It's Been Real, 2017

My first ever mural is a small part of a 360 ft. long wall in Nashville’s Nations neighborhood.  For weeks I followed up with Nashville Walls Project to let me be a part of this massive project, and then the time came to actually paint. To say I was nervous would be a serious understatement. Not only was I painting alongside some really amazing artists, but most of them are badasses with criminal records for vandalism and years of experience and there I was…a total square with a lunchbox containing thanksgiving leftovers and a rainbow pompom covered canvas bag containing my organized, brand new, untouched spray paints. But I was beyond excited to paint at this scale and walked up to my designated wall spot, which were the two "N"s that make up "THE NATIONS" and just got to work. I honestly didn’t even know you could get different sized spray paint caps to produce thin or large lines of spray paint when I started. I asked two questions I think before starting. “Do I need to follow some sort of color scheme?” and “Do I need to stay inside the lines?”  The answers were along the lines of “do whatever you want” and that I did! I went in with no plans or sketches, just played it by ear while trying to look extremely confident. The first day I glanced next to me a few times and made some mental notes on materials to buy and techniques to try. I learned SO much and I had the time of my life and having artistic freedom was awesome. I am just incredibly grateful I had this awesome opportunity. It took a little time to get the hang of it but once I did I was completely addicted. I loved being a part of this project and am pretty proud of my work considering it was my first time and I really hope you go check it out! Painting on this scale is really a dream come true, as is the fact that my work will be permanently on display publicly in Nashville. I hope to do many more of these soon!!

 Here are my "N"s! They have since been cleaned up around the edges and everyone should go see the rest of this massive mural it's really amazing!!

Here are my "N"s! They have since been cleaned up around the edges and everyone should go see the rest of this massive mural it's really amazing!!

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Earlier this month I took a solo trip to New York. I hit up every art gallery and museum I possibly could in the few days I was there. I’ve spent most of my time lately researching and on commissions, which is really just practicing technique. After reading Steal Like An Artist, which I really recommend, it’s a very quick read and has amazing tips for anyone trying to pursue a creative career, I compiled a list of all my favorite work I have recently seen, my favorite artists of all time, and reasons why I like the work and what they do. (Side note, top of my list in Nashville right now is the Nick Cave Feat. exhibit at the Frist, if you haven't seen his work, go check it out, it will blow your mind). Taking that trip was really perfect for this because there is just SO much GOOD art, which isn't news to anyone. Now I am back in my studio and ready to go.

Since it’s nearing the end of the year, and this might be my last blog this year considering the commissions I still have to get to before Christmas and large list of application deadlines due in December, I want to take a minute to reflect on some of my fat failures and some of my mild successes!

1.    My end of the year goal was to rely solely on my art for income.

This didn’t really happen. It was a hefty goal considering that I just started pursuing my art career “fully” as of last August, but I did cut back on a lot of side gigs and my freelance job and got a job at my favorite gallery! I just still have just one non-art related 8 hour a week gig that Belvedere’s vet bills very much rely on.

2.    I painted a mural! And there are more in the works!

3.    I painted a lot of crap.

You have to try what doesn’t work, though.

4.    Still spend more than I make on my art business….

Art supplies, shipping, applications, merch, etc. I have made some poor spending decisions and some good ones, but figuring out a budget based on my monthly painting income has been a challenge. Here’s looking at you, 2018.

5.    I networked, a lot.

I feel like I now have a place in the Nashville art club. I also saw some really incredible art this year, a goal that I gave to myself was to go to more exhibit openings locally and go to New York!

6.  I have a new studio space!!! 

Which means you will see less instagram stories of my dog on my couch (sorry but I know you probably won't miss them) and more of my very cool secret place that I can't tell you about yet. 

7.    The most important goal I have stuck to- I AM STILL GOING! There are definitely some things that need fine-tuning (my time management, for example, and that I am easily distracted), but the most important thing I can do is to stay confident in my work and to just keep working.

I am really excited about next year, I have a big project in the works for January and have learned so much this year on what works and what doesn’t. I will keep sharing and if anyone reading has any questions or comments please let me know! Happy Holidays & on a side note if you have any holiday commissions to order please contact me ASAP! Still taking orders. Peace n blessins'.