Updated: Jul 26, 2021
I have known Edwin Gil for almost a decade and he is truly one of the most talented and inspirational people I have ever met. Kind, courageous, creative, and big-hearted would be a few words that come to mind as I begin to share his story.
Edwin came to the United States from Colombia, South America and has been in Charlotte for over 18 years. His life in Colombia was not without difficulty, and his decision to move to the US was a result of death threats. It was something most of us have never experienced but what Edwin shared with me was, “we all encounter difficulties, but it is through the adversity and the hard moments in life that make us stronger.” If this is true then Edwin is made of Titanium, the strongest metal on the planet. Although his parents and most of his family are still in Colombia he has made a good life for himself in Charlotte. His first job when he moved here was a restauración of paintings and framing and he currently teaches yoga as a side hustle and his primary job is inspiring young artists through his role as Art Teacher at Providence Day Middle School. Rumor has it that his students love him, and he uses yoga techniques in his class to help keep them grounded and focused. Beyond his day job Edwin is an ambassador for diversity and inclusion and he uses his art to unite people and communities. He has been commissioned to do art pieces all over the world and each project he does reflects his desire to advocate for inclusion and the importance of diversity.
Many of you who know him have witnessed firsthand what an amazing person, humanitarian, and artist he is. For those of you who don’t know him, you will get a glimpse of his talent and who he is as a person through his story and his art.
Enjoy reading Edwin’s responses to my questions and you will certainly hear words of wisdom from a man who has overcome a lot and has remained grateful every step of the way.
How long have you been an artist? All my life! I personally love this answer. To recognize your gift so early…. what a blessing.
What is your life’s purpose and what helped you find it? Using art to build bridges between people and communities. My hope is that it reminds us of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Where do you get your inspiration for your art? From life…. The daily situations that I live, the present moment, from my community, the country…. They all inspire me and bring a magical pallet of color that I use for my art.
How has art enriched or changed your life? Art is an amazing tool that has helped help me heal from some of my life’s trauma and has shaped me into the person that I am today.
What is the most powerful force on the planet? The below quote has always inspired me and answers this question.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance”. – John Lennon
What advice would you give someone who is struggling to find their purpose? I would tell them to listen to their own voice and to believe in themselves.
What advice would you give someone who is stuck in a bad situation? To remember that there is a lot to learn in adversity and that the hard moments in life are the ones that make us stronger.
What makes you happy? Painting in my studio and working with my plants.
What does healthy mean to you? Finding balance in my life mentally and physically.
How do you deal with stress? I fine balance on my yoga mat and it helps me to maintain balance in my life. Yoga definitely helps me deal with stress.
What empowers you to take action? When I realize that I have lost my vision because I have not been practicing self-care. It is in this awareness that I am motivated to get back on track.
How do you overcome challenges? By focus on my goals.
What is your favorite word(s) and why? You Can, because each of us has the power to make the changes we want to make and to achieve the things that we hope for.
What are 1 to 3 things in which you are grateful? To be alive, for the life that I have and to be who I am.
I am fortunate to call Edwin my friend and I close with this statement… Edwin lives his purpose with passion and integrity and uses his talent to give back by uniting people, communities, and the world through his art. I am inspired by and grateful for the people like Edwin who are rising the vibration for us all and making the world a better place. Edwin inspired me to share something that I wrote on INCLUSION.
Inclusion – pause to consider “There is power in the pause, especially if you stay there for a while to inquire. Your perceptions influence your thinking, shape your reality and impact what you believe to be the truth. Not reacting and pausing to inquire takes awareness and self-control, and through inquiry you can broaden your perspective, allowing you to see through and beyond your own filters. Letting go of what is familiar is the first step towards personal growth, and it can lead to greater acceptance of yourself, others and the world around you. Growth requires you to deepen and expand your understanding of the truth so that you can see things more completely and clearly. This is where the awakening and shifting occur, and the seeds of acceptance, inclusion and compassion can take root. Just like a tree, we are part of the same system… We are all connected”. – Terrie Reeves
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