14_carolyn_upAToday’s art: finished pages from Carolyn’s round robin book on transport. This was my last set of pages in the project. You can see them all posted over here.

I’m sad to see this round robin go, because I won’t have time to do any others this year. But I’m happy to see it go, because it clears the room for my next thing. After much waffling, I’ve decided it will probably, maybe, almost definitely be an art journaling issue of Bad Influence, with a Kickstarter campaign, and a bunch of artist interviews, and maybe a journal page exchange of some kind. At the end of all that, there will be a year-long art journaling class. So, the rest of my year is spoken for, as well as one week a month for all of 2016, to build all the video lessons the class will need. Boom. Huge project. It has a spreadsheet page, and everything. That’s when you know a project is serious at my house: it goes from a line item on an endless list of things I might like to do some day, to a page of its own.

Right now, I’m reading Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher, which was recommended by one of my Patreon patrons, after I whined about feeling overwhelmed by all the ideas I have, and not being able to focus on any one thing. The book is about a personality type Sher has labeled Scanners: people who have many interests, and are unable to focus on one. I’m not entirely sure I’m a Scanner, because while some of the descriptions apply to me, all my interests tend to be in the arts. On the flip side, doing one thing for a while, getting really good at it, and then abandoning it for the next thing is pretty much a description of my whole life. So, for now, I’m following the exercises in the book.

Today’s exercise is to list all the things I’ve done or accomplished in my life so far. I decided to do that here, rather than in a journal, because I know the list is ridiculous and long before I start. I thought it would be fun to share all the weird stuff I’ve done so far:

  • I learned to play the piano, violin, guitar and flute.
  • I learned to ride and care for horses.
  • I’ve owned half a dozen dogs.
  • I sang soprano in choir, and in several stage productions.
  • I acted in about a dozen different school plays and musicals.
  • I designed and sewed all the clothes I wore in high school, including all three of my prom dresses.
  • I earned a BA, and an MFA, in design for the stage.
  • I designed the lighting for half a dozen shows in college.
  • I designed costumes for Shakespeare Festivals in Virginia, Texas and Idaho.
  • I lived for at least a month in the following places: Chicago; Williamsburg, Virginia; Buffalo, New York; New Haven, Connecticut; Boise, Idaho; Longview, Texas.
  • I lived for at least a year in the following places: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Washington, DC; New York City; Houston, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; Buena Park, California; Cypress, California; Sherman, Texas; Euless, Texas.
  • I’ve traveled to Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Nevada, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and England.
  • I’ve driven coast to coast, alone in a U-Haul truck, in three days.
  • I taught costume design at two different colleges, and makeup design at one.
  • I started my own line of artist-quality, dressed teddy bears, and won several Best of Show awards for my designs.
  • I learned HTML, and designed dozens of web sites for other teddy bear artists.
  • I designed baby and toddler dresses, one of which was picked up by the JCPenny Christmas catalog.
  • I worked in a craft store, as the head of the floral department, where I made hundreds of Christmas wreaths and homecoming mums.
  • I own my own home.
  • I’ve redesigned the kitchens in two houses.
  • I wrote regular articles about dollhouses and miniatures for two different web sites.
  • I’ve replaced every door in my current house, and installed all but the front and back doors myself.
  • I’ve installed ceiling fans, with appropriate bracing, and often with new wall switches, in every house and apartment in which I’ve lived, and most of the wall outlets in my current home.
  • I tore out most of the lawn in my front yard, and replaced it with native plants, so the yard requires no watering beyond what nature provides.
  • I build raised organic vegetable beds in the backyard, and most years, the only tomatoes I eat are those I’ve grown myself.
  • I became a vegan, and learned how to keep a vegan kitchen.
  • I learned about WordPress, and am familiar enough with it to maintain all my own web sites, and tweak them to look the way I want.
  • I was an editor on the world’s largest craft store’s web site.
  • I started my own mixed-media design company, and kept it running for 10 years.
  • I wrote over 150 how-to articles for Go Make Something.
  • I’ve created over 1,200 free printable collage sheets for GMS, and another 450 for purchase at Ten Two Studios.
  • I’ve created 10 online art classes.
  • I have 270 videos posted on YouTube. (Most are not publicly visible.)
  • I’ve written about a dozen books, and self-published 8 issues of my ‘zine, Bad Influence.
  • I have an Amazon author page with 11 current titles on it.
  • I’ve hosted over two dozen altered book round robins.
  • I moderate a handful of Facebook groups.

That’s all I can think of this morning. I’m sure those of you who have followed me for a while will say, “Lisa, you forgot about X.”, and yes, I have forgotten about half the stuff I’ve done. It’s hard to make a list of things I’ve done, when I have so many lists of things I want to do.

This list could explain why I thought the funniest thing I’ve read in Refuse to Choose so far was Sher’s description of a Scanner who was wearing a button that said “I’ve Already Done That”. Because that sums up how I’ve lived my life: learn something, become proficient, then set it aside, and learn something else. It’s good when it comes to creative things, but not so good when it comes to finishing the trim work in my bedroom.