Years are marked by a calendar. A calendar that punctuates the way we think about time. The truth is, another day is another day, regardless of the date we stamp on it.
I don't do resolutions. I don't feel that the new year is what creates cleansing or change or even anything "new" other than the number we attach to it.
The world is still chaos and rhythm. It is seasons and grief and beauty. None of that changes because we call it 2017 as of midnight tomorrow.
Yet this season of dark and cold (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) brings some melancholy, some digging, and a need to punctuate shift.
In business, we wrap up a tax year. The practicalities of that exist regardless of intentions or ideas.
So naturally, I start thinking about marketing plans for 2017, what kind of shifts will come both to my own business and to the overlap between myself and Keith Dixon Studios, and what kind of trajectory we will build in as we begin a New Year.
Trajectory. Let that word settle in.
I don't do goals. They speak to me of attachment to outcome, of desire weighed down by something just out of reach.
Trajectory I can do. It's focused on building a solid foundation. It speaks of aim, of movement, and flow.
So as we build trajectory, I remember how many deviations and turns we've taken since the beginning. How many times we had to shift because life is unpredictable. Because the chaos is as important as the rhythm.
I feel the need to look back for a brief moment here. To pause and celebrate the deviations, the wins, the pitfalls and accomplishments of 2016. As much as it was a shit year nationally speaking, there were quite a few personal highs that are worth noting.
This year was a solid year of business for Face by Ren. Highlights included;
Two music videos for The Avett Brothers (Ain't no Man, and No Hard Feelings), These are both songs on their latest album "No Hard Feelings" which is absolutely amazing. I cried on the day we were shooting "No Hard Feelings" in the studio. It touches on end-of-life desires and leaves you raw.
A short film book trailer for "Serafina and the Twisted Staff", the 2nd in the series of 3 by award-winning, best selling author Robert Beatty. I had the privilege of working on the set of "Serafina and the Black Cloak" in 2015 as well. This book series is wonderful and I highly recommend it if you enjoy young adult fiction as much as I do.
Working Fantasy Fest in Key West for the 2nd year.
Competing once again at Living Art America, placing 7th overall and winning the North American championship for UV bodypainting, my first national title.
"Interwoven"; Art show collaboration at Nelson Fine Art Gallery in Johnson City with textile artist Laura Bowman, and Keith Dixon Studios, showcasing the textiles, underwater photography and bodypainting.
Organized two bodypainting exhibitions locally featuring both local bodypaint artists as well as international champions, traveling artists, and Skin Wars contestants; One in March at Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room, another in August at Nelson Fine Art Gallery.
Traveled to multiple bodypainting showcases in the Southeast, one of which was made into a documentary titled "Fire on the Mountain", a stunning look at the primal arts of both fire performance and bodypainting.
Finally had the pleasure of viewing "Oh Beautiful", the bodypainting documentary film by Natalie Fletcher of Skin Wars season 1. Her movie about body positivity as she traveled to all 50 states is raw and vulnerable. We were painted by her here in East TN and got a short clip in the film. I can't recommend this film enough. Truly wonderful! The book is now available as well.
Taught a bodypainting class for the makeup academy students at Paul Mitchell school in Nashville TN.
Add in a very booked year of weddings, commercial work, prom, lessons, classes, and cosmetics retail and 2016 was very full and busy for our businesses.
Our year wrapped up with an unexpected special-needs kitten entering our lives. We are sculpting the business around our new family member who needs extra care. Wizard Cat Merlin is an extraordinary being who bring us much joy, and because of his paralyzed back legs, goes with us everywhere.
He's reminded me that I need to come back to center, back to the gardens and paint once again, right here at home.
Always grateful for those of you willing to support two crazy artists trying to make a go of this thing from East Tennessee. We love these hills and our downtown studios like mad. Here's to more chaos, more rhythm, more painting, more tea, more photography, more adventures, and more creative passions.
Carry on beautiful humans. We're glad you're here.