Things I learned or realized this summer (not in any order of importance):
1- I haven't been as active of an artist this year as I have been the past few years. I think having my art in the Orange County Creatives Gallery in Laguna Beach threw me off a bit. It is a great honor to have my work there and I feel like it is a goal of any OC artist to get work in a gallery in Laguna Beach. But I haven't been challenged to keep doing more art the way art walks do. I haven't massed produced Mizzles or create a series of mizzle paintings for a show in a long time. To remedy this, I began making more Mizzles this week. I even bought a massive amount of polyester fiber for motivation!
2- I lost sight of my goals. I used to be extremely active as an artist attending illustrator meetings and art association meetings every month. But at the moment, I can't remember the last time I attended either of those meetings. Partly, I've been doing color runs with friends, which happen to fall on the same days as my illustrator meetings. Also, I was spending time with my dad. I don't think this was bad at all. But I feel stuck now. And I've realized that some of these meetings are going to continue to be put on hold thanks to a work conference I have to attend the next few months. I'll just have to focus on other areas until my schedule clears up.
I did manage to get a few things done this summer:
A few sketches to keep me sane during a conference I went to.
A drawing for my dad
And I created a "Nap time" Series for my friend, who is expecting twins!!!! I created a Mizzle Mobile, and some onsies.
And I played with paint
3- Painting makes me happy even if the painting turns out bad. Sometimes it is just about the act of painting. My best friends and I began going to a few Paint & Vino Events, where an instructor guides a room full of people to paint one image. We have had a lot of fun doing these. Most people would think that it would be boring for someone who is already an artist, but it was nice not having to think during the process.
For a while, I had wanted to use my garage as a studio. I couldn't do this until recently... long story I'd rather not get in to. But the important part is that I FINALLY turned my half of the garage into my painting studio. After doing a few of the Painting & Vino classes, we agreed that we could do something like that ourselves. So, I had a group of friends over to celebrate the conversion of my garage to studio with our own paint and wine night. It was so much fun! I was really proud of my non-artist friends. And we already have a theme for the month of September!
4- I am blessed to have amazing neighbors! They have all been a great support group helping me, listening to me, checking in with me at some point, and giving me many hugs! I love listening to their stories! And they have such great personalities! I am always smiling or laughing when I'm hanging out with them.
5- I discovered that the best and most important family is the one you choose! Don't get me wrong. I love some of my blood relatives and they know who they are. But the family I chose (Lydia, Reena, Jenn, Tracy, Peter... my workout family-Alex, Anthony, Cade, Leslie, Sonny, Lisa)... turned out to be the ones who helped me through this difficult time when family failed to come through. Even my mom's friends were a better family. I don't think I've had a chance to tell my friends, but I am unbelievably grateful for all of them...including the ones I haven't mentioned directly in this post. This is odd to say, but everything seemed to go so smoothly because of them. And I continue to get through each tough day with their help.
This photo is missing Reena, but she is the one who took the photo... so I feel like she is there in spirit!
And thank you to everyone who sent me text messages and photos of my art at the OC Fair! I didn't get a chance to go myself, but it cheered me up to receive photos like this one:
6- When life takes something away, it gives something back to you just when you need it. It is a very surreal feeling to have someone important taken from your life and everything around you remains the same. Life continues as if nothing has changed. Then coming to realizations that may have never crossed your mind like how much you miss hearing their voice. For some reason, I haven't been receiving any of my voicemails. Yesterday, a bunch of voicemails turned up on my phone going back to April. I was really sad at the thought of never hearing my dad and then there was a message from my dad on my birthday. I immediately researched how to save it as an mp3 file, so I can have it forever! Life, also, introduced me to new people this summer. I'm not sure what roles they will play in my life, but they were small moments of absolute joy this summer during a painful time.
7- Sometimes you just need to hit the reset button!
I know it looks like I've done a lot this summer. In a way, I have. But it just hasn't felt the same. I feel like a lot of this was just me going through the motions trying to feel like my normal self. In all honesty, I have felt lost this summer. I feel like I got stuck somewhere in life without realizing it. The last time I felt stuck in life I moved to Huntington Beach, which was the greatest decision I ever made. This time moving is not going to be the answer. This stuck feeling is something a bit deeper emotionally. I have to figure out what that is exactly, but I do know if I learned anything from my dad, it was to always dream and to keep moving forward. So, for the time being I'm just going to hit the reset button and place my focus back on some original goals. I feel like this week has been very productive! I worked on pages for my book, made mizzles, and began working on a few ideas for upcoming shows. I've also decided I want to get back to my daily drawings.