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Who Am I? by Jonathan a.k.a. Sundawg

Have you ever wondered who you really are? I mean, who you are deep down inside? Sometimes when I am in complete solitude, my mind will go into loop and I wonder to myself: who am I? What am I? This body that I carry is just a shell. A sacaghogus if you will. Then my body goes numb. My eyes grow double the size in shock like they’re about to pop right out of their sockets; salty buckets of water blur my vision. I feel like crying. Why? What am I afraid of? Is it me? The real me? Or am I confused and lost and need to be found. I don’t know. Maybe this is why I feel this way. Because I don’t know.

Sundawg Artist Bio

       During my 8th grade year, I had a reading teacher who influenced the way I think in ways I couldn’t even imagine. He made me ask myself deep questions to help me better understand myself and even my existence. Ever since, I continued to ask the “golden question” that I think most people encounter at least once in their lifetime, “Who am I”? Over these past 6 weeks in My City My Voice  I’ve realized that I am not just one exact thing. I am many things all put together to create one whole, just like the body is composed of multiple organs and veins, each having their own individual function which contributes to the making of the body and its abilities. I am rare just like a sun dog, an atmospheric phenomenon that creates a halo-like figure around the sun which doesn’t occur very often.

      My colleagues suggested this name for me because they thought I was “one of kind” and “rare”. I liked the meaning of the word and thought it best fit with my personality. I can be good, but also bad. I’m organized but my mind is everywhere. I’m influential for the good, but sometimes for the bad. I’m loud but - well, yeah I’m loud. Although I am all these things, there is no difference between you and I, or anything else in this universe. We just all paint different strokes to create this masterpiece we call “life”. Thats how it is here at My City My voice. All of us have different stories but we put them together to project one strong voice and tell one big story.

     As an artist, my life experiences inspire my artwork. Some places in my mind have different effects on what I create. But, above experiences and places, I’d say music has the biggest effect on my artwork. I think of music as art itself. You can do wondrous things with various sounds and give birth to a masterpiece. Some songs can paint lovely pictures in my mind, while others create unpleasant flashbacks of things I remember in my life. To me, music is everything. I can’t imagine a day where I’ll lose this deep internal passion for melodies and rhythms.  

Starturtle Artist Bio

My name is Elijah, and my artist name is Starturtle.

These are my skills: I can express my ideas clearly, I show up on time, I can talk in small groups, I’m creative, I can draw well and I am funny.

A place that is important to me is my house because that is where I make most of my drawings. I draw things mostly from cartoons and videogames.

The artform that I use the most is paper and pencil because when I mess up I can erase it. When I am done, I go color it with color pencil.

My process is that I find out what I want to draw, then I go to Google images to get inspired, and then I draw it. The last drawing that I made was the Pokemon Arceus because I was bored and had nothing to do.

A problem that I have is talking to new people. At work I had to talk to others. I just tried being myself. It was hard because I’m really shy.

But I learned to be myself because that’s what makes the world work.

                                  My advice to you is to be yourself.

Raven Artist Bio

Hi my name is Raven a.k.a Mikayla Duncan. I am fourteen years old and I live in Cambridge MA, and I was born January 22, 2000. I am currently going to be in the 9th grade, I am a kind, loving, sweet person. I love art, I  like creating things that are unique and different. I am a dance stepper, I have been stepping since I was eight years old it has always been my passion.  When I first started stepping it was at the West Cambridge Youth Center, and I was in a step class with 10 other girls that were like four years older than me but still I treated all of them with respect. At times I would mess up in a step routine but the girls were not mean they kept upbuilding me and helped me learn the all the step routines.  I think this is perfect for this job because stepping is a kind of performing arts. In My City My Voice we always create cyphers and I step to help create the beat while someone else raps and everybody in the group comes together to create a beat and we end up with something awesome.

I love writing. I especially enjoy writing blogs because I really love expressing myself and who I am. I got assigned to write blogs for the My City My Voice program. One skill that I have is drawing things I see precisely. I feel like with this skill I will be able to contribute a lot to  My City My Voice because I will be able to draw a visual of things that will help our presentation.This will help not only have a voice but also show a visual of art to defend our purpose.

Chill Artist Bio

I am chill, no matter what happens I’m always relaxed and composed. I’m easy going and I never let my emotions control me. My art is the same way. when i’m creating art I never allow any outside influences to affect the rate at which I work. I strongly believe that the creative process cannot be rushed or it is tainted. Throughout My City My Voice  I struggled when staff members and interns told me to create a specific work of art in a specific time, when I was I allowed to create art the way I wanted to at my own pace, I thrived. I can create art anywhere at any time as long as it isn’t forced. True art is never forced, True art is when an idea inspires you to create something, not the other way around. I came into work 15 minutes late one day and was required to to create a piece in order to atone for being late. At first I was stumped, I had no idea what to do, but then as we were having a group discussion, an idea for a poem came to me. I wrote the poem in no more than 5 minutes and then read it to the group. Everyone loved it and thought it was the best work of art I had created even though It took less time and effort than many of my other works. It made me realize that real art cannot be fabricated, it must come naturally.  

Get paid to be an artist!!!

Work for My City My Voice’s

“Gratitude III”

At the Gately Youth Center

70R Rindge Avenue

Earn money to be an artist and benefit your community through a public art community service project!

6-8 hours, 3 evenings per week

October 2nd – December 19th  2014

For more information, contact

The Gately Youth Center

(617) 349-6277

Owl Artist Bio

      I’m Owl and I’m inspirational. This summer of 2014, I was pulled into the job program called My City My Voice. Creative and intriguing, MCMV is the summer job site that sprung my vision in art onto a bigger level of skill.               Owl is the name my fellow colleagues came up with from the beginning of work. “Word In Me” was the technique we did together, as a group, to help everyone find their artist name in themselves. Art is important to everyone. Even if you can’t see that yet. I was first inspired by the way I grew up from the start of my childhood. As a kid, I moved all around different environments where each had an artistic meaning in what that domain is. Boston and Brockton are the cities I obtained the originality in art. For example, when I was young, tall buildings in Boston would hover over me from where I’d go. As they look down at me while I look up to those giants, I think a million ideas. About how much it has. All from where I’ve been before also has a true story to it.

   How it became that city.

   How it gained thousands to live there.

   How it also inspired me with art.

       Although art is not a skill I’m completely trying to focus on for my destiny, it still matters to me in an emotional way. When I look deep down into art, I see meaning. Motivation. Mood. Diversity. All types of fine art has their own definition, including what it expresses and how it took a lot of proficiency to create that foundation. My City My Voice is the place where we generate our own path of innovation. Incorporating everyone’s input and ideas, it’s what puts the spark in the path and pulls people into what we do. Poetry, storytelling, theatre and problem solving are the main aspects of this program that I’ve completed throughout the weeks of working.  All combined jointly creates in our topic: Duality.


Shark Artist Bio

My artist name is Shark. 

My skills are Art and learning new things.

All these places are important to me: Haiti, Cambridge, and the Gately Youth Center.

I make line drawings, paintings, and sketches.  Sometimes, I draw stories. Sometimes, I draw animals, and sometimes I draw my family. 


Slick Artist Bio

My Artist name is Slick. My real name is Ahmed Maruf.  My Word in Me is Slick because I am sneaky and wise in my everyday actions. Over these six weeks at My City My Voice, I have embodied the meaning of “Slick” more and more each day. I have definitely grown wiser over the course of the program. Each day I would learn something new from Bo, Zainab, Jessica, Mel, Becca and Paul. This great team’s enthusiasm, wisdom, experience, and skill greatly reflected through me and my art throughout the weeks. I have strengthened my creativity, communication, and networking skills far more than how they were at the beginning of the summer. Overall, I am largely thankful I was able to be a part of this program because it made me grow in innumerable ways each day. Thank you. 

Dollaz Artist Bio

My name is Dollaz. I am a strong athlete. I swim and play baseball for my high school, CRLS. I’ve thrown a ball since the age of three. In my youth I developed great hand eye coordination. I like to think I’m a very kind, smart person and that I have a good sense of humor. Basically I had a strong skillset going into My City My Voice yet I still improved significantly over the course of the summer. Over the summer we ran into many obstacles that we had to work around. I developed my problem solving skills. Problem solving skills that I used in real life. My sense of humor, though I thought it was good before, improved. My networking skills, learning to interact with new people, improved.

The baseball field is important to me when looking for inspiration for art. The baseball field is a place where I am calm, happy, and confident. I have many stories to tell about what happened on the baseball field. The best art form for me is story telling. Which is why the baseball field is very inspirational as an artist. As an actor performing my own piece or others my process is first to learn the piece I’m presenting. Learn the story well and make it my own. I rehearse in front of anyone, but generally my family or friends. I Get feedback and continue rehearsing until I feel confident about the piece. I think about giving the story justice when I perform while trying to inspire people with my words. I am not going to pursue an acting career however performing will help me in high school, college and my job which hopefully will be a business man.

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