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image  1 This is the work, The Only, by #milanablackman
January 30, 2023

This is the work, The Only, by She has done a few of these already including one of the and which features some of his past guests as well as one of the late “The Only” tells some of my life story. If you haven’t read either Can’t Hurt Me or Never Finished, some of these illustrations and the name of the piece may not make sense but to others it will be very clear. For those of you who read Can’t Hurt Me, you might recognize the image to be the same as is featured on the cover of the book however she uses my uniform as the story board of my life. You can see me as a young child, the 297lb version of me, the accountability mirror, the cookie jar, the ribbon rack on the uniform pocket to my smokejumping experience in the bottom right corner of the picture and many other key life moments in between. What is most amazing about this was the way she put the drawing together. She read Can’t Hurt Me, listened to podcasts and went on long runs (along with other things) in an effort to get deep inside my head to bring out my story within the piece itself. She is a great artist but I am even more impressed with how she attacks her work. While she was doing this piece, she hadn’t read my latest book, Never Finished, yet was able to capture the essence of what that book also reveals and that is that no matter how much you have achieved, we should constantly be trying to evolve into our best self. In the picture she illustrates that with the barrel and then the astronaut on the moon. The barrel signifies how I came from the bottom of the barrel and my drive keeps me reaching for the moon. Stay hard!
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