On New Years Eve of 2019, I’m pausing to think about the year.
Facebook reminds us daily of what happened this time last year and some years are ones we would rather forget. Some years are full of grief and sheer bad luck. We all have them, no matter what the aspirational Instagrammers tell us. The people close to us know what really went on; the struggles with all manner of things; addiction, depression, financial disaster. Sometimes you read people’s posts and think ‘Hang on, is this the same person I was hanging out with last week?!’
Social media is designed to curate all manner of things. Laughter, envy, adoration, conscience…
I like to have a laugh above all other things, and some years it’s been hard to. But 2018 was good to me. It bought me work I love and people I enjoyed the company of and working with. You hang onto those years, when things turn out, because it’s good to remember that they did, and the tricky times are blips in the road- sometimes bloody great potholes. This year the highway was smooth for me, and this is how it went. The things I did were, as a summary:
- Props and costume on The Candlewasters Tragicomic Series watch it- here!
- Celebrated my painted owl for The Big Hoot, in situ and saw it auctioned off.
- Designed and built on costuming commissions for some fun projects at CK Film Design here in Wellington.
- Pulled together a 40th reunion of people who started at Wellington Polytechnic Design School (now Massey university). It was so much fun! Go here to see the one historic photo of the time on record in the official archives. Yes thats me hahaha! I was 20. Of course we dug up many more which I won't post!
- Created two finalist entries, 'Bower' and 'Jellytits' in the World of WearableArt, Bizarre Bra Section and watched them perform wonderfully on stage.
- Designed and created all the costumes for Flip, a short Film by Jessica Grace Smith.
- Saw the release of Go Girl by Barbara Else, which features 6 portraits I illustrated.
- Constructed, with the invaluable skills of the hugely clever JosieneVM, replica historic prison guard and prisoner uniforms for the CorrectionsMuseum in Wellington.
- Designed and made couple of hilarious and awesome crayfish mascot suits for a local Govt Dept - yet to be released into the wilderness, but look out for them in the new year (still can’t show you pictures yet!)
- Created regular monthy crafts for The Sapling (an awesome resource!)
- Illustrated ‘Andrew Down Under’ by Anne Manchester, featuring a very cute dog!
- Travelled for multiple school visits and workshops in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland through The New Zealand Book Council, Writers in Schools programme.
- A Duffy Role Model Tour of Hawkes Bay- Bringing Books into Homes.
- Co-Judged the Edible Fashion Awards in Havelock North, with Annah Stretton and Tessa Paymans.
- Created a puffer fish puppet for The Asthma andRespiratory Foundation Education programme
- Ran a Matariki craft workshop at The Beehive and a monthly craft session for Teen Girls at Hutt Hospital.
- Ran writing and illustration workshops at The Hokianga Writers Festival in Rawene- a very special place in the world
- Facilitated a Write Like an Author School Holiday Workshop over a week with talented young writers and am setting up a Draw Like an Illustrator one for January 2019 (only 4 places left!)
- Gathered WOW entries together for a mini show for AWE in Upper Hutt with the tireless and community spirited, Melanie Avery, then helped displayed a static wearable art exhibition at Expressions Gallery.
- Spent a month creating a special sculpture for Dress for Success using my Weta Workshop Residency, won at World of WearableArt the previous year.
- Won The Shoes Extravaganza Contemporary Section with my 'Milos' Greek inspired shoes
- Finally, finally, I have had two picture books that I have both written and will illustrate accepted for publishing next year (more details to come as to what and with who). Usually I either write my own novels, or illustrate someone elses picture books.
- Made a panel for Suffrage in Stitches (they still need a few more if you want to make one!)
- Oh and the big one; I was appointed the 2019 Children’sWriter in residence at Otago University. Something I have dearly wanted and worked towards for years- AND the NZ Women's Weekly did an article on me because of it. So I have made my mother proud!
So yes, the stars were in alignment and if it seemed that everything I touched turned to gold this year, it’s more an indication of years of groundwork I think, making good connections with people and not letting anyone down, even if I was dog tired. I was fortunate to keep good health both physically and mentally. And as I said at the start of this post, some years are just not like that (I'm remembering that appendicitis surgery, and the year of depression...) Oh, and I'm still not financially wealthy. Designer clothes and travel continue to evade me, but I am happy and content. That's worth so much to me.
So if 2018 has been one you’d rather wave goodbye to and forget, then bid it farewell. Tomorrow is a new day, a new year, with new possibilities. Happy 2019 all, and thank you everyone for your most excellent support and aroha xxx