As December 2021 came to a close, I wanted to have a recap video of 2021 ready to go for Instagram. As I reminisced through videos of the past year, I understood I needed more time to feel everything that came with this process. So much changed in 2021. I made so many major decisions I had been putting off for years. Moving on from jobs, roles, and relationships I’d been holding onto for the sake of protecting the feelings of others and avoiding pain in my own heart. I know that pain is an aspect of healing, so I’m grateful for all the change 2021 brought and excited to see what manifests in this new cycle around the sun.
I started the new year at No Resolutions festival with my partner Ocean, who I met in the spring of 2021. We finished our latest mural, “Beecon”. Our art babies have been magical and mystical since the beginning. They almost seem to paint themselves, but we both know the countless hours that go into each one.
We were invited to No Resolutions by the Black Sheep Circus art collective. Joining the Black Sheep Circus has already added a sense of community and support to my life, and a chance to make new friends here in Florida. I’m super grateful to them for the space and support and love. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram to learn about the amazing artists in this group!
After two years of travel and festivals, COVID-19 finally caught me in January. I’m really grateful, because I needed a reason to lay in bed and just reflect. As I vegetated in my fever-induced daze, I found myself missing my friends around the country. I had built a strong sense of community in LA through running the Art Walk and painting at festivals there, and I hadn’t noticed I was missing that. After spending hours on the phone with good friends, I felt inspired to find more ways to connect outside of the social media space, which has begun to feel very shallow to me.
This brainstorm led me to start writing blog posts again. I want to create a sense of community here on my site. A new way to connect with the people I love but don’t get to see, and the fans who support my work even if we haven’t meet in person before. I hope to start a newsletter this year and a subscription service to receive special updates and gifts like prints, stickers, and other merchandise made from my art.
January is always full of encouraging, motivating energy for me, but I know it can feel really pointless because of the corporatization of it all. It really doesn't make much sense for the year to start in the middle of winter anyway... Spring would be more appropriate. With that in mind, I used the Mother Earth’s sleepy winter season (which does exist here in Florida, despite what you may have heard) as a sort of gestation period… a time to really think about what I want to create, what my intentions are, and how I can set myself up for a more abundant and aligned year.
I was told once by a mentor of mine that inspiration finds you while you’re working. You can open yourself up to all possibilities, but if you don’t take action, the ideas will never manifest themselves. I spent the next week applying for upcoming festivals, practiced figure drawing, and crunching numbers for merchandise Ocean and I could make this year. I started working on my astrology-themed Full Moon series again. The full moon in the sign of Cancer was January 17th, touching on themes of the home, family, security, emotions stirring under our shells, whispers of change on the horizon. A time to nurture the light within.
I’m posting this on the night of January 31, the new moon. A time to set intentions and visualize achieving your goals. What will it take to get there? It might be something out of the norm for you, and that makes sense. I’ve spent a long time thinking I couldn’t get a job or pay rent because it would interfere with my art. This month I tossed that limiting belief and started doing side work for a landscape architecture firm. The stability of regular income and a consistent place to stay has already brought me mental clarity and space to breathe and feel more creative. I can do many things. I can be and learn and know many things. I release stories that keep me stuck and stop me from changing. I allow blessings to flow in without having to fit them into a box.
What I’m listening to:
In January I listened to music that was grounding and helped me explore my spirit and feel closer to the Source Energy, God, whatever you may call it. I wanted to dive deeper into myself to find out what my soul needed. I realized what I’ve been missing and how I could make l motivated to grow and advance and create new projects for myself, to direct my life more intentionally. The playlist follows this journey, from my peaceful contemplative internal world to my motivated, driven, action based external self.
What I’m watching:
Bobbi Andonova - How I Draw Faces
Richard Smitheman - Figure Drawing Fundamentals
Brainard Carey - The Myth of the Starving Artist
Les Brown - Push Yourself Every Day
Kaylin Nicholson - One Mindset Shift for a Peaceful Life
What I’m reading:
This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?
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