It’s hard to believe an entire decade is coming to an end; time really escapes me sometimes. I decided it would be fun to take a look back at the last ten years, as a way to remind myself of the things I’ve accomplished and the many things I have to look forward to that are yet to come. It’s interesting to see how my personal and professional life has changed, how my art has evolved, and of course.. how many times my hair color has changed. Let’s get into this visual journal of life beyond just the art room.
This was a sort of pivotal work for me; it was my leftovers from silk screening and just a general dumping ground for other media I was using. I left these on my studio floor and walked on them. They were meant to capture my process without me having to think intentionally about them. Drawing without drawing.
From ending my masters program and being overwhelmed as a new teacher, I rarely had the occasion to work on any personal artwork. Everything I was doing was supporting my professional life as a new teacher- lesson and unit planning took forever, observations stressed me out, making samples for projects took over my nights and weekends.. but it didn’t bother me so much that I couldn’t find time to do my own work because I was always invested in getting this whole teaching thing just right. 2014 came with its ups and downs for sure, but I learned a lot.
Worked on this Frank Sinatra drawing for my grandma, which went up in her room at the assisted living. When she passed away this summer, my uncle kept the drawing and it’s nice to know it will always have a sentimental value. Also, this drawing opened me up to more commissioned charcoal work which I was really grateful for.
2015 and 2016 had me finding my flow. Teacher stuff was getting a little more easy to handle; still doing a ton of stuff for work but also I started treating myself to things I had wanted for a long time. I started to figure out ways that I could bring myself some creative freedom given the confines of making personal work at home. Lack of space meant working digitally or working small enough to not create a huge mess. I was just happy to be doing something creative and for myself finally.
This style was something that just emerged for me this year. I started working on more processed based pieces that I could add to over time. I’d hang my work up on my kitchen walls and just add a little something each day. Starting to work small, and abstractly was an adjustment but I fell in love with it. This process also reminded me of what I was doing 7 years prior in my last year of NYU.
In 2018 I said goodbye to the first condo I ever owned, because I bought a new one. I found a great spot that had more space and had to take advantage of it. These last two years I’ve been a landlord, renting out my old condo. It’s been stressful at times but I’m lucky to have my dad helping me navigate this whole homeowner thing.
I’m extremely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had in my profession; being an educator has taken me places and allowed me to meet people I never thought I would. I’m excited to keep sharing what I do, hopefully inspire other art educators and my students to share their work too. It’s taken a decade but I finally feel like I’m at a place where I feel like myself, my personal work feels like it matches my identify and is showing my voice, and my students work is also advancing. Things that happened outside of work have also shaped me, made me stronger and made me realize it’s ok to focus on bettering myself and finding myself again. Thanks to everyone and everything that has helped me get to where I am today. I’m thinking 2020 is going to be an amazing year.
A lot of time has passed since I last updated! Summer came and went... and almost the whole first semester of a new school year is over (mid-Jan). Here I am on my two week long holiday break and reflecting on a really great first half of the school year. The picture above was from our second annual alumni day, pictured here are some of the best humans I know; they have passed through the doors of my art room and are currently out there using their creativity in their every day lives.
What else have we been up into the art room?
- I taught a workshop about the new AP Studio art exam changed at the Balanced Mind Conference and for the Art Supervisors association
- We hosted our 2nd annual alumni day
-We had our first ever Bob Ross painting day
- My art classes have been cranking out awesome projects like our charcoal portraits, pop art portraits, pixel projects and watercolor figure projects.
-I’ve been posting mini videos to my YouTube channel that I have students use as supplemental content during class (look for MsLivotiArt)
I’m looking forward to a busy and positive second half of the school year when I get back on Jan 6th, and I hope to be more active in updating this regularly! Here are some student projects from this year so far: