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An Artful Being

My story.  Where exactly do you start but from the beginning?  I was born with the name Raissa Veronica Feledick.  Just try to have that name and be an introvert.  The ultimate of icebreakers is having a unique name but for an introvert, it can be your worst nightmare.  Every new school year was the teacher getting to my name, pausing, and then trying to pronounce it.  By the way, it’s pronounced “Rye – e – sa” and rhymes with Lisa and Theresa.   Sometimes I would let them try and other times I would just raise my hand and say “that’s me” because honestly if they tried to pronounce Feledick it rarely came out well.  Each introduction would come with questions, “What does your name mean?”, “How did you get that name?”, “Were you named after someone?” and if they weren’t trying to read it, one of my favorites is “How do you spell that?” which after spelling for them there would be a nod and the statement “so how it sounds”.  In my head, I’d think “um no, but ok”.  At the time naming your child something unique was not as prevalent as it is today.  I fully believe that there is a preconceived notion when it comes to people’s names so what exactly is a “Raissa”?
So that is how my introverted life started, with my name, that drew attention at every first meeting, and I despised it.  To top it off I was fat.  I could say that in more a more politically correct way like “overweight” or “heavy” but that wasn’t what I was called when I was young.  I was called “fat”, “obese” and my favorite was at Thanksgiving being compared to a Butterball turkey.

Needless to say, I found every possible way of hiding.  I think introverts naturally do but when you need to expend that much energy on each introduction you are exhausted before you even have gotten started.  You want to retreat and in many cases just not go places so you don’t have to introduce yourself.

So my story has many sub-stories associated with it but this is where it starts.  I have learned that the best way to express myself is through writing and painting.  That the silent acts of writing and painting tap into the creative part of me and give me energy.  My voice has always been silent but like many introverts, I do have something to say and my voice can be heard through my writing and my vision of the world through my painting.  Both of which make up the Artful Being that I am.

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Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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