A Year of Art, Story and Connection

My 27th year was full of adventure, discovery and new friendships, and now as my 28th year starts I can already see it being an incredible year for growth. 

My birthday is on the 1st of Jan (yes its sucks sometimes) but, a new year offers a time to celebrate and reflect on all that you have done in the previous year, and so does a birthday. 

 Me and Melissa at Camp GLP

Me and Melissa at Camp GLP

Jan - March. In March I launched my first ever project as an artist, Project Hummingbird. That project was a stepping stone for me into a creative future, and it offered an amazing confidence boost too since all the hummingbirds sold out within hours. At this time I was working at See Change PT, and also at a local Fairfield shop part time. Unfortunately, and despite my confidence boost, immediately after the success of Project Hummingbird I pretty much went and hid in a hole again. I'm still working on why this happens every time I launch a new project!

 The original Hummingbirds

The original Hummingbirds

April - June. I wrote an eBook on photography, I took a live walking Beginners photography class, I received my first commission request for animal portraits and continued working my two jobs. This was also leading up to my next trip to the US for three months to be reunited with Kyle. 

June -August. The three months I spent in Portland, OR will always be remembered as a time of adventure, amazing friendships and personal growth. In June I attended World Domination Summit and was inspired and excited to throw myself back into my artwork. I tried out a new project called I Made You a Card, which didn't go as planned but it was definitely a great lesson.

Upon receiving a new commission (see the owl below) in the US I took a leap into discomfort and requested over double what I had previously been charging for commissions. It felt amazing to place this value on my work, and to have the encouragement to do so from a wonderful new friend who requested the work. 

 Commissioned Horned Owl for Greg

Commissioned Horned Owl for Greg

I got to go on multiple camping trips in Oregon, and a 3 day photography road trip to the Alvord Desert with my friend Melissa offered an amazing opportunity to reignite my love of photography. We arrived as a storm raged through, and the resulting sunset was spectacular! Sleeping in the middle of the desert was also pretty awesome. 

 Melissa in the desert at sunset 

Melissa in the desert at sunset 

Slogging 14 kilometers up a steep hill in the Wallowas wasn't my favourite time, however the view of the spectacular lake at the top was incredible!

 The lake at the top of the mountain in the Wallowas

The lake at the top of the mountain in the Wallowas

In late August we attended Camp Good Life Project where Kyle and I both volunteered. The 5 days we spent in upstate New York at camp were pretty much my favourite part of the entire three month trip and I honestly feel like it changed my life. It's basically heaven on earth for entrepreneurs and creatives! We even met some amazing Aussie's there too. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a way to connect with like minded people and find inspiration. As an attendee it's three and a half days of workshops, stories, keynote speakers, talent show!!, team colour wars and bunking like kids in a real American summer camp

 With Jonathan Fields, and my dear friends Toku and Stacia.

With Jonathan Fields, and my dear friends Toku and Stacia.

September- Decmber. In September we said a very bittersweet goodbye to Portland and our new extended family to head home to Aus. Even though I was only in the Portland for 3 months It felt like home. I had made amazing new friends and I had wonderful support from everyone around me.

I love Australia and I love living here, but sometimes its hard to tell people here that I want to be an artist. I have actually had someone say "do you really think that's feasible?". It was really hard coming back, and it took much longer than I expected to get back into Aussie life. While we have family and wonderful friends here, there is definitely a different level of vulnerability here, compared to the people we spent time with in Portland and at camp. By that I mean sometimes conversations in Aus can be layered with sarcasm and humour (in general, obviously this is not true for everyone) which takes away from an opportunity for connection. However, this goes both ways and I'm making an effort to be that open and vulnerable person myself.

Luckily there is a lot of change happening here in Melbourne, and Kyle and I have found a wonderful bunch of people at the Live Your Legend Local meetups and at Collective Potential

When I arrived home in Aus I took up my friend Toku's offer for Coaching, and worked on my Quirky Animals project. His style of coaching offered the support and infinite questions in response to my questions which was exactly what I needed. I discovered a lot about my own fears during that time, and also discovered a lot of my own strength and determination. I couldn't have done it without him, and I'm so grateful for his help.

In November I did another round of Hummingbirds, and had a lot of fun creating start to finish video's of their creation. 

I also completed a number of Custom Pet Portraits, and discovered how I much I love doing this! Below is my absolute favourite - Oscar on Panelpop Stone. 

 Now. It's a new year and I'm excited! 

Some of my goals for this year include but are not limited to painting 50 (or more) pet portraits, doing an oil painting class, painting BIG! paintings, travelling to Cambodia with Jess, travelling to the US again for Camp and to visit friends in Portland, travelling to Spain and the UK, making new friends who inspire me, selling an original for over $1000. 

Ok I have to go now. I have work to do!

Much love, 

Zoe

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