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  • Manda Villarreal and DNA test?!

After our class make-a-thon, I decided my next step into my project would be to start developing my family tree, and to get as much info as I can about my family line through that method/tool. As Robert put it at our first meeting together in my studio, I will be gathering "data" about my family, usually this found material from the past to create my project. This "data" definitely includes my family tree!

As of right now, I have the free trial of the genealogy family tree site. It is has been incredibly helpful so far! And addicting lol. I'm learning so much about my family already, and I'm getting farther then I originally thought I would. My next goal for myself in this project is to start applying for artsengine /IP grants ASAP so I don't have to keep paying for my ancestry account on my own for this project.

I'm also contemplating getting a DNA test to go along with the family tree. I've heard a million reasons NOT to do it (health insurance liability, I guess the government can get ahold of it, etc.) which is definitely unsettling to say the least, but at the same time I think it will be really helpful for my project. Artists take risks for their art projects! And I know it would be extremely helpful, and honestly, I'm so curious as to what it will say. I'm guessing, I will eventually do the DNA test for the project, because I'm running out of reasons why I shouldn't. After my meeting on Wednesday with Ashley and Kelly (Robert is in the north pole!), Kelly gave me the advice to also apply for grant money and use that towards my DNA test, and in fact get my whole family tested if I can. I never thought about the benefits of getting my whole family DNA tested, so that will be something I have to look more into! But step number one - I got to apply for the grant!!!

Here I also included some images from my ancestry family tree. There is so much info I can't capture it in just one image!

For one of my "deeper dives" I plan on creating my own singular family tree infographic in illustrator, to help me figure out how I will organize this information in my book. Which will hopefully be easier to visualize and comprehend!

- Manda V.

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