Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Reflect | Project

It feels surreal, how quickly the days have dissipated.

2016 was another year filled with immense challenges, but also growth.

The massive amount of growth lead to more reading that I've done in quite some time. A few interesting reads I have stumbled across this past year and found quite inspiring in a variety of ways...each one entered into my life for a different reason yet had some core elements in common that pulled me into new opportunities to expand. I thought I'd share here, in case anyone is going through their own struggles and are interested in some inspiration. Often times we just need a hint of a new idea in order to open our hearts and minds that can transform our situations into opportunities rather than deep, dark holes that eat us alive. To the people/friends who either suggested a book on this list or inspired my research attempts that lead to a book on this list: Even if the reason behind it wasn't pretty, they were all mind blowing, so thank you.

  • A Year to Live - Stephen Levin
  • Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality - Anat Baniel
  • Rewired - Erica Spiegelman 
  • Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender - David Hawkins
  • Why You're Stuck - Derek Doepker

While I am thankful for the growth and inner digging life has pulled out of me, it has usually been due to pain. I've discovered new levels of pain I wish I didn't know existed, but also new depths of love. And in almost every situation I am faced with, creativity eventually emerged to make some sort of art from the pieces.

The creative part is bittersweet - while I haven't especially enjoyed the painful parts, it really is amazing what can come from them. I've worn my wire heart pendant a lot throughout the past year, as a reminder that we can always make something beautiful out of the pain, the mess, the brokenness, life's "butt kickings"...  A whole slew of new ideas are overflowing and itching to come to life. This road I've stumbled upon has not been easy, and I don't know where it is going. There have been many low moments, when it feels like giving up makes the most sense because this route just doesn't seem to work. Dreams have collapsed, been rebuilt, collapsed again, redesigned, only to continue to collapse. I've felt like I have followed a similar pattern. While it can feel discouraging, and like there isn't much - if anything - left, each pile of rubble seems to sprout new ideas, new inspiration, new perspectives. As long as I am alive, there is the chance that something new may grow.

I put a lot of effort into other peoples dreams and goals, into other peoples lives, for quite some time, though have struggled to put that much effort and love towards my dreams/myself. Calling myself out on this and taking responsibility to make adjustments has been quite the process.

             "If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete." - Jack Kornfield

The past couple years, I have loosely toyed with a new "tradition" for New Year's Day. I decided it was a good day to serve as a starting point for what I'd like to fill the year/life with - to rethink priorities, to really consider what I want to spend my time on. Perhaps this deserves a solid effort this year.

I will have a few "announcements" regarding some of the ideas I'll be launching. Some of them I have mixed feelings on at this point, but why not give it a shot - I can always change my mind later, right? Some of these are along the lines of my New Year's Day "tradition" and some of my past challenges - a continued attempt to prioritize what I feel is important and what I want to fill my life with. I have enjoyed the challenges I've done the past couple years, and have one or five I'd like to try for 2017 - and would love to have you along for the ride.

       "And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this   
         is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!'  
        And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, 'No. 
        This is what's important.'" -Iain Thomas

So, with the new lessons I've added to my collection, let's see where this goes, shall we?

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I just wanted to send out a heads up that my blog will be moving- nothing major, but the new location will be: nfgartistblog.blogspot.com  if you would like to continue subscribing/following. All of the posts are already transferred, and are settling in nicely. ;)

Also, I have decided to ditch google+  Facebook, my website and my online shop will still be active.

I've got some ideas brewing...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December's Art Giveaway 2015 - The Finale

What a crazy year...It flew by at high speed.

This is the very last art giveaway for my year long challenge. Initially, it seemed like this project would be manageable-I mean a month is a decent amount of time, right? Part of the reason I did this was because I had struggled the year prior to keep art/creating as a priority. Life always seemed to get in the way, and granted, there have been some pretty big things that have hijacked my time, but I just couldn't stand the thought of that continuing to prevent me from doing what I love. There had to be a way...

Each month seemed to slip right between my fingers, it didn't matter if I had my idea for the giveaway well ahead of time or not, it always seemed to come down to the wire. There were a few I had planned out, that wouldn't work, and I'd be forced to come up with something at the last minute. Others, I lost my spark of inspiration for the initial idea, or a new spark took over. I think between the creative factors, technology issues, and my personal life, there was something (or often times multiple things) every single month that got in the way, nearly ending the project. It really was a heck of a test.

So... for the grand finale!

DEADLINE: Thursday, January 7th, 12pm (central)

Basically, the prize is YOUR CHOICE... and you get to pick from any of the past 11 months of giveaways!

January: Echo painting
February: Fingerless glove...this time, we have camo cuffs with brown to finish them off-possibly better for men (wrist is a bit big)
March: A print from a collaborative photo by Andrew Kufahl and me...and for this round, we have 2 different options for you! One is a concept photo from an early shoot we had. The second is from a modeling shoot-and one of my favorite modeling shots I've been a part of.
April: Wire heart pendant with yarn (all repurposed materials)
May: A watercolor painting (NOT framed)
June: The 24 HOUR PROJECT ebook that I did with Andrew Kufahl (1 concept photo, every hour, for 24 hours...trailer)
July: A knitted heart pillow...same color scheme as the fingerless gloves that are up for grabs this month...camo and brown mix, with a camo heart. (The camo is actually left over from projects my grandma has created...probably my camo slippers!)
August: Well...this is pretty much April's giveaway, but I had a twist-the winner is suppose to GIVE this one away. So you can do that for December's giveaway too-heck, any item you can choose to give if you'd like. :)
September: A print of YOUR CHOICE of any of my self portraits. I haven't had a chance to order the one for September's winner yet (Sorry Jason!), but my plan was to test out an eco-friendly printer. So as long as everything goes smoothly, I would most likely go through the same company. You can take a peek here or many of them can also be found on my website.
October: A heart ornament/frame, which can hold 2 of your own personal photos which I will print off for you, so the frame can be stitched up and ready to hang when you receive it.
November: A mini photo session for your pet (I am highly allergic to cats unfortunately) 

 To enter, go to my facebook page and comment on the announcement video with which one you would like.

 Thank you so much for your support and participation. This project has been a very good thing during a challenging year and I am so thankful to have had creating be a part of my life EVERY single month again, no matter what. :)