Adonia C. Middleton. Artist.

Being creative has always been an essential part of my life. As far as I can remember I have always been doodling on something, expressing myself through song and dance, and carrying out my unapologetic love affair with painting and drawing.  I really embraced this talent in high school, where I had the chance to participate in my school’s Select Art Program, an elective where students create pieces to represent the school at competitions.  It took another student dropping out and my art teacher campaigning on my behalf just to get me into the program (truth be told, they didn't think I was developed enough as an artist to be in it). So after winning numerous competitions, being voted President of the school’s National Art Society, taking the school to State in Competition (yes varsity jacket and all!) and receiving several art scholarships it didn't even matter that initially I wasn't accepted. No animosity, I "showed up and showed out" (something a friend expresses as being just as important as having the talent -- always be ready to perform).

So after a decade of artistic celibacy -- brought on by life's struggles, insecurities and distractions -- the need to get off was apparent. I produced a few pieces here and there, but couldn’t rekindle that old love affair.

Everything changed in 2011 when I was invited to present my work at Richmond's 1st Annual Tattoo & Art Expo. This opportunity prompted me to create new pieces, allowed me to show my work and meet other artists. I learned so much and fell in love again.  So here I am: I'm in love and committed to my artistic marriage. I have owned the title; I am an artist.