Before sitting down to set some goals for 2013 action plan my life for the near future, it seemed necessary to look back over 2012 and make note of my accomplishments, low moments, experiences that taught me something. Thank goodness for FB Timeline (did I just say that?) because these days, we so often tell our stories through a constantly updated stream of photos. I have a chronological account of where I’ve been, and what emo messages I was trying to convey through carefully cropped images.
My 2012 began in South Africa, where I spent a month at an artist residency. I learned a lot from the other residents while I was there, which propelled many of my own ideas regarding art and the collections I was/am making for Larry Designs. I pushed my boundaries by using new materials for the first time, using what was available to me, and delving into more multimedia works as well. Not to mention the experience of living in Cape Town, which I could write a book about and still not even break the ice.
My next move was from 36 Celsius heat to a -20 C spring in Saskatchewan. A shocker. I wrote a load during this time, reflecting on my experiences in Cape Town and feeling a bit lost as to where to go next.
Well, when rent is expensive in Vancouver and you’re not feeling too certain about planting your feet down, go to Honduras! It was too humid to think about much beyond swimming, eating and drinking, but I did read and write a lot here as well. Got into Game of Thrones, plus some of these books.
Right from Honduras I headed to Chile to create yet another collection, this one with a particular emphasis to use local materials and connect with other local artisans. This was an especially challenging 5 weeks as I don’t speak Spanish, but despite that I met some of the most wonderful, generous and creative people. It was a trip that not only provided me with an opportunity to create, but I left with a lot of personal inspiration from those I met along the way.
After almost a year of not living in Vancouver, it was time to unpack my life out of storage and settle back in the city. And it was summer! Multiple trips over the span of a year created a lot of occasions where I not only had to say goodbyes to my friends and family, but I got homecomings as well! Life twists and turns, but always I’ve had amazingly patient friends to come home to.
larry designs in the Vancouver Sun: big scarf grows into business
Two Larry collections within six months and the only thing I wanted to do when I settled back in Vancouver was to make more, and re-establish the line on my homefront. I’m now having a really successful season, and new ideas are shooting out of the woodwork, so it’s an exciting time to be embarking on new projects and incorporating a wider range of products and skills into my repertoire. I found when I got back home that I was more willing to try new things, to be a participant rather than a spectator. Things like entering a pie eating competition (3rd place!), or participating in a pig-catching race in a muddy Cariboo field.
I learned many lessons this past year; that challenging yourself and being afraid creates the biggest opportunity for growth. That one failed idea leads to an out-of-the-box solution. That you can be sad if things don’t go your way, but then you have to immediately move on. Recognize the door-closes-window-opens analogy.
There’s so much to learn and do, and no time to waste. Here’s to 2013 – I’m starting the year with thoughts of everyone who made their mark on me in 2012…you make life inspiring.