Creativity: Finding your Art by Christian Gomez is a powerful and thought-provoking story about three young friends, and how their childhood dreams are replaced by the need for material wealth. Tyrone is an eight-year-old boy who loves to paint landscapes. His friend, Mary, comes from an artistic background and her paintings depict all of the luxurious items that she soon hopes to own. The third friend, Rita, although not as talented, creates abstract paintings, and has no desire for anything but to share her paintings with those who appreciate them. As the friends turn into adults, their passion for creativity is lost to the trappings of materialistic possessions. Discover how losing their focus on what is truly important to them changes each of the three friends' lives. Will they ever realize the importance of being true to their true life's passion? The subconscious message within the pages of this well-written book is one of the most powerful I have ever read. The positive image of ethnic minorities of one of the characters was also very refreshing. The illustrations were of the highest quality too. The rhyming nature of the story would make it enjoyable for small children to read along with their parents. I feel it is the message behind the story that is the most significant. The author has cleverly shown how important it is for children never to lose focus on living their dreams, which are somehow lost for the majority of children when they reach adulthood through social pressure to chase material goods and not live true to your authentic self. The affirmations were superb and the note to parents again encourages them to support their children in their life goals.
Christian Gomez always wanted to write a self-help book, but after doing some research, he recognized a void in the African-American community – a lack of vocabulary ability. That’s when he decided to write a children’s book that would help kids improve their literacy and writing skills.
Christian’s first book, Creativity: Finding Your Art, was recently released and the 22-year-old Canarsie resident sat down with the Canarsie Courier for an exclusive interview.
“There’s a correlation between reading and literacy in the African-American community,” said Christian, who is African-American himself. “Many children are in special education because of lack of vocabulary ability. There’s a correlation with test scores and academic progression. Kids may have trouble understanding a question on a test because of limited vocabulary.”
Christian said he wrote Creativity: Finding Your Art to help stimulate childhood literacy. “My book is filled with intermediate vocabulary words with definitions in the back.” There’s also a section that contains a list of positive affirmations and space for kids to fill in their own uplifting adjectives.
Christian’s book, which is geared toward kids ages 7 to 14, is a 32-page poetic allegory, enabling his readers to think of multiple meanings and read between the lines in a story. The underlining story is about discovering true wealth and expressing your unique perspective to the world.
The author stressed the importance of reading aloud to young children. “Scientific studies show when a girl or boy is reading or read to, it helps them develop thinking processes and build a bond between parent and child,” Christian explained.
Although not a parent himself, Christian often reads to his 4-year-old niece who lives in the same household. “Children are like sponges. Why not help them when you have the capability?” That’s when the idea to write his own book began to resonate. “These books are not teaching anything. I could write a book myself,” Christian thought. He came up with the idea to pen his book as a teaching tool, as well as a bonding tool. “I don’t believe any other author gives a message like mine.”
Christian selected poetry for his first book because he says there is a beauty with words. “It’s wonderful when someone can speak with eloquence.” With poetry, Christian says, “I’m able to tell a story in a sort of musical message – but there’s no music.”
The young author always liked writing. In the eighth grade, he wrote a science fiction book that he never published. It wasn’t until last year that he started writing seriously, and it only took him two months to complete his first published book.
Christian gives a lot of credit to his family, who have influenced him deeply. All of the members of the Gomez family – Christian has four siblings - are creative. “I grew up playing music – guitar and piano – and composing songs,” he said. “I always wanted to experience whatever I could creatively – stretch myself and experience new things.” Last summer, he started painting and writing poetry. “I believe that when you find that creative energy within yourself and you add passion, you can accomplish anything you want.”
“I feel like when we focus on money, we are focusing on the prize or reward, not the actual talent. Look at someone on the Forbes list. I don’t believe their goal was money, but to bring a product to the world that would be helpful.” And that’s Christian’s goal with his new book.
Christian is a recent graduate of St. John’s University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting last May. He grew up in Canarsie and attended Christian Heritage Academy and Nazareth Regional High School. Today, he works as an analyst for the MTA, auditing construction jobs.
On Saturday, September 8th at 12 p.m., Christian will be holding a Read to Lead fundraiser event with parents, students and district officials at P.S. 289, located at 900 St. Marks Avenue. Proceeds from the sale of t-shirts, which cleverly read, “Readiness is not an option so we read,” will go to Reach Out and Read, a non-profit whose mission is to educate and stimulate children nationwide through literacy and family bonding. Christian will be reading his new book and will give away books at the event – on one condition, that parents agree to read to their children. There will also be a back-to-school giveaway and arts and crafts.
Creativity: Finding Your Art is available in soft and hard cover, as well as e-book format, and can be purchased on Amazon.com. Proceeds from the sale of Christian’s book will go to Reach Out and Read.
“My desire is to have a positive influence in the lives of children and to encourage those who read to lead. I look forward to inspiring those potential leaders through my storytelling,” Christian concluded.