Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good news!

I haven't updated this since I was in Philly?! Oops.

First of all, the idea I talked about in my last post is beginning to come together.  I wanted to do a mural on fabric with my students here, ship it over to Madagascar, and have a Peace Corps Volunteer finish it up and install it in their village with their students and/or villagers.  Part International art project collaboration, Part a way to get word out about important topics. (The murals would have to do with Malaria prevention and be mostly visual communication for those who can't read). 

So the update is, I've gotten the "go ahead" from both my old supervisor from Peace Corps Madagascar AND the arts council I work for here.  People have responded really well to the whole thing, so that's exciting!  I've got a few 4th grade classrooms that are interested in being the pilot project!!! AND, a current Peace Corps Volunteer who wants a mural in their village! A perfect match!! Only thing is, the time that the 4th grade staff has available is in early December. That's like, a month away.  And I still have some questions and specifics to work out with the volunteer getting the mural....but they have  sketchy phone service and no internet.  They are relaying messages to and from me, bush-style, by relaying messages to people who know other volunteers who DO have those modern conveniences.  I definitely know what that feels like, and am sympathetic to that.  It's just that I don't have a ton of time to plan this thing.  I want my first project to be PERFECT and GORGEOUS and WORK SMOOTHLY so that it will bring many more murals for Madagascar....or Africa....or even more of the world!!!! ...Someday.

What I think is the strange part is this:

#1: This idea first hit me like a lightning bolt in the middle of the night and energized me like no other.
#2: The perfect match of having a classroom AND a volunteer be ready for it came at about the same time.
#3: The idea for the project logo came to me and got sketched in about 5 minutes. Unusually easy.
#4: I ordered the fabric that we will paint the mural on, experimented with it, and liked it.  But I needed some more.  Without my account being charged, I found another box of the fabric on my doorstep today. Shipped for free, by mistake. 

I think that something out there wants this project to happen and is using me to channel all the creativity and good luck that it can provide.  The universe seems to be on my side.  All good signs that I should pursue it. Cool.

Here is the logo I designed for the project (someday, organization?).  I painted this on some of the fabric we'll paint the murals on. I want to make sure it can adhere to a wall using glue made out of just rice.  Rice is something that Madagascar has PLENTY of, so it would be great to have a glue recipe that's super easy and affordable for people to help them install their murals. We shall see... I'll be making a trip to Eugene's graffiti wall this week with this puppy.  :)


In other news, I'm getting my calendar filled out pretty good for teaching this year.  I was hired to teach art lessons for 3rd, 2nd and 1st grades this year at Holt Elementary.  And I have a few school mural residencies booked throughout the Winter and Spring.  While teaching my last lessons with my 3rd graders, something hit me: I get the same "high", happy, fulfilled, joyful feeling from teaching kids art, as I get from painting murals by myself.  Discovering...or rather acknowledging this to myself was really special.  This means, if I can just figure out how to combine BOTH a freelance mural painting business AND being a teaching artist into a full-time gig, I could probably be happy career-wise for my whole life.  That's pretty cool to figure out.  I've struggled so much with trying to find a direction.  It's been stressful and hard.  To just "do art as a career" seems like a direction, but it was too broad and I was scattered and not getting anywhere.  I toyed with trying to become a tattoo artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer, etc etc.  Now, I feel like I know where to put my energy and my motivation and feel that it's right in my heart.  I have a SPECIFIC goal, and it's cleared up my mind a lot and leaving space and energy that I'll need to make it all happen. 

Ok, rambling.... just wanted to share the good news for those of you who were so encouraging about my last post!  Thanks you all for your support.  It means so much, you don't even know!!