"For my birthday one year I received a box of craft supplies. It was a plastic tub with a blue lid full of ribbons and thread, fabric scraps, tacky glue and Popsicle sticks, needles and a tomato full of straight pins. I grew up sewing and creating tiny furniture for my doll house. I made as much as I possibly could. My sisters and I spent our afternoons with our mother, drawing faces and creating story lines on top of the dining room table crafted out of a chicken coop door in an old farmhouse remolded by my father. Creativity surrounded us. We lived in a house with hand-stained beams and walls build with one man's hands while wearing dresses made by my mother. It sounds like a different decade, like Little House On the Prairie (I loved those books, by the way).
Like any child I wanted to spend time watching movies and talking to my friends on the phone. I went through phases where I loved the outdoors and phases where I wanted nothing to do with the buzzing environment. Regardless, though, I wanted to create. I needed to. I give props to the American Girls for teaching me about the power of women and to be myself. No to mention the numerous how-to books I begged my mother to buy me from the bookstore. They taught me to make friendship bracelets, build small furniture, sew clothing, and to be confident.
My memory of creating gaps and the next thing I remember is Jr. High art class, lasting only a few months. I was in 8th grade and knew that this was the only class I wanted to take in high school. The art teacher had her nose pierced and knew about color. I remember thinking I loved the smell of the classroom: the paints, the kiln, drawing paper---all of it. I didn't know then, but I'd spend countless hours in this classroom over the next 4.5 years.
I grew from this timid girl who practiced drawing eyes and doodling in the margins of her notes, to an accomplished artist."
I found this snipit of writing in my email. It's a new year, a new chapter. I know I won't be able to and don't want to stop making, but I'm ready to re-evaluate my creative path again. What do I want out of 2016? It's the time of year where we make lists and goals and spend our winter afternoons dreamin' about sunshine and yearning for growth. I don't make resolutions because they are built to be broken. Instead I reflect on what I accomplished this year and how to build off of those accomplishments.
It's time to reinvest in teaching painting lessons. I need to advertise and bring in students again. It's time to start thinking of what to display for Boneyard Art Festival this year. It's time to decide what I'm going to pursue. It's time to start preparing to leave Champaign-Urbana (if I decide to). This could be the biggest and best year of my life if I want it to.