‘Tis the Season

Christmas 2018 feels different. Between the hustle of work, school, and art the year has flown by at a rather extraordinary rate. As I find myself panicking about the onslaught of  tasks yet to do before the end of the year (order processing, final exams, commissions, and let’s not forget PRESENTS), I’m taking a moment to pause and reflect.

It’s so easy, I think, to get caught up in what is STILL left to do, rather than appreciating all that has been accomplished in the year so far. It’s true, I haven’t met all of my goals, but there have been some amazing stops along the way. Here are a few:

  1. I spent a lot of time with my family this year – something I’ve struggled with in the past. I saw friends and family that I hadn’t in a long time and was able to reconnect. As someone who has strong bouts with social anxiety (and thereby tends to hide at home and avoid social occasions; aka “I’m a bummer”) this is a big deal for me.
  2. I’ve successfully completed (well, almost as of Dec. 22nd) another year of academia at my university. It’s been tough! I’ve wondered what I was doing and whether I should back out a few times, but I pushed through it and I’m another 2 semesters closer to the finish line!
  3. didn’t give up. No matter the lows, I’ve pushed myself through it and I’m so grateful for the support of my family and friends in this regard.
  4. I made it to California! True, this was for a business trip, but it was an absolutely AMAZING time. I was so anxiety ridden prior to the trip (I hadn’t flown in years and I was going to be pretty much on my own for most of it), but it ended with me never wanting to leave! The weather was beautiful (the rumors are true: “where the sun shines all year round”), the food was delicious (albeit pricey), and I even got to meet up with a friend I’d made earlier in the year (solidifying that they are an amazing human being).
  5. I finally introduced a few close friends to my “secret dream project”, Talie’s Cafe. This is an idea I’ve had since I was about 9, of starting up a little cafe in the heart of an art-centric city and pulling in artists, musicians, writers and all-around artistically passionate people from all walks of life to come perform and share and mingle. Since I do NOT have the business wit to actually start this cafe at present, I’ve created a Discord Channel which encompasses what I envision this cafe to be. I only have 9 members at this moment (including myself and a BOT), but they are 9 fan-freaking-tastic people (including the BOT) and it’s been thrilling just to “cut the ribbon” with them, so-to-speak!
  6. I met an absolute wonder of a person, Noah Bradley, in PERSON last week. He’s a phenomenal artist who does work for many platforms, but namely Magic the Gathering and his work is mind-blowing. He’s what I classify as an “art-lebrity”, and I was completely awed at the opportunity to meet him in the flesh and purchase some of his signed work.
  7. I completed a huge commission that I felt certain I was going to have to “kill” many times. It took a long time, but the progression that came through from when I started to the completed piece makes me proud and excited. I achieved a greater level of understanding and technique by pushing myself through it and came out with “The Wild”. That commission gave me a second commission (currently in progress)!
  8. Back to Friends — wow, if there’s anything about this year that’s completely blown my mind, it’s the new friends I’ve met (and continue to meet), who have WANTED to talk to me, more than twice! It’s been flattering, and enlightening to see that if I put myself out there, even just a little, there are amazing things to come.
  9. I feel like I’ve “Adulted” a lot this year…*pat pat*
  10. We just got 16 inches of beautiful, fluffy snow! It’s the biggest early snowfall we’ve had in years and it was magical. ^_^

In short, I have a lot to be grateful for and to feel great about in general. My goal for next year is to spend a little more time with the people and places and moments I love, and a little less stressing about “what’s next”. I’ll strive to put myself out there; to share with everyone more pieces of myself and my work.

I hope you and yours have an amazing holiday season and take a little time to reflect.

<3

Natalia

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