Another favorite project of this year is not a ketubah, but a truly one-of-a-kind painting that commemorated a meaningful journey.
I met Tim what feels like a lifetime ago, when I lived in Israel and coordinated an art program for students studying abroad in Israel. Tim was fresh out of high school when I got to have him as a student in my program. This was Tim back in the day.
I remember Tim as a creative, talented, thoughtful, and popular boy, who always had a curiosity about art, a positive attitude, and a smile on his face.
Now, so many years later, I had the privilege of reconnecting with Tim, this time as both an old friend and an art collector.
Tim reached out early in the year. He has been doing a lot of traveling and collecting a lot of art, and he had an idea for a very special piece he wanted for himself.
What I didn't realize at the time, but I understand now, is that Tim's painting would be a celebration of his self-discovery and self-actualization.
Here are the themes and elements Tim wanted included in his piece:
- self love
- urban scenery
- Water (waves)
- Boats (think pirate ship)
- Sharks and tropical fish
- Palm tree
- City skyline
- A rainbow
Tim had come an incredibly long way since we met. Until we reconnected, I didn't know the struggle Tim had endured -- battling depression, self-doubt and loneliness. Tim had overcome and learned to lean into his love of travel and adventure, to be confident and proud of the man he was becoming , and to celebrate himself as a whole, well-rounded individual. This painting was going to celebrate his hero's journey!
I decided to frame all the elements inside a figure. Here is the sketch Tim approved:
I got to work! Now here is something Tim requested which was a first for me in all these years of creating custom art.
Tim didn't want to see the art until it arrived at his door! This would mean no photo reveal, and no turning back. I am embarrassed to admit how nervous this made me, but, hey, what my collectors want, my collectors get!
I got to work.
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
The love you have for yourself is the greatest love story ever told, and that is what Tim decided to name his painting.
And then, without ever showing Tim the final product, I shipped it off to him and waited to hear back. It was the world's longest drum roll, before I received the video that made my year.
But that's not the end of this story!
You know how they say that you have to love yourself before you are ready to accept love from someone else? Well guess what wonderful news came out of 2020? Tim met his Bashert -- his beloved.
For Tim and Alex, 2020 was a joyous year, because they found each other.
They are now building a home together to build their family with Alex's son, Atlas.
Alex: This is something I didn’t think I’d ever have...a man who loves Atlas as much as he loves me. I had Atlas as a single dad and have focused on him for the past 7 years. Having Tim in our lives has added so much love and hope for the future.
Tim and Alex, I couldn't be happier for you both and for your bright future ahead! I hope that painting hangs in your home through many, many happy occasions.
I'll be following along and celebrating with you! You can learn more about Tim's journey and experiences on the Rudnick Rants Podcast. L'Chaim!