Builder by day Artist by night
I first met Lucas in 1998, I was hired by Ritz Camera in the Cape Cod mall to sell cameras, and film, as well as developing. Ritz Camera was a one hour processing store that sold the latest in film and digital cameras. I worked alongside him off and on for the next 4 years.
Lucas worked in the developing and processing side as opposed to the counter where the selling took place. We were having a conversation one day while he was cutting enlargements with the picture cutter and he asked me, “Alan, if you could have any superpower what would it be?” My response was “Well, Lucas, I would like the power to help rebuild the Human Spirit!”
Moving off of the Cape in 2004 I lost contact with him. I spent the next five years destroying myself in Fort Myers, Florida. But, I moved back to Boston in 2009 to Watertown, where Lucas and his wife Jenn reside now. Through the power of Facebook, I was able to reconnect with him. We really didn’t interact that much even after connecting but in 2010 when I started my own mental and physical health journey I had decided to ride for MS and so had Lucas. I was riding for my sister- in-laws mom, and for my Aunt Pam, who had been diagnosed with MS in 2009.
The ride was June 26th, 2010. We met in Quincy and rode to Provincetown over 2 days; 100 miles the first day and 75 the next. We stayed at the Mass Maritime barracks and enjoyed free food and beer. Lucas and I rode together for much of the first day and a lot of the second. When we weren’t together we would bump into each other at aid stations along the way.
It was great to have someone I knew beside me pushing me in those moments where it was hard to push myself. Lucas is a kind, kindred soul, and he would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
This story is about his struggle with childhood trauma and the social anxiety that has stemmed from it and still exists today.
In April of this year I was chatting on Facebook with Lucas and I asked him, “how’s it going?”
This was his response,
“Just more of the same... I'm broke, late on all my bills, my rents going up, I'm unemployed for approaching 2 years, I've had some really promising interviews and leads the past couple months... But they always seem to dry up or disappear even if I follow up and do all the things right so I'm getting really disheartened, I feel like a burden on my wife, and I've been stuck inside because I can't spend money, as money is a resource... Thank goodness it's getting warm enough where I can get back on my bike so at least I can be active, riding my bike thankfully doesn't cost money, but yeah... I'm overwhelmed frustrated and scared!” As you can read, this was a very overwhelming time for Lucas. Mental Illness is something that can make us feel hopeless and helpless at times.
Having been through feelings like this myself, I totally understood where he was coming from.
When Elizabeth and I decided to create this blog to highlight amazing, talented people, Lucas was one of the people I wanted to interview.
At the beginning of December I reached out to him to see if we could interview him. Lucas said, “Is it necessary to do it in person? because I don't have a lot of time over the next couple weeks... Plus my crippling social anxiety... I'd be happy to, otherwise.”
What follows is the interview Lucas and I exchanged via Facebook messenger.
Alan: “Lucas, when did you first realize you were creative minded, and how did it come to be that a pencil and paintbrush would be your tools?”
Lucas: “I have been drawing or painting pretty much my entire life, it is one of the first things I remember doing.”
Alan: “How about woodworking?”
Lucas: “It stemmed from necessity, I have been doing woodworking and Carpentry for over 20 years and wanted to find some creativity in it and slowly but surely it has progressed to what it is now.”
I asked him about his Anxiety and where he might feel it stems from.
“ I have a few ideas on that, I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional household and then in my 20’s I worked for family members who thought that they could re-parent me better. Let’s just say that didn’t turn out well,” he said.
How do you deal with your family and the pressures and Anxieties that arise from interacting with them?
“I don’t actually, I have disconnected from most of my immediate family because of all the trauma and dysfunction that are associated with them. I was diagnosed not only with generalized Anxiety Disorder, but PTSD from Childhood and Adult trauma as well. I have learned to use medication, talk therapy and creativity to be somewhat stable.”
Through all these things, art and woodworking have always been there to take his mind off what he could not control.
Lucas’ grandfather Ernest was in WWII and a Master Carpenter by trade. He grew up in the Sutton/Grafton are of Massachusetts and Lucas admired him, mostly from afar.
“I admired my grandfather but I don't think I ever had the opportunity to be as close to him as I would have liked. I Think I admire him more now looking back than I ever did when I was younger,” Lucas said. He will have passed away 12 years ago this coming May.
Lucas is 43 years old, went to high school on Cape Cod, in his own words “I survived high school!” He studied Illustration and Design at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in Somerville, Ma. Lucas is also the owner operator of Astroluc Creations where he brings the beautiful art of canvas or wood to life that lives inside him.
Working in the city and the daily grind just kept weighing on him. After years and years of just existing, Lucas quit his job and set out on a new adventure. But, no matter how talented he is with a pencil, brush or skill saw, working for someone else as a tool instead of as a truly gifted creative is still taking a toll on him. “I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop so being happy about anything is quite a struggle,” he said. Living with Social Anxiety can be completely crippling at times.
If you are reading this and need someone to make a beautiful table or to do an ink portrait of your yoga practice I cannot recommend any human more. It is time for Lucas to start thriving on his terms in his time, let’s help him see just how truly BADASS he is!
Lucas isn’t just my friend he is someone we would all be better for knowing.
To find Lucas on instagram click here