I was having a great day. Not today, but a few days ago. I had breakfast at a favorite place with a favorite person. Then we raced against nature to the look out over Pago Bay. And we caught the sunrise. It was perfectly natural and not all at once, but I was okay with that and everything. And then later that day, while I was alone, a song came on, a song I like, a song that has never gotten to me before. And I lost it. Everything was blurry and then suddenly clear.
There's an old voice in my head that's holding me back Well tell her that I miss our little talks
I've been away from this blog for sooooooo long. Dispensa yu', friends, but I've been busy with my grant project and the many other projects that life has sent my way. But check this out!!! A bill was recently passed in the legislature to help fund Duk Duk Goose Inc.'s children's television show, Nihi! Guess who is an artist and illustrator for Nihi!? That's right, ME! It was amazing working with everyone on this project and now that funding is in the works, we'll be able to keep working! Our kids need this. And honestly I need this. I'm not getting any younger and I really need to get my art career off the ground. I'm getting really tired of my current job.
People like to say that if you love making art so much you will overcome the financial difficulties and all the other obstacles that make it hard for you to create, like wandering attention, day jobs, and life in general, It's true. Artists will find a way to create. But artists need to be resourceful and know how to hustle. I'm finally learning that.
I'm working on a solo project, Finattan Lina'la, which for my purposes translates to Illustrated Life. I've been wanting to grow my illustration skills for a while and I decided that a great way to start would be to explore life on Guam, through illustration. In order to insure my commitment to this exploration and growth I thought an exhibition of my journey would be a great incentive. Art supplies are not cheap! And if you live on an island, in the middle of the beautiful Pacific, art supplies are really not cheap. I guess that's a paradise tax. In June, of last year, I applied for a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. And last October I found out that I got my grant and could move forward with the project, with the greatly appreciated funding.
The actual application was fairly easy to put together. What was hard was convincing myself that I deserved a shot at some funding. I kept thinking about the amazing artists I know and thinking so and so could really use this. I felt like I would be taking something from other local artists, who I felt deserved it more than me. I believed in my project and it's purpose, I just didn't believe in myself. I moved forward with the application at the urging of my mother, who is so amazingly supportive.
The grant application required three letters of recommendation. I sent out some emails to people who have been supportive and inspiring, to me and other members of my community. I can't express how touched I was by the letters I got back. Those letters, from people I admire so much, were just what I needed to turn in my application with a smile on my face and optimism overflowing in my soul. As artists, we create because we have to. We could cease existing if we bottle up that energy. We do it silently with out an audience, if we must. But when your art reaches someone and that dialogue from artist to viewer, or listener, or reader, begins and you find out that your creation is acknowledged and appreciated it's the breeze that turns a small flame in to a wild fire. Un dångkolo' na saina ma'åse to Dessa, Nella, Carmen, Mr. Tenorio, and of course, the Maga'håga of my heart, mom. A very special saina ma'åse to Cara, for pointing me in the direction of illustration and being a great hustle role model.
So now I'm inviting my friends in Wonderland to visit my project. The website is a work in progress, as are the illustrations, and the rest of my life. I will be updating the blog and illustration pages on the site regularly. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy creating it. I can't wait to invite everyone to the physical exhibition later this year.