Jim Stoccardo is a painter in Seattle, WA. We talked for a bit about growing up and how he learned he was a bit of an introvert.
"I have 7 siblings who I mainly saw at home. The house was always crowded, so usually the minute I left I was happy to be off doing my own thing. Growing up in a crowded house, especially our first house in Miami, which was very very small, I had a strong need and urge to be off by myself... to get away from the chaos… we had a pretty chaotic, argumentative home when I was growing up. There were at least 3 kids per bedroom. I always found that annoying. Not everyone would go to sleep at the same time. I mean you're sharing a bed room with a bunch of kids, it's gonna be stupid. I was 16 when I finally got my own room."
"I think growing up in a large family, in a chaotic family, is one of the reasons I became a little bit of an introvert as an adult. I really cherish my downtime. I think on a gut level I knew at an early age that I was introverted. There was one moment as a child that always comes back to me... I had this stick that I was fond of as a child and I kept it out back. It was always out in the backyard. I had kind of created this fantasy world around this stick. I would plant it in the ground, it was about 6 feet high, a pretty big stick! It had lots of little broken off branches sticking out of it and what not. I created this fantasy world around it, where it was this vertical city. There were millions of little people living in that stick. It was miles and miles high. I found that fascinating. I used to imagine objects as places where millions of little people used to live. Even my bicycle was a traveling space ship. I had one spaceship... I mean bicycle... that I used to call the Dreadnought, cause it had a really cool looking handlebar.
I used to do that quite a bit as a kid. It was all in my head. To everyone else it was just a stick, sticking out of the ground... but not to me. I think when I would make those worlds around these objects, is when I really started to appreciate being alone within my own mind, and my own creative perspective on the world. And learned how to allow that to run free. So at an early age I enjoyed going off by myself, I could spend an entire day by myself pretty well entertained." - Jim S.