The new year is fast upon us, and it has caused me to reflect on things I've been thankful for over the past year. In no particular order, here are a bunch of things I have been REALLY THANKFUL for in the year 2009.
Brigham and Women's Hospital ICU Neuro Unit
My mother had a massive stroke in April. The BWH ICU Neuro team saved her life. Period.
My sisters and brothers-in-law
What can I say, everyone really showed some "true grit" this year with my mom's stroke. I think we all showed each other how tough we all are!! I am really thankful for my family.
My children's rep, Tugeau 2
I had the craziest, bumpiest year and my rep Nicole was very understanding when I needed to be off the radar for awhile. While I'm now back in the saddle now full swing, I really appreciate that she and the rest of Team Tugeau 2 were so understanding and accommodating during that difficult time.
My Boston.com comrades
My team at my day job, especially my manager, were uber-supportive this year regarding my mom's stroke. They REALLY came through for me this year.
Picture Book Junkies
My online illustrator's group, the PBJ's as we call ourselves, have all weathered some major change this year, and we have managed to keep our group rolling right along. We almost ended the group last year, when we closed up the blog, but we decided to cut ourselves some slack-keep going in a new less structured way. I know we are not done metamorphosizing together as a group, but as for where we stand right now, I'm really proud of us that we managed to stick it out. We have grown stronger as a group through all the ups and downs. I am very thankful!
I love to sell on Etsy but I almost appreciate the finds even more. I've becom a crazed fan of several Etsy sellers. I never cease to get compliments on the items I purchase through some of these indie artists and craftspeople. When I get a compliment, I share the name of the particular seller and where they can purchase an item from seller. Word of mouth IS the greatest form of advertisement. To that end, a couple of my favorites are Pink Lemonade Boutique and Simbiosis by Julia Bravo.
Boston Handmade group
I joined BH in January. I am so glad that I joined the group when I did. I met some really fabulous artists and craftspeople and experienced an in-person community like none other I've ever experienced as an adult creative businessperson on my own. It also helped me get through what was the toughest situation I've ever been in. Doing shows with the BH group gave me another creative-focus-with-deadline when I really, really needed it. The deadlines really were self imposed, not client-driven, like illustration work. But besides making a good showing for my own interests, I wanted to do it for my new BH team! So even though it was a really difficult time, BH really helped to give me a different focus that I really needed when I really needed it. It also taught me a lot about merchandising and displaying merchandise as well as gave me plenty of fuel for the fires of creative product development. (Additionally, this experience is something I can draw from now, while pursuing my goal to become successful with licensing my artwork to manufacturers.) I left the BH group in December 2009 for reasons I previously explained in a previous post. But being a member of BH really helped me to come to many conclusions about my creative career. Plus, I made a boat load of friends/local creative alliances. All told, it was a really good thing for me and I hope for them, too!
Making the hard decisions
I'm grateful that I've been able to make some tough decisions that in some ways, would have been easier to not make at all. In addition to quitting BH, I am hanging up my pet portraiture this year. I am hoping to have my final portrait COMPLETED by the END of this year for my fresh start. It's really important to periodically reassess your goals and see if they are working for you in the incarnation they currently are "set" at. Personally, I have now STOPPED letting things get in the way of my MOST IMPORTANT GOALS after a couple of years of letting "other things get in the way" constantly. I am now paying full attention to my inner compass and heeding it's advice moving forward. I'm happy with nervous excitement for the new year -- all I will strive for in the and all I will reap.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!