Monday, 10 July 2017

Konnichiwa Kawaii - The Last of 365 Days

Or maybe, instead of konnichiwa (good day and hello), I should be saying sayonara kawaii?

It's official! All 365 kawaii-cute art projects are now done.

I feel all sorts of things this evening you guys. I feel:

Proud. Surprised. Excited. Sad. Hopeful. Content. Smarter than I was before. More confident now.

If this is your first time tuning into this blog, here's a little background on it:

On July 10, 2016 I started this Kawaii365 blog with high hopes and an open mind. The idea came to me after reading a book called "Unstuck: 52 Ways To Get (And Keep) Your Creativity Flowing At Home, At Work & In Your Studio" by Skull-A-Day author, Noah Scalin.

I won this book from the downtown library here in Red Deer. Rob knew that I recently became a fan of adult coloring, and so there was an adult coloring event there, which we attended for date night. It was a very pleasant surprise to win anything, much-less this awesome creativity book.

Now, I had earned my Art Diploma from SCI in Quebec back in 2009, but aside from some odd jobs here & there, I never really 'became' an artist. Instead, I just settled for being a retail worker and became a housewife, often just doing chores and not following my real career passion.

So a huge thank you to my husband Rob for paying attention to what interests his wifey, and taking the initiative here. After reading this book for about a week (got it on July 3 from what I remember), I kept thinking about all the amazing authors, musicians and visual artists featured in the book, and all the neat projects. These were all people who swallowed their pride, faced their fears and dove in head first - so I did too.

The above is a picture of the very first, #1/365, project. I didn't know exactly what to make first, so I just started carrying a marker around with me and watched for 'blank canvases'. A coffee cup lid seemed perfect - this one was from Second Cup just off Gaetz Avenue.

I promise they got better after this, lol. Well, somewhat. There have definitely been some 'flops' like the 2 below, but it's all part of learning & growing, as both an artist and a person.

So if you live in Red Deer (or Calgary where Rob & I used to live), then you know I'm shy by nature. It could be a Pisces thing, or because according to Myers-Briggs,  I'm an INFJ (so mostly introverted and more emotionally sensitive). And therefore, this project was one of the best decisions I've ever made!

It not only caused me to get out and meet more people in the city (and collaborate with other artists), it caused me to think with a more open mind. I developed more self-esteem, found myself forgiving others more easily, started seeing life with a more positive outlook and developed a greater interest in learning (which helps with Spanish and playing keyboard).

I also got honored to be part of some awesome events in the city, such as Alberta Culture Days and Art Battle International.

And when it started to dawn on me... I'm a real, legitimate professional graphic and visual artist (and cartoonist), I began offering commission work on Fiverr. I have designed illustrations & clipart, as well as made coloring sheets for businesses such as dental offices, and even got into paid freelance writing for others. This extra income has forced me to be better with balancing books and really paying attention to what comes in [and from where], and then what gets re-invested, and what is left over to save. And for someone like me, this is saying a lot.

Now feeling so professional, I also have my LinkedIn page a complete makeover. Like my passport photo, it was in desperate need of one!

This project has also helped me manage time better - as an adult with ADHD (yes it's a thing), I wasn't always focused on schedules and time. But now, after monitoring a year day-by-day, week-by-week and even month-by-month (with a binder and notebooks), I feel more organized than before. Here's to hoping this is a habit that sticks.

And, armed with the knowledge that I'm a legit professional artist with experience, references, a deviantArt page and a diploma in Arts, I decided to take my tee shirt designs professional and opened a RedBubble shop. That has proven successful with sales, and I also have a Zazzle shop with my original designs uploaded to it. And it feels amazing to have come this far in just a year!

So, you might be wondering then... today is project #365 - what is it?

You'll need to watch the YouTube video above for the reveal...

And, I've been asked by reputable questioners, what is going to become of this blog now that our daily art project is done. That's a great question!

Initially, I figured this blog would end up in a holding pattern [after 400+ posts], but then we began doing Review Wednesdays and Feature Fridays, which proved popular. And most recently, we do a thing on Mondays called 'Are They Kawaii?' so this blog is going to stay updated with those.

I can't just disappear from all the loyal readers and sharers. You guys have shown so much love and helped make this blog and art project a reality for this shy girl (pointing to myself).

Also, we are still doing 'challenges' where you try something new & Japanese (currently, we're doing the #OrigamiChallenge) and share it across social media to get yourself seen ≧◡≦

And before I go for the evening, you need to know something cool: Next Monday (July 17th) is World Emoji Day, so make sure to share some love with emoji! In fact, if you can, try commenting here with them 😄

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