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Interview with Nelson Long, Jr.
I have yet to go' Ė can you elaborate?
black and white, had to endure the social problems of the day that their men brought home. And in their homes, these women
became the mothers of man's problems and concerns. The woman that I draw shouldered burdens of unbelievable proportions.
For while her home life mostly was one of equality, her outside world incorporated social discrimination. In some cases; her
man warped this woman's mind; his hate of fellow man spilled over and burned a hole in her soul. She knew first hand what
discrimination was. Then, these women woke up. Stood up. Stepped forward and became once again the mother of humanity.
Look back at any social struggle in the past century and youíll see women in the forefront. Todayís woman has assimilated
too much into the games men play with one another. Power, money and covertness have replaced the tradition and honor of
being the stabilizing force of humanity. The women I draw had to raise children that numbered from five to twenty, many of
which werenít theirs. Todayís woman becomes stressed over just one child. Her state of mind seems to dictate the mood of
humanity. Look at our world today and youíll see the state of mind our women are in.
sing to our children. When I draw portraits I study the eyes and start there. The eyes tell me about the pain, happiness, hope
and mood of my subject at the time of the photograph. I transcend the photo and become one with the subject. God has
given me a gift to see, not just to look. Being only a mortal in the spiritual sense, I donít understand some of the visions
that overwhelm me. Instead of speaking about what I see, I draw. Humanity has a problem with visionaries when the vision
doesnít conform to traditional concepts. Am I being prepared for some monumental task? Or am I just one of many who
have attained a state of awareness through faith and self-reflection? Whatever the reason for these visions, I welcome
any task God puts before me for the good of humanity. I guess my inspiration actually comes from God, The Master Artist.
what is already there, what God has created. Humanitiesí natural resources are the mediums on the canvas of life. When an
artist illustrates a picture that shows feeling, depth, and the true nature of the subject, then the key elements have been
or the next morning. I love to have children around me to facilitate my imagination and theirs. I give them an idea of what can
be and in turn, these children search within themselves for the same gift. Having a woman sit there as I draw is also preferable.
As a man, I seek to impress her- not by what Iím doing, but by returning what she impresses upon my imagination - inducing
a creative flow within me.
present and future to send a message. My favorite male subjects are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stevie Wonder and
Michael Jordan. Iíve found that Jordan's image is conducive in teaching our youth the concepts of team play. The team
is the family that assists one another, rebounds from adversity, and sacrifices personal goals to achieve family goals. Above
all, the members of this family play the game of life to the best of their ability. In illustrating women, my mother is the perfect
subject. Many of my cards featuring womenís themes were drawn of my mother at different periods of her life. To me, this
was one of the best ways of honoring her.
Q: What is your personal goal in the realm of art?
completion of each day as a major accomplishment. current issue home