Ever since I can remember, I’ve looked up to Leonardo da Vinci. I told myself when I was 10 that when I grew up, I wanted to be the renaissance woman to Leonardo da Vinci. I loved the era itself but da Vinci gave me inspiration. Maybe it was because he was a lefty just like me. But I more inspired by his ability to delve into so many different areas and even excelled at most of them (I say most because while he was good of drawing terrifying machines, he wasn’t great at executing them thankfully). From Artist to Engineer, he tried his hand at everything. Like many people, I crowded in front of the Mona Lisa to try and get a good look at the mysterious painting. While the Mona Lisa is probably his most infamous work, he was much more than an artist. The flying machines found in his journals have been built to full-scale and some have proven successful. Today’s technology would prove most of these designs useless, but he was thinking about something that would happen many years later. His work on the anatomy of the human body transferred over into his realistic drawings of the human body and animals. As a young child of 10 or 12, I was a little disturbed to find out that Leonardo da Vinci would dissect human bodies in order to understand them more. Even today it makes me a little queasy. But his detailed drawings in his journals helped many understand the inner workings of the human body.
And his journals! The ideas were so great, even to Leonardo da Vinci, that he wrote backwards. Whether you believe it was for secrecy or just a way of being more efficient for a lefty, the young me was enamored. I still attempt to write backwards but to no avail. The school system has done it’s job in teaching me to write the “proper way,” leaving me with marks all over my left hand. Getting over my lead covered hand, Leonardo da Vinci’s journals were full of discoveries.
Another interesting fact about Leonardo da Vinci is that most people think ‘da Vinci’ was his last name. His name was actually Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. The ‘da Vinci’ meant that he was from the town Vinci.
It is an interesting fact, but not a reason for why he inspires me. Through his life, he kept his mind active in the art and science realm. If he wasn’t actively dissecting bodies, he was active in his personal journal. Leonardo da Vinci taught me that its important to keep learning. That’s one of the reasons I love architecture and art. Art and Architecture are always evolving. Technologies are always changing. There are new styles and new mediums. We are continually learning and evolving ourselves. Today, I am still inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s work. I aspire to evolve and I feel that I’m doing it at this very moment. I graduated in architecture and took that work/creativity and am now using it in a different way. I am by no means anywhere close to the man that was Leonardo da Vinci, but he is a continuing part of my creativity.
So I’ll end this post with a question. Who was your greatest inspiration growing up? And are you still inspired by them?