February represents new beginnings for me.
I spent the month of January completing all of the unfinished work left over from 2015. You’ll see those being integrated as new prints throughout the year.
February 2016 marks my first year being a full-time, self-sustaining artist. It’s been a bumpy road and one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
Leading up to February last year I had been going through an ugly breakup, that had me in a pretty bad place. I worked in a local comic shop part-time while doing various graphic design jobs and comic style commissions. I felt that something was missing though and I wasn’t pulling in what I needed to move forward, so I tried to figure out what the next step was.
I started using art to get through the tough time I was having. It was the first time I really stepped out and used art to express what I was feeling. I started a series called “Songs.” The idea for the series was to talk about various women that inspired me throughout my life. The end result was seven pieces done on illustration board with pastels. It was the first time I had really used art as an outlet. It felt amazing and new. I felt freedom and relief.
But I still felt stagnant. I had all of this art that I was incredibly proud of and that I felt such a connection. But I was frustrated because I didn’t know what to do with the work itself. I thought I should take a shot at selling my work at some of the local art markets. I researched and made lists and decided that in 2015 working those would be the beginning. I sent out one application, I thought the Frenchmen art market seemed like the best place to start. A few weeks passed and I hadn’t heard anything, so I decided to send a follow up email to see what was going on with my application. The day I got the acceptance email, I broke down in tears because I still had no idea how to move forward.
February 12th was the first night I worked the market and all I had was the “Songs” series. It was a slow start, but it was the beginning of change. I was doing something I’d never done before, and I was moving forward. I’ve continued to move forward from that point on.
Now it’s February again, a year later, and I’m in a much better place in so many aspects of my life. I’ve set new goals and I’m confident that I’ll achieve them by 2017. I’ve been revisiting the “Songs” series, doing a series I call “Remixes” — pieces inspired by some of my favorite “Songs.”
Check my calendar to find out where I’m working in February. I’ll be finishing one “Remix” each week, in addition to one larger piece that I’ll be working on every weekend during my month-long artist residency at the Magazine Art Market. Come and join me on February 12th at the Frenchmen Art Market from 7-1 for a Monty-versary party — “One Year of Monty!”. I’ll be drawing the market space and giving away some free prints! If you can’t make it out for that be sure to follow me on all of my social media for live updates and to follow my progress on the “Remixes”.