It has been a busy few months and I have been putting off blogging as a result. The thing is I have things to share. So despite having a ton on my plate I felt I needed to write the blog.
October, as some of you may know, is a month of drawing challenges. One of the more well known challenges is Inktober, and the challenge is to make 31 drawings in 31 days. They give a helpful, and also not so helpful prompt list to get you going. You can choose to not do the prompts but a majority of people do the prompts because it is fun to see what other people came up with from the same word. I have ran the Inktober challenge for several years now, although we kind of skipped last year. This year, my art group teamed up with other artist groups and a local brewery, Crafthead, to do events on a weekly basis. So every Saturday, creatives could come together and draw. I made it to two of them and really wish I could have done all of them. It was fun to chat with people that had the same goal. I managed to draw every prompt this year and several of them I feel good about. Below is the collection of drawings for your perusal.
I also had the privilege of being part of a digital show during the month of October.
The other big thing that happened in October was that I had a medical issue. I had a lump in my throat that I had been putting off doing anything about. Once Michelle became aware of it she set up doctor appointments. It turns out I had a tumor on my thyroid, a fairly big one. The doctors tested it before the surgery and were mostly sure it wasn’t cancerous but they wanted me to have surgery as soon as possible. They wanted it out so it wouldn’t get bigger. The surgery took the right side of the thyroid out. I spent 4 days in the hospital and about 3 more days at home recovering. Then I was back at work whisper talking. They say it can take a couple months for your voice to return to its normal strength. It is getting stronger but it also has limits that I am trying not to push past. The postoperative biopsy showed it to be not cancerous and relief washed over us.
November is also a month of challenges both artistically and professionally. I have run the Creativember challenge since 2019. I created it during the Inktober I ran in 2019 as a way to continue the fun of daily creation. This year is year 4 and every year it has changed form and I am sure next year will be no different. Here are the rules:
How will this year work?
1. You are going to create two completed art works in 30 days. You choose the medium and you choose your muse.
2. The WeChat group. Although we are not creating something similar daily, we still need to post progress shots, ideas and planning, and finished pieces in the group on at least a weekly basis. Also be active and help support the other artists with suggestions, tips, and praise. Basically, be awesome.
3. Other social medias. Feel free to post things related to Creativember. Add the #creativember2023 and #ISZAF (also #thecreativemberexperiment for old times sake) so we can like and share. Also share your insta handle or other social media handles so we can follow each other.
Yeah, I get it. You might want a little more help, so I have 2 themes for this year: People and Emotion.
You aren’t ready to commit to a finalized artwork because reasons. If you want to create daily images, I suggest finding prompts online. I personally have been enjoying looking at WTPrompt on Instagram and use it on drawing prompt days in the classroom. There are a bajillion prompt lists out there, I know you can figure it out.
Feel free to share it with like-minded friends.
I have already completed 2 pieces. I have a couple more I would like to get done if time permits.
As part of the challenge I folded my desire to participate in National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo, into my personal Creativember goals. That is 50,000 words in 30 days. I am not sure that is happening this year since I am still sitting at 24,000 words and have only 9 days left. Still I will be happy no matter how far I get because I wanted to start daily writing anyway and now I have.
I also decided this year that I would volunteer to run professional development for teachers at my school. We call this PD days and we have a few days at the beginning of the year and some days in November. I ran a course in August about bringing art into the classroom. This month I ran a course about using art as a way to put wellness and self care into your routine. Lots of teachers are prone to overworking and it’s important to remind them they need to take some time to clear their mind and rebuild their stamina. Art is an awesome way to do that. I was glad I could not only speak on it but also get them started with an art making activity. The difference for this pd was that it was a regional meeting meaning people from the Asian region were to meet together. Because of Covid restrictions this meant meeting online unless you were an employee at the school in Shenzhen. The cool thing was that meant one of my 3 sessions was an online one. It included people from other parts of China and Vietnam. Schools in Timor Liste and Thailand were also invited but I did not see them on my attendee list.
November also happens to be the month we write narrative report card comments. I have around 300 students, so it’s a big job. It means I will be spending my writing brain there instead of on the novel most likely for the rest of the month.
Carter is talking all the time. He is trying new things and loves being a big brother. Especially the part where he gets to tell Owen what he can’t do because he is only a baby. Owen is starting to smile and make little sounds. He is also making bubbles and sucking on his hand. He has moved from the baby that was either asleep or crying to a baby that is a lot more likely to be happy. Michelle is busy taking care of all of us and doing a great job.