Finding Positive Change through Challenges
The last few years have been a challenge for me personally and professionally. I’ve not dealt well with this pandemic; it has been a very real personal struggle while trying to find positivity through change.
At the end of 2018, Derek and I moved to Washington, North Carolina. We were getting settled in our new town. I found a great studio space with a view of the Pamlico River. I also completed the Entrepreneurship Core Curriculum at the Beaufort County Community College (BCCC) and managed to land a solo exhibition at the North Carolina Estuarium.
I was growing my business network through the BCCC entrepreneur curriculum. I met several entrepreneurs, including Bob Mackowski of Open Aperture Photography and Martin Brossman of Martin Brossman and Associates. Both of these amazing friends helped me learn about video, visual marketing on social media, relationship marketing, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO) via Google.
I also had the opportunity to work with Bruce Simmon, a small business advisor, who is a volunteer through SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and the Craven County Community College. He helped me put together my business plan.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2020, I was feeling pretty good about where I was headed as an artist. I had just finished a great course with storytelling coach B. Rain Bennett, called “Maximize Your Impact ~ the Art and Science of Storytelling.” I learned skills on how to tell my own story in the most authentic, effective, and efficient way.
In addition, I learned about Susan Lazear of Cochenille Design Studio, and was scheduled to attend the Cochenille Fashion & Design Retreat at the Lable Graine Textile Firm in Lyon, France, at the end of March 2020. I was super excited about this retreat: it was going to teach me skills on how to design my own line of clothing and would have been my first ever trip to France.
Then boom… the pandemic hit. My solo show was closed. The retreat in France was cancelled. Life seemed to quickly spin out of control.
Needless to say, my focus was no longer on my art — I was focused on trying to avoid contact with people. Normally I wouldn’t find that idea difficult as I’m an introvert, but this time it felt personal, as if the pandemic had a vendetta against me.
I started feeling pretty down and I knew I wasn’t alone as the pandemic ravaged people’s lives all around the globe. With the added stress of the political uncertainty of 2020, Derek and I were becoming extremely unsettled — something needed to change.
New Country & Positive Change
By the end of that summer, we decided to high tail it out of the country for the sake of our sanity. As most of you know by now, we made a monumental move to Nova Scotia, Canada. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly, but one we both felt needed to be made. And so, here we are…
Fast forward to March 2022, life is slowly getting back on track. I’m now a permanent resident of Canada and have my work permit!! I must say I’m feeling a bit safer and definitely less stressed.
I’m jump starting my art career in a new country and I am making new art; different art — more types of art! Including printmaking and digital art, and I started this new blog.
I even found new gallery representation here in Nova Scotia: Tripp’s Gallery in Annapolis Royal and the Lunenburg Art Gallery in Lunenburg. I’m also hoping to get into the Eastern Shores Gallery in Chezzetcook once they are finished with renovations on their newly-acquired space!!
My friend Rain Bennet is such an inspiration. Since we met, he was invited to be a TED Talk speaker and has recently published a book: “Six Second Stories ~ Maximize your impact in minimal time with video story telling.” I am currently reading his book and so far, I can say I highly recommend it! The link to Rain’s book (below) is through my Amazon Associates link. This means, at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you decide to purchase his book through my link. Thank you for your bit of extra support!!
Life is good… chilly, but good!
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So happy for you Jackie! You are an inspiration!
Aw… Thank you Susan. You are one of my biggest inspirations!!
You and Derek are truly amazing.. I admire your courage and your creativity. I am using one of the journals that you designed.
Thank you so much Pam! Derek and I are so glad to know you and had the privilege to work with you when we lived in Dayton, Ohio. Thank you so much for purchasing one of my journals!! I’m so glad you are enjoying it.
You are on your way, my Friend! Your dedication and drive to learn all you can and apply your skills constantly inspires me. I am grateful you are here, and look forward to many adventures with you! 😀
Thank you so much Penney!! Glad to be here and sharing this amazing time with you!
I love your work. Your Anemones on silk is perfect in my living room. Can’t wait for my next piece.
Thanks Lori!! I am working on that second piece!! Hopefully will be finished in April after our trip back down to the states to see our family.
Love the new direction your life and your work have taken. Your energy and sense of direction are inspiring!
Thank you so much Georgia!! It’s definitely all about the journey and not the destination these days!
I love this Jackie, so genuine. And I personally can relate to all the feelings you have gone through. We even thought about moving to Canada!
Thanks Jodi!! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!!
Wow, Jackie, you’ve been on quite a roller-coaster…challenging with all the ups and downs but exciting at the same time! Thanks for sharing your tips & it is fun following you on this journey.
Thanks Pat! Life has been an awesome adventure so far!! I’m doing my best to enjoy as much of it as I can!