When I was a kid, I lived and breathed art. I started ballet lessons when I was three years old, Romanian dance lessons when I was five, and piano lessons when I was nine. In between, I would spend as much time as possible filling little notebooks with pen and pencil drawings, inspired by the latest episode of Little House on the Prairie and the art instruction of Mr. Dressup.

Later in high school, when art classes became an elective, I made sure I took one every year and enjoyed them more than any of my other classes. So looking back, it comes as a surprise to me that I chose to pursue Linguistics in university when I could have easily put together a portfolio and applied for art college. But then I remember that I also had a passion and affinity for languages, and I was interested in learning more about them.

Well, fast-forward to now, and after years of working as a freelance writer/editor, I’ve come to realize that art and language are not unrelated. In my study of many languages, including Russian, French, and Coast Salish, I’ve often been impressed by the creativity of speakers and how their speech contains almost musical properties. Communication is definitely an art as vibrant as painting or sculpture, as I describe in this speech I did for a public speaking course at Camosun College:

So, Seinfeld, Van Gogh, and recycling aside, I’ve decided to call this blog “Painting with Words” and refer to myself as “The Artful Linguist” because I do believe that we are creating works of art anytime we use words. So whenever I edit someone else’s work, I strive to preserve their unique voice in the piece and bring out the vibrancy of their words without distorting their artistry. And anytime I write, I hope I am creating a vibrant piece of art that will be enjoyable and meaningful to readers.


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