your love for your friend.

He is very, very proud of you. I am proud of you, and I don't even really know you. I think it is amazing that you got through the tough times and were strong, and submitted that portfolio. It is also encouraging to me right now in the beginnings of grief, to know that eventually, it doesn't hurt so much anymore.

I do sort of wonder, though...how you picked up the pen again. I am having a sort of pause in my creative work, too, and wondering how long the pause is going to last.

Very inspiring entry.

*Hugs*
Reply
:iconazuzephre:
azuzephre Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009  Student
It was a gradual thing for me. I didn't draw at all really for the first few months, and then I would just like scribble in notebooks and draw things really fast, but never to be taken seriously. It's been over two years since the accident and it's still not as easy as it was to sit down and focus on a serious project. It happens, but it doesn't flow like it should.

Hang in there. <3
Reply
:iconrain-drop:
Rain-drop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009  Student
Thank you for the words of encouragement! :)

It is interesting to hear how you went along with recovering the creative process. I say recovering, not getting it back, because these things change us forever, and there is no getting over it.

Good luck to you on continuing the gradual process with your creative endeavors. I hope that I can slowly inch forward and up, like you did. :)
Reply
:iconzelayda:
zelayda Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2008   Photographer
Awwh, Azu, that's so sweet to know that now you're going to take classes with his memory. Not quite moving on, but bringing his memory with. I almost cried~ ;u;
Congrats and good luck!
Reply
:icongrenadewings:
grenadewings Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
I've read this a lot. I lost my father last month and this just made me think of how I'm going to feel in a year or two. Right now it doesn't seem like there it ever going to be a calm after this storm, but I guess eventually I'll just want to be who he tried to make me . . .unique and amazing. I'm so sorry that you or anyone has to go through the pain of lossing someone you love and I hope the best for you.
Reply
:iconanoya:
Anoya Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2008   Photographer
You've brought tears in my eyes with this letter. It's beautiful. I'm very sorry for your loss, I think I've been watching you long enough to know how you've lost him. It's good to read that you can read, talk and think of him again without being sad all the time. I'm sure he's so damn proud of you, just like you should be as well, if you weren't already.
I'm glad he's (still) your muse, not a lot of people have one, like you're saying as well. He's the fire in your art, like someone else already said. He might not be there to talk to you, listen to you or write poetry that you can read, but he is still there. For as long as he's in your heart, he's still alive and being there with and for you.

Congratulations on the acceptance and the scholarship, you're gonna kick ass indeed. :heart:
Reply
:iconbmdphotography:
BMDphotography Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008   Photographer
He is proud of you, and you've been growing.


Now blossom, flourish, and live the life you want to live.
He'll be right there supporting you all the way.

Along with all of us out there that support you.


Congratulations Jeff.
=]
Reply
:iconnikkinavaille:
NikkiNavaille Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
I'm very happy for you :) this is very inspiring. You're an inspiring person and have inspired me by how you've overcome such a great loss.
Reply
:iconnikoo-straydog:
Nikoo-StrayDog Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008
maybe I misunderstand something cause I cannot speak english and my grammar...
but maybe I understand it and in that case I'm envy. cause, I wanna be like him, to anybody. :hmm:
Reply
:icontharshinaa:
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Um... please check your signature. It's funny you overlooked it. XD
Reply
:iconnikoo-straydog:
Nikoo-StrayDog Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009
D:
which part? :o
Reply
:icontharshinaa:
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This one:

98% of all teenagers are bad at math. If you're one of the 5% who are good at it, paste this into your signature.

XD Hey, I apologise if I sounded offensive, OK?
Reply
:iconnikoo-straydog:
Nikoo-StrayDog Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009
yay, haha, it's OK, I thought the japanese one is the wrong. :)
but the english one is a joke, so it's OK in this way... :D
Reply
:icontharshinaa:
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well, I could read the Japanese one a little, but since I'm still learning, I made allowances for pros like you. :3 ehehe! Hahaha, if the English one is a joke, it's a darn GOOD one, then!

Thanks for verifying that with me, Nikoo-chan! Once more, I apologise if I had caused offense. You seem like a very sweet person, so ... Hope to bump into you more often~! :)
Reply
:iconkimcheese:
kimcheese Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008
Congratulations! Beautiful letter, I'm sure it would bring a smile to his face :heart:
Reply
:iconstarryangel13:
starryangel13 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
I love your art, and this entry is full of irony for me. It is your art that reminds me of my love that I lost 2 years ago. I am finally coming to terms with that loss, and it is so wonderful to hear that you are as well. He ripped my heart out with his actions, and your heart was crushed with loss. It doesn't really matter why we lose people, it only matters that we use that loss and grow because of it.

