Here are some updates with what’s going on in my world this week 🙂
June 20, 2018
This week, I’ve been going up to Portland everyday to attend some professional development and networking events with my homies in the Rose City.
Yesterday, I attended the Northwest Teaching Artist Network professional development event, themed on “meeting students where they are.” That was a fantastic opportunity to connect with other artists and educators in the state and share ideas on how we engage with learners of all ages and in all settings (i.e. not just school). I got to meet some really cool folks that I’m excited to follow up with.
Today, and through the rest of the week, I’ll be attending Imagine This! 2018, a symposium on arts education presented by the Regional Arts and Cultural Center (RACC).
I totally love these things, conferences, symposia… any opportunity to learn new things, be among other arts educators like me – where I don’t feel so weird and radical but more in tune with my world – and the chance to explore a different place. Although I’ve been to Portland countless times, I haven’t had this adventure of commuting up on the train, and finding my way around on my bike before. So far I’ve learned that getting up at 5:00 to be at the train by 6:00 is *uncomfortable* But totally worth it: a train ride up the I-5 corridor in Oregon makes for some real good scenery, and there’s no travel more fun, in my opinion than the freedom of riding a train.
I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like to work remotely with just the stuff I can take in a backpack, and to see what it’s like to be able to work during my commute. So far, drawing smooth lines whilst on train is *difficult*, but it’s not too bad working out pencil under drawings. Which brings us to…
I tend to pile on the projects liberally. So, naturally I have 5 going on now:
- Tiny Sketchbooks MiniFesto is moving; I’ve been finding people to offer little sketchies to, and being a bit sneaky with hiding them in public places. They’ve been a fun way to start conversations and introduce myself to folks. I’m actually running out and I’ll need to spend a couple of evenings next week making more 😀
- I’m working on a new drawing challenge theme I created for myself (I really need themes to stay on task): Alliteration Illustration/ Emotional Sea Creatures Alphabet. This was inspired by a little doodle I did of an octopus that had a worried look about it, and so I turned that into “Overwrought Octopus”:
I figure this is a good way to make a collection of images that I could use for print-on-demand sites and for my portfolio. It also has the added element of being a two-in-one animal and expression study activity.
- Right now, I have a pencil sketch for B – “Bothered Barnacles” which I think is pretty delightful. We’ll see how coloring on the train works out, and the line work I’ll do at home 🙂
- Last night, while forcing myself to watch the statements of AG Sessions on Immigration (cue the angry nausea), I randomly started working on some thumbnails for a sequential forest scene featuring a grumpy little goblin man who looks like a potato, his forest creature cohort, and an Almighty spirit of the forest who doesn’t like her name being used to support hateful beliefs. It’s allegory…
- This has actually been a storyline I’ve been thinking about for over a year… since fall 2016, to be exact. I’m excited to really get started on it in a real way now, I think working on it will help me process some of my feelings about *gestures at everything* and help me develop good skills in sequencing in my art.
- In other comic-like news, I’m also working on some short form webcomics, with a title I’ll debut next month, working off some of the themes that emerged from my recent “Love and Stress” post. Stay tuned for that.
- Lastly, on the back burner I have some plans for a digital art series featuring allegorical female figures as stand-ins for social justice movements. See, at last week’s Rose City Book Fair, I picked up a gorgeous book of art by Alfons Mucha, and I’m really into it. I’m practicing taking some of his style and form and adapting it to my own work.
So, yeah, that’s a lot of things. On top of all that, I have, you know, a day job, and I’ve been writing poetry, trying to keep myself fed, bathed, and rested; all the typical “being alive” stuff.