I started 2014 off with this blog, Reconstructing Wonderland. My previous blog was titled Waiting for Wonderland. At the end of 2013 I realized that name was poorly chosen. Who wants to wait around for something? 2014 was my year for making things happen.
At the beginning of the year there were so many things I wanted to work on. I didn’t cover everything on my list, but there were a lot of areas that I did work on. I did my very best to rise up to instead of running scared form opportunities. It didn’t always turn out the way I would’ve liked, but I learned from everything. Here are some of the highlights.
1. I was asked if I’d be interested in doing editorial cartoons for the Mariana’s Variety – Guam Edition. Despite being concerned about my ability to consistently come up with cartoons and my fear of hurting feelings or burning bridges, I said yes. And I’m so glad that I did. I still have days where I get concerned about whether my cartoon was too weak or even too strong. And there are days where I draw a complete blank or I’m too tired from my day job that I can’t cartoon. For the most part though, I’ve managed to do a job I can be proud of. Once I even got an email forwarded to me from a reader, who liked my cartoon so much he emailed the paper. I hope to continue do this for as long as possible and hopefully 2015 will include an exhibit of my cartoons. Be on the look out for that.
2. In June I exhibited my work at Guma TASA coffee shop. The show, illusDREted, was a lot of work and at times I wanted to back out. It turned out so much better than I ever expected. I was truly grateful for every one who attended, purchased work and prints, and all the people who helped make it possible.
3. Also during the summer, I was able to facilitate a couple workshops for teens. One was a DIY class and the other was on illustration. This was a great summer program put together by Guma TASA. They are so great at supporting the arts. My students were amazing and so talented. I enjoyed working with them so much. This was really a dream job for me. I mean really, my dream is to help children explore the arts and appreciate it. So it was my dream job.
4. Speckled throughout the year I was doing large and small projects for Nihi. I helped to create two full studio sets, bits of a studio set, and some props. I learned so much from these projects. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to work with the Duk Duk Goose production team and the other artists who helped. And it was really great to finally be able to share it with our island, in September when the shows started airing. I am so proud of everyone involved.
5. I got a commission this year to create a logo. My aunt, who lives off island, started a new business creating hats for children. I was so honored that she asked me to design her logo. She’s an awesome business women, so it makes me feel good that she has that confidence in me to have trusted me with something so important. It was a lot of fun too. And it was another really great learning experience. I hope to learn more this year and continue working with her on other projects.
5. “WOW!, an art exhibit for children and their families” – This show has my heart. I’m actually tearing up thinking about it as I’m writing. It was absolutely crazy to organize and I had no actual funding so it seemed nearly impossible, but the support from the artists, the community, and my family made it happen. And I promise that every year on, this show is going to grow, until it hopefully turns in to a permanent children’s museum. I’m planning for next year’s exhibit already! I’ll be posting updates regularly and building a site specifically for it.
7. I teamed up with two other local artists this year. Colleen Weller, Myracle Mugol, and I were hanging out one night and something pretty awesome was born, Three Moons. Together we produced two shows that are part of the Spectrum 4 part series, bringing together local visual art, music, and food. This gave me the opportunity to work with artists I’ve known for a long time and some new artists. If you didn’t catch the first two shows you missed out, but there are two more shows coming in 2015. I’ll be sure to post updates.
Looking back, I’m really stoked on all the things I was able to accomplish in 2014. At the same time though, I’ve realized that I missed out on a lot because I was working a full time job while doing all of these things. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with family and friends. While my art life blew up, my personal life was declining. I’m currently trying to figure out a way to bring more balance in to my life. I want to continue to grow as an artist and organizer, but I need to make sure I can do that while also focusing on my home, health, and heart, my family and friends. More on that in my next post.
What are some of things you did in 2014 that you’re really proud of? Do you have any suggestions for helping me find balance? I’d love to hear them. Really, I need all the help I can get!