"This Crazy Little Dream" is a story about a black sheep of a family, that turns out to be as colourful as life, a story about emigration / immigration, arts and the American dream.
Crossing borders not only of countries, but also in our head - thinking out of the box - is one of my life themes. I emigrated from Germany to France, living as an paper artist, book author and paper jewellery maker at the beneficially open EU-border between both countries. We have three languages and can enjoy the best of all cultures.
I knew that my family has a long "tradition" of emigrating from Slavic countries, just looking for a better life or escaping political cruelties. Until today I lived with a family lie, that all my relatives in the USA had never been artists, with the exception of one. Our black sheep, I call him Gladstone in my sketchbook. He vanished, he must have been wrecked, never become an artist, warned my mother. She only accepted workers ... and rich people. I loved drawing, painting, writing stories, but artist as a profession was forbidden.
Fortunately on a long term my parents were wrong. Firstly I worked as a journalist, later I became a writer. Short time ago I began to live my dream, creating jewellery from paper and glass art, creating art journals, collage and assemblage art. Getting a sketchbook from New York made me curious about my family, who emigrated to the USA in 1923.
Surprise: There were so many artists! Our black sheep Gladstone is one of the creators and artists of the famous hand-painted billboards on Sunset Strip. Another one worked on the Art-Nouveau doors of Perseverance Hall in Cleveland.
The research felt like a therapy: I suddenly understood my mother. Her father was the only one of several siblings staying in Europe. He had visa for the whole family, invitations, but they never travelled. In my sketchbook I learned what such a separation does to a family and how they had to survive it - the emigrants as well as the remaining ones.
Even more important: You have to learn how to find your personal dream and how to live it. With my sketchbook I could close some circles of my life. The greatest adventure for me was sending it over the sea to the town, where once upon a time my family landed and dreamed this American dream. Is it serendipity, that I am now living close to the town, where Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was born? He was the creator of the Statue of Liberty.
Find more about me on www.cronenburg.net
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