By Nick Shook and Alyssa Morlacci
Martin Alvord was an aspiring artist.
At a young age, he began checking out library books about famous artists. He used them to teach himself how to draw and paint, despite the fact he was born with just two fingers on each hand. While growing up in urban Akron, Martin practiced graffiti on dilapidated buildings. Once a family friend asked him to spray paint his entire basement.
Martin pursued his passion for art in college, first attending the Cleveland Institute of Art and then transferring to Kent State. Despite many successes, Martin felt pressured when figuring out how to make his art profitable. He didn’t want to sacrifice his own creative freedom for the financial pressures associated with a college education.
Martin died by suicide on Nov. 13, 2011. His friends and family remember him as a fun-loving, comical young man with a bright future that was ended too soon.
Martin’s oldest brother, Phil Alvord, and college friend Eddie Kilroy reflect on Martin’s talents, hilarious personality and sudden departure.