Best of 2021
"Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail. There's only make. " - Sister Corita Kent's Art Department Rules
What to say about this year?
That we probably all had a weird time. That I'm grateful to still be making art and especially grateful for all of you who support my journey in various ways. In looking forward to next year, I'd like to stay more consistent in telling my story - in making meaning out of all the random pieces. While I didn't stay up to date throughout 2021, I thought I could show you what I've been up to all year. Here's the highlight reel and some behind the scenes stuff, the snippets of my year.
I've been teaching all ages (please find and appreciate the illustration one kid made of "creepy old stuff") , I've painted my first public mural, illustrated my first book (a Paris guidebook), I've brought my sketchbook from Vermont to Upstate New York to Philadelphia and captured the moments in between. I've collected poems and photos for later use. I've spent some quality time doing nothing. I started studying at University of Hartford as a part of the Low Residency MFA in Illustration program and have already learned from some amazing artists, lecturers, professors and classmates alike. I've continued to illustrate people's family recipes and selling art at local markets. I've kept trying to connect the dots and make a career out of the various gigs and I've also balanced the notion of "making a career" with my main take away from this year. The more artists I meet and am inspired by, the more stories I hear of their journeys, the more this one idea is solidified in my mind: If you keep making art that you love, things will come together eventually.
Just keep making art. That sounds so basic. In a world that tells us not to take time to do things that light us up though, I think it's a big feat. For every painting of mine, there were multiple sketches, sometimes coordination with other people, emails back and forth, edits, flat out starting over. And for every piece of work above (mine and my student's work), there were mental barriers and logistical hurdles for sitting down in a quiet space to put pencil to paper. So if you made anything this year, a HUGE congrats! And if you have plans to make anything next year, I hope we all go for it.
I can't wait to see what we make.