You are truly inspirational. Particularly in the way that you are so open to people you don't even know. I wish you absolutely nothing but the best!!!! Good luck in January and keep your chin up!
Reply
:iconohxeverlasting:
ohxeverlasting Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
I don't know what to say to this, but I'm happy that you've moved on and are using your memory of him to fuel your art.
Reply
:iconlusant2:
lusant2 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
the more i learn about you the more i like you a very sweet letter although sad *hug*
Reply
:iconthe-bloody-witch:
The-Bloody-Witch Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
Good Luck to You! :heart:
Reply
:iconbloodxofxangels:
BLOODxOFxANGELS Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
you said it in such a beautiful way.
I hope you´re doing fine now.
:hug:
Reply
:icongotchis:
gotchis Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
its good of you to follow those original dreams, it cannot have been easy and i cannot begin to understand what you went through but its nice to see you come out the other side, and turn that pain into stength,
good luck
Reply
:icondontdislucky:
DontDisLucky Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Omg that so sad... Im so sorry...
Reply
:iconcelina-chan:
celina-chan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
Congratulations! You're gonna go on to do amazing things. :]
Reply
:iconlittlefiresprite:
LittleFireSprite Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008   Writer
This was sad yet comforting.

Losing someone is always hard but if the bond you shared was close, well, I like to think that they watch over you, from where ever they are.
Reply
:iconleccah:
leccah Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
You make me cry. You're such an inspiration. I wish you all the very best with your scholarship. :heart:
Reply
:iconhikaru-faoiltiama:
Hikaru-Faoiltiama Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
A very wise person once told me that who are as a person is a direct outcome of the experiences-the joys and sorrows-we have had and how we respond to them.(I believe his exact words were "Who you are is dependant on how you looked for the light switch in the dark and got back up after stepping on the broken glass and tripping over the crates of wine.")
He also gave me quite the beating when I moped for days after I found out my friend had months to live, dying from a cancer we thought she'd gotten rid of.

So go to that school and kick some serious ass! I'm sure I'm not the only DeviantARTist who's been waiting for you to get back on your feet.

Best of luck!

-Nel
Reply
:iconloyanini:
loyanini Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
those we love and have loved are never really gone.
Reply
:iconkiriyama-nox:
Kiriyama-Nox Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
Congratulations.

Not only for getting into the major you wanted, but also because you grew up as a person.

Sometimes, it looks like all the shit that happens is difficult, but there's always a reason behind it. I see you've learned and the path ahead of you is going to be full of glory and also, it will have sad times. That's what life is all about.


Congratulations. You're on your way to become an apotheosis.
Reply
:iconash99:
Ash99 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist
I feel like some sort of spy, seeing something so personal, but you put it out there, intended for it to be seen... this touched me. Made me tear up. He would be so proud of you, amazed, as I am. The legacy of his life is living on through you, and you honor his memory so beautifully through your words and your art. I'm sure he'll be with you that first day, and smiling the whole way through. The best of luck to you, friend.

-Ashes
Reply
:iconpadfootsmyhero:
padfootsmyhero Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
:heart:

That really touched me. I've 'watched' you for my entire highschool career, and I don't know if I have the right to say this, but, I'm proud of you, and I'm sure that he is too.

Good luck Azu! I know you'll kick ass, and I'm glad that you know it now too.
Reply
:icondakarah:
Dakarah Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
I just wanted to share that music, -Useless Information-,by Apparat. I don't think it's the best way to cheer you up, but if you have time, I hope you'll appreciate it. > [link]
:thanks:
Reply
:iconcolorin-productions:
colorin-productions Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Student General Artist
Wow!! That is very inspiring and sad at the same time! I'm glad to hear that something that was initially sad and made you weak, right now is making you stronger and driving you to be better every day. Congratulations! And I'm sorry for your loss...
xoxo,
-Malú-
Reply
:iconvisions-and-dreams:
Visions-and-Dreams Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
that was truly beautiful. u are truly lucky to have such an amazing muse
Reply
:iconblithegirl:
Blithegirl Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional Filmographer
this is a rather emotional entry
i wish i knew more but i read that you're coming to art center.
welcome, see you in the spring.
Reply
:iconimaginaryending:
imaginaryending Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
This is.... beautiful.
Congrats on the acceptance, and good luck
Reply
:iconmistakes:
mistakes Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
rock on, you got this
Reply
:iconaixkiraixjisatsu:
aixkiraixjisatsu Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
You impress the fuck out of me, you know that? If anyone can do it, you can. I believe in you.
Reply
:iconorangetablet:
OrangeTablet Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
always and forever, be strong Jeff. :)
Reply
:iconsapphire911:
Sapphire911 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
*hugs upon hugs upon hugs*
Reply
:iconsilentimus:
silentimus Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
simply awesome. =D
Reply
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December 18, 2008
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