Last December, my cousin Alexis proposed that we all (myself, my sister Kim, my Granny) come up with a word to represent the upcoming year. At this time last year, I was pretty lost. I had just moved back to Chicago after quitting my full time tech job in SF. I wasn't working or making any money which was unsettling every month when bills were due (even though it was my intent to take several months off). I was spending my days waking up at varying hours, eating bags of Ruffles for lunch and dinner, and taking art classes without a clue as to where it would lead.
My word was "creativity" and I vowed to stick to it, knowing something had to take hold sooner or later. I'd enroll in an art class every semester at Lillstreet, even if it was something I'd normally never do (metalsmithing, anyone?) and I'd try to create something (anything!) every day if possible. Money would be spent on bills, but less on clothes – more on art supplies and classes. My priorities for the year were set.
I went back in time and pulled 1-2 photos to represent creativity for each month of 2018. Wanna go through them? COOL! Let's do it.
I made this fabric during my fall fabric printing class at Lillstreet in October 2017. In late December to early January 2018, I worked with my mom to sew a full length dress from the fabric I had printed. I then took a weeklong trip to California and my friend Victoria did a shoot with me and several of my wildest outfits. This one was taken off Melrose, somewhere near West Hollywood.
The Ponnopozz logo! Created February 19, 2018 along with a custom, vector background. Seth got me a digital stylus for Christmas so I made a lot of vector art early in the year. I made this logo and launched the Ponnopozz brand shortly after on February 23.
In January, I enrolled in a ceramics class and by March, I'd gotten pretty good at the basics. Here is a mug I made for my Dad, pre-glaze.
One April day, I took my stylus and drew my cat, Sweet Pea. The next day, I drew Flip. Then, Lola. Then almost every cat I know, which led to the Nine Lives series. The most popular seller from this line was definitely the pillows!
In May, I was well into my 100 Day Project – a daily creative boost where I'd paint one 8x8 canvas. The project ran from April 3 - July 11. During that time, I produced 100 abstract paintings of varying styles. I also started my first large canvas piece.
In June, I traveled to the northern California redwoods with two of my best friends. My art supplies came with me. Here I am on the porch of our cabin, creating what is likely number 70~ of my 100 Day Project series.
By mid July, I had an entire series of mid to large scale work. Towards the end of the month, I had my aha! moment whilst cleaning yoga mats – to host my first art show in my empty apartment! These works were all shown on my opening night. Of the ones pictured, I only have three left.
August was a big month for me personally and less creatively. Personally, I moved in with Seth (my first time ever living with my boyfriend) and I traveled to Europe for two weeks with my family. On the creative front, I painted this duo and it was shown at my first ever fundraiser. These pieces were up in the auction and going to the event was a total mental mind fuck for me since it was the first time any of my work had been shown in person to the public.
September was the climax of the year. September 22 was my first art show and my introduction to the world as an artist under the Ponnopozz brand. The show was a huge hit, with many friends and family (and strangers!) in attendance. Above is a picture of the Houseplants series, a series of nine paintings based on the houseplants I have at home. The show was a tremendous personal success for me and it marked the turning point of Ponnopozz.
October was HUGE. On the 29th, I launched the new Ponnopozz.com, coded lovingly and diligently by Seth. I can't explain how great it felt to have a real blog and a real online store – it was almost intimidating because I had the site I'd always wanted. Months later, it is still as amazing as it was that first day and I'm excited to watch it grow.
In early November, I took a loom weaving class with my good friend Jonathan. It reminded me how important art classes are, especially when they aren't in your preferred medium. Over Thanksgiving, Seth and I went to Joshua Tree. It was a special trip for many reasons. JT is one of my favorite places and I was eager to show Seth why. It was also my first time away from family at the holidays and it was really refreshing. Lastly, I was more inspired there than I'd been in the last six months. The result was a series of six desert-inspired paintings (which ended up displayed at my first ever cafe show just a week later!)
And holy crap, here we are in December, with five craft shows in one month (including Renegade) and Ponnopozz prints going PUBLIC. I could have never seen myself at craft shows last December. But, it's something I'm really enjoying right now and I'm looking forward to continuing this momentum into 2019.
I'm really pretty shocked at how the year progressed now that I'm looking back. I did so much shit. Some of it didn't stick but some of it did. Life happens in the moment and trying things to figure out what you want is the only way to learn who you are and what you want out of your work. You can't pre-plan it all.
This past year, Ponnopozz grew from a little seedling of inspiration into a little brand that I'm determined to foster as we approach the new year. Which leads me to my word for next year –
2019 is about getting out there, going to shows, talking to people, networking, licensing, collaborating, creating, showcasing. Doing shit. Pushing myself. Continuing to create but with an emphasis on hustling and getting my name out there. I have a better idea of who I am this year so now I want people to get to know that side of me. I want to use exposure to take Ponnopozz to the next level.
Thanks so much to those of you that have been here from the start and a huge welcome to those of you who are reading about me for the first time. Your support means so much!