This past July I met a beautiful bright eyed gal with an accent I had never heard. Bronwyn, a New Zealand native, introduced herself to me as Bronny and quickly followed that up with, “I want Kiwi’s!” Now, in a normal social situation that seems a little weird but one hour, countless cocktails and four breast prints into a Breasties Bachelorette party, “I want Kiwis” was closer to the sane side of the spectrum. So without hesitation I grabbed the lime green paint (in this case Kiwi green) and started explaining the print process. Being involved in her own ventures of philanthropy she respected the concept and approached it with positive energy. When she left the room I remember looking down at the bright kiwi green breast prints thinking – that’s a girl that knows what she wants!
Since that day I have been painting the Breasties Bachelorette collection. I am so grateful for all the ladies and one man that produced a print and brought so many fun and challenging concepts to the table. But there was something about Bronny’s passion for Kiwi’s that represented home to her, that heightened so many different emotions. After my first meeting with Bronny we exchanged a few emails so I could get a better idea of what exactly she wanted. I know, I know – the girl wants Kiwi’s, but why?! She explained to me that she grew up in New Zealand and kiwi’s are native to the land and represent her NZ heritage. She also asked me to incorporate “Maori Korus” and a fern which are symbolic to her homeland. I quickly went to Google (naturally) and researched “korus” and the NZ fern. I found beautiful depictions of the native green fern that make New Zealand so breathtaking. From there, I had a vision and Bronny’s painting was underway!
I incorporated different hues of green to represent the green land of New Zealand of course, and the fern down the center of the painting. The pink curvy ‘B’ on the left is to represent Bronny and the white ‘cloud’ that reads ‘Aotearoa,’ which means ‘long white cloud,’ was also incorporated because Bronny explained to me that aotearoa was a nick-name for New Zealand because of the clouds that float above the beautiful green country. With so much heritage and symbolism put into this painting, it’s safe to say that Bronny loves it. After seeing her painting via email, I asked Bronny if I could get some more background information about her NZ roots so I could write a blog about the beautiful artistic journey her strong NZ heritage has taken me on. She sent me back a story that had me so impressed and it was then I realized yet, another reason why I love doing what I do. I usually read and re-write in my own words for my blog but in this case I felt her story is better told by her. Below, please read the email response I received from Bronny after asking to hear her story.
Taking one dream, dreaming it in detail and putting it in your own hands and seeing its final outcome clearly in your mind, and then believing in yourself – This is a quote that has stuck with me since I was a young teenager and when I pursued the dream of coming to America to study I did just that. I proved to myself and many others who doubted me that mind over matter really works and that having total faith in yourself is what makes you successful. This painting you have done for me shares and captures my ‘whirlwind’ journey and dealing with the struggles to stay in this country. I love living here in San Diego but I will always call NZ home. I moved out here in 2006 and completed a year recipricol exchange at UCSD – I then went home, graduated and worked in City Planning before being able to find another visa to allow me to come back here in 2009. I have fought the Visa battles for a few years and have been successful in attaining a work visa now for the couple years – I hope to stay here though for a weeee while yet. I am originally from West Auckland but moved with my parents when I was 10 to Tauranga – a little beach town in which most people call “god’s little waiting room” because that’s where a lot of people retire. To be fair also the Kiwi Capital is just down the road from where I live called Te Puke. In addition, I spent some time before moving here slaving on tipping kiwi vines (tipping is tipping buds on a kiwi vine to prevent the fruit from over growing and getting heavy then perishing to the floor). its quite an agonizing job being on your feet with your arms up in the air tipping buds all day but also kinda fitting for me to represent my breasts since I have always had to work hard to get anything I ever wanted. I mean, Success is doing the best you can, in as many ways as you can, its being true and honest – not just in a few things but in everything you do. I truly feel like this piece captures my heritage and I really appreciate you taking so much time to create all this line work.
After reading this e-mail I felt inspired by Bronny’s accomplishments and her will to succeed. She said and has proven that, “Success is doing the best you can, in as many ways as you can, its being true and honest – not just in a few things but in everything you do. This quote from Bronny and Bronny herself will forever be my reminder to always do my best in every aspect of life and never let anything keep me from pursuing my dreams.
Bronny – you are incredibly courageous and an inspiration to all. Keep up the hard work and your pursuit of happiness. You ROCK and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet you.
Peace, Love & Kiwi’s