Slow but steady
February seemed to crawl by.Maybe it’s the light (or lack thereof) that’s making me feel sluggish. Ahhh the joys of living on top of the world-- the seasonal battle for emotional well-being is never ending, but I”ve fared much better this year than I have in the past.
The significant lack of sunlight up here in the winter has an effect on mood that has a compounding effect on those who battle depression in the first place *raises hand*. The first few months of the year are some of the SADest (haha get it? Seasonal Affective Disorder?! No? Ok). None of it is made easier by mother nature throwing the weather around like a yo-yo. Is it nice out? 20 bellow? Raining? Snowing? Whattheheck is this hale? Who knows!
I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on keeping my head above those emotional waves this month. Self care is so important to my well-being, and finding ways to take care of myself in my personal life as well as in the studio has been a challenge, but one that I’ve been taking seriously.
From taking on small challenges in my art to wrapping things up that I’ve started previously, this month was about actually finishing things, even when I felt sluggish.
I actually didn’t realize how much I’ve accomplished this past month until I looked at my log of finished work-- but goodness, I’ve been busy!
So I’ve had a lot of canvases moseying around the studio, half-finished. I normally have a handful of things started at any given time, so that I can step away from one project when I’m feeling stuck and still get work done.
Not sure where to go from here? Easy, set it aside and work on another! The break gives my busy little brain time to breathe, and when I come back to it, I usually have an easier time working.
Given that I’ve been getting ready for a couple shows as well as working on multiple commissions, AND personal work, there’s been an unusually large amount of works in progress in the studio. At some point, you just gotta throw down the gauntlet, pick up the paintbrush (or twenty) and knock out a painting or two. I wrapped up a couple large paintings for Star Wars that I was feeling stuck on, and did a couple small paintings for my own pleasure and satisfaction of finishing something.
Last minute art shows
I’ve been an artist for my whole life, and it was wonderful to take an opportunity to inspire some littles in February. I was asked by Fairbanks Montessori School if I would hang some artwork in their Third Friday art show, How could I say no?!
When I stopped by the school to drop off my recently finished squished mosquitoes, some of the littles stepped out of their classroom. A little girl looked at me with my green hair and paint-covered jeans and asked “are you an artist?!” I have to admit, I felt a little like a superhero.
I was impressed by the wide array of emoji-inspired art made by the students for the art show! The ability to communicate emotionally through these little smileys is so accessible, so I’m not surprised that preschoolers use them in their art, especially given that most of those students could operate my phone better than myself. “Emoji Beach” was an especially effective piece, showing two emojis holding hands, walking on a serene shore.
I also got together with a handful of artist friends to put together an art show of tiny art. Have you heard of the penny challenge? Literally making art that’s penny-sized. This was suuuch a challenge, but I loved it!
Following the show with Fairbanks Montessori, I was asked by the school if I would take part in their rebranding, and do the final rendering on their new logo. I do love doing logos and promotional images, and decided that watercolor was the way to go with this piece.
Given that they had already nailed down their design, it was a quick painting to do, and boy was it satisfying to do something from start to finish! Isn’t that fox precious?!
We’re talking about the possibility of refreshing their sign this summer, and boy am I excited for those sunny, paint-filled days!
I’m also working on a set of logos and promotional images for local Sleepy Hollow Farm, playing with axe imagery.
Setting up shop
With the amount of logos, promotional drawings and custom pieces I’ve been working on, I realized that I needed someplace to meet some of my clients. Living out closer to North Pole these days, I don’t always want to drive into town if I don’t have to… and North Pole is lacking in the cool coffee shop department.
So to avoid future McDonald’s meetings, my wonderful supportive boyfriend agreed to switch things up at home, moving into a smaller bedroom so I could have a larger part of the house as my art studio.
Bonus: this room has a private enterance so visitors don’t have to see my messy kitchen! I’m still cleaning up and deciding where everything goes, but we should be ready to have an open studio day here soon. I can’t wait to share my progress!
March looks like it’s bringing in a new set of exciting projects: an open studio tour, private lessons with a cool kid, and continuing on the paintings for Star Wars. I’ll be finishing up these saws for Candice and inking in the logo and promo drawings for Kimberly of Sleepy Hollow Farm. So much good stuff is happening, and St. Patty’s day in the middle of it all, and then the spring equinox shortly after! March is going to be a good month, I can feel it.