Nick Givechi: CANVAS: The Formation of Identity

Nick Givechi

In a 5 – 7 minute Spoken Word Poem, I illustrate the abstract concept of self, as we perceive ourselves to be, through the metaphor of being a blank canvas that the colors of diversity paint upon us as we develop from infancy into adulthood.

“I am a Canvas.
It was the world’s job to paint me before I ever made memories.
I once was a soft, little baby who viewed this world as a masterpiece, and each one of you were the masterful brushstrokes which waved at me — waving your own unique colors of life’s experience so gracefully over me, and I am your canvas.
I evolve as your vibrant, resilient painting, and I am one of the fortunate, because you — as my artists and co-creators — embrace me.”

This piece plays with the concept that we are all born “carte blanche”, and are taught shades of acceptance and ignorance, love and hate, activism and apathy; therefore, we are never truly living in a “me versus the world” mindset — no matter how often we’re taught the notion that we should look out for ourselves.  We create divisions when we forget that those who love us “paint” us accordingly; without those brushstrokes, we would be slightly less complete as a masterpiece.  We are all intertwined, and we are responsible to be self-aware that our beauty is a direct result of all the shades that complement each other to make us beautiful to look at: a portrait that equally gives every color equal spotlight on the eye.

“A world painted in the shade of only one color would truly be a boring world indeed, so don’t let the shade of all the past tell you what shade of all the pastels you should be.
If no one else tells you today, I love you, because you helped make me.

I did nothing except stand here, blank, and allow myself to be your Canvas.”