|This is me!|
*In the Fall of 2009 I wasn’t overly thrilled with my life. I knew something had to change but felt stuck. I saw a counsellor who helped me get to the place where I knew getting “un-stuck” was the only option. She asked me what I really wanted to do and I answered “Travel. Go to Paris.” She told me to do it.
My answer? I can’t. Why? Too many reasons that were just excuses. I was the only thing holding me back, not anything (or anyone) else.
*I planned my trip for a year. It blossomed from just going to Paris to traveling around Europe for 6 months. I did it, it was amazing. Just scroll back in this blog and you’ll see that I quite literally had the time of my life. I started to write, I saw art, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The seed had been planted.
*I remember sitting on a bus in Turkey looking out the window and thinking that I’ve never felt more alive, inspired and full of ideas. I knew that I needed to find a way to have travel and the experiences it brings fit into my new existence.
*I got home late September 2011. I had no idea what I was going to do for money or work, and no real plan. I needed time to figure things out. I wanted a part-time job that was creative and flexible so I’d have time to research how to be a travel writer/blogger and work on my art. A month after I returned I got a job at a kids art studio teaching them about the great masters in art, many of which I had just visited their galleries in Europe (Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse.)
***I also learned to teach stop-motion animation. Further down this post you’ll see why that’s an important detail…
*In the spring of 2012 I started working on my collage art again. I applied to the Harmony Arts Festival Art Market and got in. A friend who’s in the art licensing business saw some of my work on Facebook and wanted to see more for possible publication. After months of waiting, that has finally happened! The catalog came out in October, and I am officially a published artist! I’m thrilled and excited beyond words.
|Winn Devon/Canadian Art Prints Catalog|
|Yup, that’s MY name under that art! Woot!|
|This is catalog page #1|
|And this is catalog page #2|
*So, I’ve been working on the art, and totally neglecting my blog. Yes, this blog. So I decided to start writing again regularly and join Twitter. I wasn’t sure if Twitter would be a time waster or what, so I decided to give it a month and see if I liked it. Not only do I like it, I LOVE it! It’s the greatest way to communicate with many different people at a time, and build some genuine connections. Yes, it can be a time waster if you let it, but I try REALLY hard to limit my time on it. I need to go outside and smell the roses sometimes, right?
* In July I saw a Twitter post about a company called Cheapoair looking for a blog writer. I applied and guess what? I got it! Crazy, right? So, now I can say I’m a published travel writer who gets paid MONEY for it! Slowly, slowly, things are happening!
* One of the other bloggers for Cheapoair is a travel writer named Cailin O’Neil. http://www.travelyourself.ca/ She did a post for Cheapoair about the best travel stop-motion movies, and this one in particular caught my eye. It’s called “The Walk.”
I’d been wanting to do a Vancouver travel blog for a long time (before blogs, I wanted to do a book from a true locals perspective) but knew I needed something different than everyone else, I needed a hook. My friend Judi http://evendesign.ca/ and I wanted to do something together, so we thought a video blog would be fun. Until we realized that neither one of us really wanted to be IN FRONT of the camera, so that was a problem.
We made a plan to meet on Main Street about a month ago to discuss our blog ideas. The night before we met, as I was falling asleep I thought about the stop-motion video above and wondered if something like that might work for our Vancouver street blog? A “walk” down the street and stop into cool shops and cafes. Hmmm…. might be worth a try! I told Judi when we met and she was gung ho.
*We did our first street wander and went home to put the still shots in motion. It was fabulous! A little rough around the edges, but a solid first attempt. THIS was different. THIS was the thing that would set our blog apart from the rest. THIS was something worth working on.
*** So, LONG story LONG, I see now that every single thing I’ve done since I’ve returned from this epic, life changing trip has led to me to this very place. I don’t think the idea for stop-motion would have hit me like a bolt from the blue if it hadn’t have been for the travel, the Cheapoair job and teaching stop-motion to kids at the art studio.
It’s all just a big pile of happenstance that are opportunities that you have to dig for like buried treasure. It’s just up to you to dig for it. (Wow, that was some deep sh*t, wasn’t it?)
See what happens when I don’t blog for a while? (: