Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finding Home...

I've always thought of myself as someone who would create no matter what the circumstances....that creativity was some how my savior, or at least a large part of my happy place.  I created during the most stressful 4 years of my life, as a student at Bastyr...one of my saving graces was "drawing" my anatomy notes.  I was creative during bouts of depression in my early 20's, but somehow 2014 was different...and really it all started mid 2013.

July 2013 my husband and I decided that our life in Italy was unsustainable and we need a change, a great big, gigantic change.  After much discussion, research and consideration we settled on moving to  New Zealand.  At this point in the story it is easy to say, "Oh, poor baby, moving from Italy to New Zealand," and in many aspects you would be correct....but the reality of completely uprooting your family and changing hemispheres is quite unsettling.

In August 2013 we began the visa process.  From August until March 2014 we fretted daily, sometimes hourly about whether or not we would get the visa, and what we should, or should not do if that became a reality.  Think of a really intense roller coaster ride that lasts 7 months.  Add to that the worry of finding a new job from halfway around the world.

March 2014 found both the visa and the job....we were going!...going into the the complete unknown! In June all of our possessions where boxed up and put into crates. We said "good-bye" to our home of 7 years, to the only home my daughter had ever known, to all of our friends, to the friends my son had had since preschool.  We said "good-bye" to our adopted Italian family, to the children's surrogate grand-parents....it was rough, very, very rough.  By mid-June we had left the summer heat of Italia and entered the beginning of the New Zealand winter, in Wellington.

I had managed to arrange temporary lodging for 10 days in New Zealand.  During those first 10 days my husband started a new job (after 3 days), my children started school, and  just in the nick of time I managed to secure more temporary housing.  The last day of June we moved into a little furnished apartment in a lovely little suburb just outside of central Wellington.

Wellington winter is rainy and cool and extremely windy!  So while the rest of the family was at work and school I was at "home," trying desperately to make good use of my time and do something creatively meaningful....anything would do.  Alas, "Funk" became my middle name, and on some days my first and last name as well. Creativity was not flowing, not even a trickle.  I had bouts of depression in college, it made for some great "dark" art, but this was different.

September 2014 the tides began it change, we found a fabulous "character home" on a hillside, with an amazing view, and moved in the second week of October.  October I was busy getting everything unpacked and getting everyone settled...no time to worry about creativity or the lack there of.

I also started a new job, in October, working once a week as a tutor at a really amazing Art Workshop space in Wellington.  As part of my training, I attended a zine making workshop taught by one of the other tutors there. I attended the workshop to learn how workshops were run, but came away with so much more....or at least the spark of so much more.  

I went in to the workshop with no idea what so ever as to what I would make a zine about, and just started working on the first thing that popped into my head.  I named my zine "7 departures....7 arrivals...Finding Home."  It started out to be about the physical journey of arriving here, but ended up being a realization that it was this idea of "home" that I had been missing.

I am well aware I can create through stress, and through depression, but I was surprised to learn that the creative juices dry up with out the security of "home."  They say home is not a place, but a feeling, and I suppose that is true, but I needed a place where I knew I didn't have to pack up and leave any time soon, a place I felt secure, that is home....so for me it turns out home is both a place and a feeling, and an absolute necessity my creative process.

Which leads us to November when I was approached by a costume designer from Boston.  She inquired as to whether or not I did custom mask patterns.  I ended up acceptingd a challenge that at other times I would have politely declined, and have spent the last two months in the throws of mask designing and making!  I put the last of the masks in the mail yesterday.  I feel like I might be back to my normal Creative Compulsive self....I have about a million ideas right now.....