I made an effort this year to increase my presences on social media. I produced art and shared it. I engaged with other artist and creators. I networked, completed a 100 day project on Instagram and started to receive some feedback and followers from in the online world.
Then I disappeared from social media.
Here's where I went...
Recently I made the choice to go back to school. Cue Billy Madison. As a self taught artist I sometimes feel like I am not as knowledgable as I could be in so many mediums. I have taught myself Illustrator and Photoshop, but there are so many times I have thought that maybe I am doing things the hard way or not utilizing programs or supplies properly. I longed for critiques and feedback from both professors and classmates alike.
I also never finished college and with my babies almost both in full day school themselves, I thought that this would be as good as time as ever to finish.
So here I am back at school. I wanted to start off slowly, so I only took one class this semester. I also wanted to be out of my comfort level so I took a drawing class instead of something in thegraphic design world. This was so out of my comfort level, because I do not consider myself a good "drawer". I don't sit down and draw objects, or landscapes or people often. And when I do draw it is on my iPad. In a program where I can erase with the swipe of my finger, not on paper where I constantly erase, leaving marks and smudges. I like type and letterforms. I like being able to click a button and have two points connect to make a totally straight line. The idea of shading terrified me.
I was also pretty worried about being an older student. I was convinced that the kids in the class would see me like this:
But getting out of my comfort zone is what I really wanted to do, so I jumped in.
The first class, I showed up with ALL of my supplies already (I went on the website and got the syllabus). Not one other student had their supplies with them. I felt like a big geek.
During the first critique the professor told me that I could benefit in taking the cubes home and practicing more. I felt like a super failure. Even though my portfolio review had approved me for this class, I felt like I should have started at the most basic beginner class.
I felt so out of place and exhausted. We drew for 4 hours, standing up the whole time. I was totally not used to this.
I am now 6 classes into the semester.
While I can say that I do not dread the class anymore, it is still tough. However I am giving myself the grace I need to continue. And with that grace I am starting to enjoy the drawing. We worked with charcoal last week, a first for me, and I really liked it. I have been looking at the world differently, seeing what I can draw, how everything in this world is from a cube or a sphere. I have been drawing as much as I can (and my kids allow). I can see some improvement.
My anxiety and self doubt may rear its head in the next couple of weeks when the nude models show up. Until then...
There is still snow on the ground but finally seeing like there is a light at the end of this winter tunnel.
So last week was a long one. It started with an anxious heart and ended for me (and oooooo I don't know, maybe a couple of million people around the world) on one of the most uplifting and inspiring days of my life.
I participated in one of the sister marches of the Women's March in Trenton, New Jersey on January 21st. I would have been in Washington DC except it was my daughter's 4th birthday and there was birthday cake to be eaten. My daughter doesn't understand the issues that are at hand and even though I would be marking for her rights along with all children's rights, it did not feel right to spend the whole day away from here. So to Trenton I went.
In total hindsight, I am so glad that I went to the Trenton March. I listen to and was introduced to many women, local women, who discussed why they march and what we can do to fight. I was introduced to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, someone I look forward to following, learning about and supporting in the future.
The most inspiring reason I was thankful that I went to Trenton to March was listening to Edith Savage Jennings. A wise women that has been fighting her entire life for these damn issues. I was so happy to stand there and listen to her and discover another strong female warrior role model. And to really listen to her when she said:
"I beg and implore you - do not let this be your last march."
"I truly pray this movement will send a message: we will not stand for anything that is not right,"
Don't worry Edith, this will not be my last stand.
So 2016 was a (small, very small, tiny) start to getting my work out there and actually getting paid for it. While I love to create, will always create in the future, making money while doing it is the goal. I want to share my art and create (which is what I want to be doing whenever I have a free minute) but another huge driving force is that I also do not want to have to go back to my full time job when these babies of mine are grown. I want to be able to create full time.
My Goal: To post something to this site weekly. Planning on a Friday but we will see where the words and images land. I want to share my new discoveries, current obsessions and even things I am late to the game about (like this Solange album... I CAN NOT STOP LISTENING!)
I already have another goal/challenge to myself on my Instagram page. The 100 day project. I wanted to challenge myself to create everyday. And share that work. Don't overwork it. Don't think too much about it. Just art dump it into the collective space of the internet. So scary. But I think that it will help me with the need for things to be complete or "perfect". Whatever that word actually means.
So Hello 2017! Let's do this!
It is Leap Day... Can you imagine being born today? I have always been wondered if Leap Day babies loved or hated having it as their birthday. And when do you celebrate it on a non leap year.
Leap Day kinda fits into my whole "time" research lately. I have been reading a book on leisure time, if it really exists, do we make ourselves feel busier than we really are, men vs. women and leisure time, all the damn questions we (or at least me) ask ourselves daily.
Two quotes from the book that stood out for me...
"To be at leisure, to be idle, is to be irrelevant." - Daniel Gross
"Leisure, open to the world and the marvel of the present" Ben Hunnicutt
I guess I am just wondering which quote I want to be.
Anyway... Here are some fun things that I have been checking out lately
Can't wait to visit Stone Brewery during our San Diego vaca... New Favorite
What artist doesn't LOVE Wes Anderson? This is amazing
GIVE ME ALL OF THE HOUSE PLANTS... This service could be addicting..
And finally... Jessica Hische what an inspiration you are to artists every where.
The HEY (above) was one of my entries to the Minted x Pottery Barn Kids x PBteen Wall Art Challenge. Voting is closed and now comes the wait for winners to be announced.
I found the Minted community almost 3 years ago. I entered one challenge, did not win anything, became incredibly discouraged and did not enter another challenge for almost a year.
I am a self taught artist. I have taken the odd class here and there but I did not go to art school. I have, only recently, started calling myself an artist outloud. Looking back on my past 33 years, I have always been an artist but the confidence has never really been there.
The Minted community has helped me a lot with my confidence, with the helpful criticism and encouraging advice. I even have a minted "buddy" that lives across the world who has been super helpful.
Above is one of my entries to the Minted x Pottery Barn Kids x PBteen Wall Art Challenge. It is a print that I have had in my head and in one form or another on my computer for EVER.
That is what I think the coolest part of Minted is. It helps me keep working, keep producing, keep getting better.
OK... Minted gush over. Feel free to click on the link and vote for some entries. Minted usually gives discount codes for voting on more than 50 entries so it will be well worth your time!
Here are some other things that have been floating around in my brain...
Speaking of tooooo good... Lorraine Loots . Her art is so tiny, the size of a quarter... AND SO FREAKING GOOD.
Looking forward to watching this.
It is snowing. Again.
I am not what one would call a winter person. In fact I hate it.
I did not used to be this bad. It got much worse after having my babes. Snow is so unpredictable, I have such a hard time planning at all.
Lately my friend and partner in all things creative, Christine and I have been working together on a bunch of wintery photoshoots. They are usually spur of the moment things that have been having epic results. These outings have been helping me battle through the winter blues. Today we had a planned maternity shoot. The mama showed up looking beautiful, the snow was falling just right and it was a lot of fun. Moments like that are helping me not completely curse old man winter.
Here are some other things keeping me going during this long, cold winter...
I spent quite some time on this site...www.wtfshouldidowithmylife.com
This article... Someone very wise told me that childhood is too precious these days. I tend to agree.
Can't stop listening to SPORTS - They remind me of a Rilo Kiley Jenny Lewis. Which is amazing in my book.
We have a couple of trips planned this year so I am adding this bag to my wish list.
Just read this interesting article.