I have noticed that every once in a while a theme(s) appears in my life. Sometimes they are very subtle and I don't realize it existed until it has passed. Then there are times, like now, where they are blatantly obvious. This month's theme is "reflection." It is time for me to sit down and look at where my path has taken me this year. This last half of the year has definitely taken me a little off course.
First of all, I'm unbelievably grateful for the life I have. It is not perfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love the challenges life throws at me and the people who come across my path. I love the friends and family, who have strengthened me by showing me how much they believe in me. I know my life would not be as colorful as it is without all of their wonderful personalities!
This year began on a positive note. I began this blog and started my "well-intentioned," but not entirely realistic drawing a day. I am proud to say that I lasted a lot longer than I had truly anticipated. I figured I'd putter out around February, but it was around May that the daily drawings came to a halt. The drawing became more difficult to complete daily because it was around that time things at work began to change. My department chair announced his retirement and decisions had to be made. I then took on the challenge of becoming department chair, teaching AP studio art, and I moved to a different classroom.
Changes didn't end there. Some changes were not so good, but there were a lot that have been great. The not so good news was my dad had a tumor in his liver. He's doing well, but it looks like this is going to be on-going issue. The great news began with my first nephew, Noah, being born on Friday the 13th! He is an absolute cutie and is going to be extremely spoiled! Then the unexpected happened. As I prepared to attend the SCBWI summer children's conference, I was contacted by a representative from RawArtists. They had found my ETSY shop and wanted me to participate in one of their shows. To be honest, I was hesitant. I wasn't sure if my work was strong enough. Also, they really loved my Mizzle dolls, and wanted them to be displayed in the showcase. After talking to a friend, I decided that in participating in showcase I really had nothing to lose. This led to a second show and being nominated as one of their Semi-finalists for their annual RAWards. Although, Mizzle Adventures did not win at the competition, it was a great experience. It showed me a few things. One, how much I finally believe in myself and my artwork; Two, what I'm truly capable of achieving; and lastly, it made me realize I didn't have any idea of what kind of outcome I wanted from showcasing my work. Originally, I just wanted allow the journey to take its own course and see where it would take me. As much fun as that has been, I think it's time to make some more choices, but about my career as an artist. What is it that I truly want to achieve as an artist? And where do I want to see it take me?
The interesting part is that my school qualified to apply for distinguished schools. In addition, this means we are able to apply for another award, which is an Exemplary Arts Program. For the past few weeks, my department and I have been putting together information about our department to apply for it. I didn't think writing this document would be as difficult as it has been. I know we are a strong Visual and Performing Arts program, but it has made me notice that we don't have any particular goals for our department. We don't have a true vision of where we want to go. I think we have all shared ideas with one another about things we think would be great, but we have never put anything into effect. I think we all have ideas of what we would like to see happen in our department, but we have never sat down together and verbalized it out loud. When this process is said and done, whether we win this award or not, it has been a great opportunity for us to reflect on the state of our department. Now we can have a real conversation about short and long term goals for our department.