I saw my first glimpse of real craftmanship when I was a kid. My Dad took me to an elderly care facility to give out Eucharist. Full honesty, I didn't want to go. It was depressing, smelled bad, I wasn't into church and I wasn't into visiting old people.
Until I saw this one hallway - covered in hand drawn portraits.
That someone could be so "old" in my mind, but so full of this incredible talent... it transformed the place for me. And I saw how it impacted the residents too.
I think that's when I really started to respect craftsmanship, and the elderly.
The portraits looked so real, I couldn't stop staring, I'd never seen anything like it.
That's when I decided I wanted to start heading down the same path as them and make it to their level one day.
As a kid, I never wanted to grow up.
Grown ups rushed around and did confusing things, they didn't "play" as often as I thought they should.
But seeing someone so advanced in age, producing something so beautiful, it made old age seem more like childhood, which was relatable to me, a kid.
Suddenly, there was this bridge between me and a generation I previously avoided. It brought something I thought was so far from me, feel so close to me. I wanted to see more of it and I wanted to have a try at it in return - a wordless conversation, using art as the language.
I saw it's power, firsthand, take me and the other viewers in that aged-care hallway, out of our circumstantial prisons and into a world of pure awe, appreciation and possibility.
If age is inevitable - if I absolutely have to get old - I want to get old mastering a skill like my elders have.