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Portraits of Tenacious People

A colorful collection of portraits of people who don’t give up easily.

Tenacious: tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely; pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.

AOC, 2021, 5 x 7 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

“We are fighting for an unapologetic movement for economic, social, and racial justice in the United States.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Ursula K. Le Guin, 2021, 5 x 8 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

Of the seven billion of us on this planet we each see the world in our own particular way. We act according to our values, needs, and passions. These passions lead to extraordinary outcomes like the bicycle, vaccines, kombucha, or science fiction movies?! How does that happen? How do people sustain curiosity and passion to create such  remarkable outcomes?

Passion + Tenacity = Wonderful Things!

How can I use my passions to bring about moments of wonder, peace, inspiration, or joy? It feels like a daunting challenge, so I research those who inspire me. Their passion is intoxicating. People who are passionate seem to have endless energy, they inspire me to keep at it, to be tenacious.

Go Boldly

I hope these remarkable people inspire you and remind you to chase your passions and go boldly; conquer (in a nice way). Life is short and you only get one go at it. If you find something that you love, that brings you joy, and makes other people better off you should hold onto it with a death grip, right? These people inspire me to do just that – I hope they inspire you.

Malcolm Gladwell, 2021, 5×9 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

“A lot of what is most beautiful about the world arises from struggle.”

Malcolm Gladwell
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 2021, 5×7 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) was a landmark Supreme Court decision that granted citizenship to a child born of Chinese parents living in the USA at the time of birth.

Oliver Sacks, 2021, 5×9 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

“I am very tenacious, for better or worse, If my attention is engaged, I cannot disengage it. This may be a great strength, or weakness. It makes me an investigator. It makes me an obsessional.”

Oliver Sacks from “A Leg to Stand On.”
Fiona Apple, 2021, 5×9 inches, Mixed media collage on paper

“If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can’t help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine”

“Extraordinary Machine” –Fiona Apple

“…grit grows as we figure out our life philosophy, learn to dust ourselves off after rejection and disappointment, and learn to tell the difference between low-level goals that should be abandoned quickly and higher-level goals that demand more tenacity. The maturation story is that we develop the capacity for long-term passion and perseverance as we get older.”

― Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success