In 2011, I published my first e-book, "Izzy's Ukulele Adventure", available on the iBookstore for the iPad. If you aren't into the e-book thing, you can also get "Izzy" in print on Amazon. So far the feedback from parents has been great! I feel really good about the story and especially my illustration technique. My style has loosened up a bit since working closely with illustrator Mike Gordon (I digitally paint his kid's books for major publishers).
|"Madis loved his new book....|
Nick had to read it 5 times!"
Photo and quote by Dagnija
2011 was also riddled with grief having lost two loved ones over the summer. Now that a few months have passed, I can look back and see how those experiences expedited my personal growth...seriously like driving on the emotional Autobahn. My heart cracked, but overtime this made room for a greater sense of compassion, patience, and fearlessness about things I would otherwise avoid (like performing a solo dance piece and playing my first solo music gig shortly after these deaths). These experiences also transformed certain friendships, either for the better or worse (it seems as if death can either repel or attract support).
I thank 2011 for the following: my solo show at local gallery space, for giving me the time to master the most delicious lentil soup, new friendships, my community, and the space to nurture all friendships, for teaching me that it's safe to speak up for myself and to let go of controlling things that I cannot, for all of the long bike rides, sunsets, and epic views of the ocean and islands from the mountains, and most importantly, thank you for teaching me true forgiveness. You were an intense year, one of simultaneous loss and prosperity. I see 2012 as a part of this continuum of time, refreshing and releasing.
I ended "last year" with a gorgeous hike in the Santa Barbara mountains with friends during the day. When night struck, I put on my dancing shoes and boogied the night away with my love. As self-employed folk, we tend to work long hours and weekends, so fun time can take the back-burner more than we would like. Being able to boogie into 2012 felt like the right way to start the new year!
As far as New Years resolutions go, I am going to follow the advice of a recent horoscope and adopt the following lightheartedly:
1) Prioritize: resting, relaxing, playing, and dancing.
2) Practice ukulele 15-20 minutes a day and then once a week for an hour.
3) Learn more about other religions and spiritual practices.
4) Perform my music locally.
So, I already started #5 and #4 is already under way (I am performing one song this Friday on my ukulele at a local event on Friday, see my calendar of events). As far as #1 goes, I made sure to sleep a lot yesterday, so there ya go! I'm already starting this all out on the right foot. There are several other things that I could add to that list, but they feel more like they belong on my to-do list...you know, career oriented and day-to-day things...going to more SCBWI conferences, expanding my elementary illustration/cartooning class regionally, get a guinea pig, paying the internet bill on time, etc, etc. I wouldn't want to bore you so soon since this IS my first blog entry since 2005 or something. I am truly looking forward to building a little community over here, so say hello, follow me, and let me know what your thinkin'!
Here's to a bright 2012!