Creating art is powerful. However, the healing process of art making could be even stronger. Zave Nelson, a Michigan artist, has always had art be a part of his life. He has a unique story. Nelson grew up never knowing his mother. When he was younger, it was hateful and spiteful for not meeting his mom. Art has helped him cope with this lost relationship and has humbled him. “I know she loves me and she is just not ready to be around right now.”
Nelson is a self-taught artist. He believes in education but it wasn’t what he wanted to do and wasn’t a part of him. He can become an artist without it. There is a phrase that has stuck with Nelson throughout his life that his grandmother once said to him: “You never want to learn from the books from school. Even though you were a good student you always learned through life.”

Nelson’s grandmother has been the most inspiring and impactful person in his life. He grew up going to church, one of which that his grandma led. Nelson’s work has spiritual subject matter and/or themes. His childhood left a mark on what he wanted to create. Even though Nelson left the church due to the politics, he respected the time he spent growing with his grandmother. “From being out in life I came to know what I believed and started creating art. Art is your inspiration, your beliefs and your vision.”

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