Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Incredible Woman #25 - Kendra Burton. Tuesday's Question

KARA: "Can you tell us about your artwork? What inspires you to create art? What kinds of things do you try to capture? What is your favorite piece of art that you've created?"

KENDRA: "I drew pictures of make believe friends on my bedroom closet walls when I was a little girl. Then as a ten year old I would sit on the family boat and try to figure out how to paint the ever changing water formations surrounding us. After studying art history and theory in college I attended a seminar on seascapes with an instructor from Oregon which opened the door to a whole new chapter in my life.

I see inspiration for my artwork in nearly everything around me. Once my six year old granddaughter told a store clerk, "My Nana thinks everything is beautiful. She takes pictures of everything!" Sometimes it's simply a curve or a shape. Other times it is a combination of colors that captures my attention. The most important aspect to me is the emotion and message that can be delivered through art. I have observed people's eyes fill with tears in response to seeing some of my painting and I feel it has touched something deep inside when this happens."

KARA: "How did you become a public speaker? Are you ever nervous in front of a crowd? What topic do you speak on? For those of us who would like to try public speaking - is there some advice you could give us?"

KENDRA: "I gained confidence being in front of a crowd by singing with my four sisters many times in many places. Our parents took every opportunity to have us perform in front of others. Over time it became more routine and we were prepared which gave us confidence. Years later, when a producer asked me to host an art instruction program for television, I practiced for days speaking out loud, getting used to my own voice, changing intonations and expressions and visualizing what it would be like in front of the three studio cameras. Even though the experience still brought a lot of "butterflies", it became easier because of the preparation.

The best advice I can give others about feeling more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd is to realize that everyone has a "story" and most people are searching to find a personal sense of value and purpose. When we share stories of life's experiences we can connect with others on a deeper level and we can learn valuable insights from each other. I have also learned that it is okay to relate stories of struggles, honest feelings and imperfections because most of us on a daily basis are trying to rise above our challenges and to become stronger through our adversities.

For me it becomes easier to speak to others when I have personal feelings of energy and emotion about the subject that deal with our human and spiritual experiences. My husband, Dave, and I have given presentations to medical groups, school and church organizations, benefits etc. The themes have included such topics as: "The Refiner's Fire", "He Restoreth My Soul","Created in His Image:You are a Masterpiece", "Marriage" and "Adoption"."

Tomorrow, I'll ask Kendra about the lessons she learned working for her father, and about her trials. Please come back and join us.


Karen said...

I love speaking in public and I'm a little bit jealous of people who get to do it on a regular basis.

I also love the whole idea that everything is beautiful. Because I agree with that, too!

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