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I Promise I'm Not a Travel Blogger
A brief February roundup
This month I looked out the window a lot
It was mostly either plane windows or car windows. I think I spent a total of 25 hours in an airplane the first week of February… and probably a total of 30 hours in a car that same week. Why did I choose to do this after my “retirement month”? That’s a marvelous question. I’m wondering the SAME thing. Retirement month wasn’t supposed to extend into February!!! But I have no regrets- I was happy and thankful for my latest trips! It’s just that my wallet and work muscles are just as confused as ever.
To put it simply, I traveled that week because friends were in cool places and I was like “sure, I’ll come over”. I’m aware of how silly and privileged this sounds. I got to visit Hawaii to see my old roommate, Jelly, who is essentially a travel nurse out there. Then Juliana, my current roomie, was out in LA for the month so I stayed with her a couple days before and after my 3 day Hawaii trip. If you’re into travel logistics, that means I had a round trip to Hawaii within my round trip to LA. When folks asked why I was out there, it was funny realizing that I was merely there “to hang” and not to paint. Which made me laugh- I just took January off! Why am I frolicking to the Big Island instead of getting back to work?? Who am I??
I Promise I’m Not a Travel Junkie
Throughout the past year, folks have been asking me “when’s your next trip?”. As if traveling is my passion or something I try to do all the time. I guess my life does seem that way, but this is not intentional. Like I wouldn’t peg myself as a true “travel junkie”. I love Savannah and my little life here, I love my friends and my workplace and I’m not antsy to escape. Nor am I even naturally adventurous (ask my friends). I think I tend to travel so much because this current late 20’s (childless, flexible) season allows the word “yes” to dominate my list of most-used words.
Having my family mostly in Texas has given me a rhythm of trying to get as many business gigs out there as possible, so I can write off trips to see my mom while growing some hometown business clout. So traveling for work has been normal for me, even when I was just starting out in the freelance world 7 years ago. To me, it’s always worth it when I connect with creatives in other cities and I also realize that immersing myself in the landscape or botanicals of a new space only can help me as an artist. So let’s just say Hawaii and California were inspiration/friendship trips. I returned home by Valentine’s Day, thankful for the experiences with a head full of fresh ideas.
I Promise I was both Inefficient and Productive
As I spent all these hours looking out the window in California and Hawaii (or over the Pacific Ocean), my idle brain was relishing in future projects. I started this year knowing that I needed to finally be brave and revisit my dream of being a children’s book illustrator. I’ve honestly have been hiding behind landscapes and still life projects for a long time. You know… subject matter that doesn’t move and I can fully control. I’m still obsessed with these types of work, but I realize that it’s time to pump some life in some of my pieces. When I’m asked what my “big dream gig” is, I usually answer that I’d love to be in the book industry as an illustrator (and maybe even author) some day, but it’s too overwhelming to hop in. The publishing world is tough and specific and it takes much effort to build the relationships and trust in that industry to get a beneficial project.
So I'm starting the journey by connecting with publishers and picking people’s brain about the industry. I’m also going to paint more “book-like” portfolio pieces that show characters actually doing things. I think I avoid painting characters because it takes more energy on my part to make sure a scene has believable movement, etc etc. This will be a good challenge for me! My time looking out the window helped me gather my mental energy to take on this new feat- and I filled my phone notes with so many ideas!
There are a few articles out there that prove that idle time to let your mind wander is good for creativity. Anyone get shower thoughts? Car ideas? I love that stuff. Healthy inefficiency can hold so much beauty. Here’s a quote I found from an article in Psychology Today:
The Italians have a name for it: “Dolce far niente”—the sweetness of doing nothing. All that matters is living in the moment, watching time go by. It doesn’t translate in the United States, where tasks and schedules define us. The closest translation we have is “killing time.” But “Dolce far niente” demands more: to intentionally let go and prioritize "being" alongside "doing".
Thank you Italians for this wonderful thought! It’s different than being lazy. It’s taking the time to be attentive and slow so that you can go out in the world and do wonderful things. Click here if you’d like to read the rest of this article. To sum it up- look out the window like it’s 2003!! Maybe you’ll write a BOOK.
What’s on My Desk Today?
Thanks for asking! My space is chaotic these days, as I’m still getting into my 2023 groove. We’ve got a bottle of wine leftover from a painting workshop, a brochure from the Hawaiian botanical gardens, a new turquoise gouache palette, some sketches for a client, and some half-finished canvas pieces.
What’s for Sale Today?
Thanks for asking! Now I’ll try to sell you stuff to compensate for my lavish months of retirement + extra travels.
Fine Art of the Week
I’m trying to paint more playful content to build up my book illustration portfolio, so here’s a cute little animal diptych! Would be great for a nursery. It’s 8x10 inches and painted with gouache. You name your price!
Email me at email@example.com for purchase inquiries.
Society6 Item of the Week
It’s almost beach season!! Treat yourself to a towel! I don’t know the quality of most Society6 items, but I’m quite familiar with the towels and they are marvelous. Great size, thick material, and they last a while.
Etsy Print of the Week
Here’s a sweet corner painted from a low country home on the marsh! You can get a print on Etsy. A 5x7 inch print is $15.
What’s Inspiring Me Right Now?
I had the chance to steal away to the botanical gardens in Hilo, Hawaii one morning. It was probably one of my favorite mornings I've had this past year. It’s a mile and a half of beautiful plants and trees and views of the ocean. and I just got to walk around and lose my MIND over the craziest flowers I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping to do a painting series soon!
Thanks for reading, subscribers! I promise we’ll have more creative content in the upcoming months. I’m thrilled to pull inspiration from the beautiful things I’ve seen in February for future projects. Enjoy the new season and for you Savannah folks, the AZALEAS!!
- Allison, who will paint SO MUCH in March
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