The past couple of months have been pretty life changing for me. I have spent long days and nights locked in at my desk: questioning, re-thinking and learning. And what a steep learning curve it has been! Thanks to CreativeLive and people such as Ann Rea, Brené Brown, Jared Platt and April Bowles-Olin my mind has been expanded, blown away and confronted with multiple epiphanies. Here are the conclusions I have reached as a result:
Serial traveler syndrome
Even though my time spent in Tallinn has been productive and formative, I’m afraid I have to leave. It has become clear to me that staying in one place for a prolonged period makes me feel restless and isolated. (People who know me are rolling their eyes right about now, saying they saw that one coming!) So in June I will be leaving Estonia and traveling back to the South Pacific region to meet up with my partner after not seeing each other for 5 long months (what were we thinking!!?). We will meet in good old Savusavu in Fiji, where we lived for a while back in 2012 and where I got my dodgy drivers license. From there we’ll sail between the islands to engage with people, cultures and environments… Just go where the trade winds blow and where time has a different dimension.
Because it is a healthy (although torturous) exercise to question everything once in a while, I had to scrutinize my relationship with art and why I do it. It may seem strange that I still question this but every once in a while I need to check that I’m living by my own standards and not by someone else’s ideas of who I am or what I should be doing. It is all too easy to get caught up with something and tumble down the path of least resistance just because “that’s the way things are” or “that’s what I’ve always done”. Or even worse – assume a certain role because that is what’s expected. Trust me, I have been down that path and it’s horrible. This interrogation has allowed me to reaffirm that art is such a major part of who I am, if I tried to ignore it I would end up confused and miserable. So the only thing I can do is keep working. And to keep working toward making a livelihood from what I do best. It is therefore imperative to design my life in a way that will allow me to make art as I travel; to make it about and because of travel in fact. Perhaps I am setting myself up for failure. But how could there be failure in being who you are?
Turning the tables
In my most recent work I’ve been drawing stories that look back at past events, made for my own peace of mind more than anything else. This work is introverted and nostalgic. But as a new chapter is about to unfold I need to change course. Art and travel have both changed my life in complementary ways: they have taught me empathy, forced me out of my comfort zone and made me a better person in the process. Now it’s time to turn the tables and use art and travel as tools to do the same for others. I want my work to reach out, to create connections and broaden horizons. I want it to empower and inspire you to question the status quo and design your life the way you want to live it. I don’t yet know how exactly I will do this and what it’s going to look like. I don’t know if it will work at all. So yes, I’m nervous about what is waiting up ahead… But I sincerely hope that you will stay with me on this journey!