This year my word of focus has been "authentic" and when I chose that word, I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen. I sort of knew what direction I wanted to take with that, but at the same time I wasn't sure how "authenticity" was going to present itself.
I believe that being present in your moments is the best thing you can do for yourself - and yet I would still find myself waiting for something to change in order for me to be who I am. When I was a child I kept waiting to be an adult. When I was in college I kept waiting for next year, or for graduation, or for my new job to start. I kept wondering when I was actually just going to be myself and be living my life. I kept focusing on the next and not the now, and what I realized is that it makes it hard to be present in my moments. It makes it hard for me to be myself.
Last summer I had a brief epiphany while standing in the Albertson's building on the University of Idaho campus, which apparently I worded all wrong and made my dad think I was going to quit trying to be a teacher and move back to Moscow for school which wasn't really my intention at all.
And then, this year I lost my position as an art teacher due to budget cuts and there I was, feeling a little directionless and also, waiting. I was having a total identity crisis - like, who even do I think I am, if I'm not a teacher?
I'm not sure when it started to click for me, but I'm beginning to see that THIS IS MY LIFE. You guys, I'm already here. I'm already in it. I don't know how to say in more words that this is it. And I'm not upset about it. I'll find more employment. I'll continue to grow as a person, in my faith, in my relationships.
I work as a night manager at a restaurant and I do odd art jobs for people and businesses. Speaking of which, telling people that yes, I'm the artist, will probably never not be weird. And at the same time, I absolutely love it. Yes, I am the artist. I feel the most at home when I am creating something.
So, I think that authenticity word is actually coming to fruition this year. I am living more in my moments - while still maintaining a healthy dose of concern for the future. I used to live only for the weekends, but now I think it's okay that it's Monday or Tuesday. Does that make any sense?
Maybe this has something to do with the fact that it's also summer time and that helps. It's weird to not be starting to gear up for the fall, no classes to take or to teach. It's just like, here is life. Go and live it.
And that's exactly what I'm going to do.
I worked as an artist for a local business this past weekend. I've never done a commercial piece of art before but I have to tell you, after this experience, I definitely want to do more. So, from start to finish this was probably a good 20 hours worth of work and at the end of it my arms and upper torso were so sore and the tips of my fingers had indents in them from holding the chalk - but it was totally worth it.
concept sketch using chalk pastel on paper
concept sketches of sizes and colors.
the finished product! (the in-between photos are still on my phone and i'm too lazy to pull them off)
(hashtag sorry not sorry)
and now, detail shots!
i'm particularly proud of this beet.