Friday, February 18, 2011

False Alarm--Sort of

Here I was, jumping to conclusions thinking I was done---and then Scholastic requested two more portraits. I went ahead and threw together Mr. Thomas Edison and Mr. Jackie Robinson. I'm glad they added these great American figures and I was happy to end the project on a good note once and for all.

In other news, this break from illustration work is as well-timed as I could have ever hoped. Yesterday my husband officially took a new job at 38 Studios, which means we will be moving from our cozy little Somerville apartment to an as yet undiscovered new home outside of Providence, RI.

Although moving amidst all this other health stuff may get a bit overwhelming, I couldn't be happier. This is our chance to move closer to our families and settle down in a place where we can someday start our own. Plus, I kind of love packing and the idea of moving to a new space is pretty exciting to me.

The next couple months are bound to be interesting!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The End is Merely the Beginning

That's a wrap! I finished up the last two remaining portraits and have officially cleared the deck of any paid work for the time being.


Tomorrow begins Day 1 of my professional hiatus from my illustration work. I'm taking a leave of absence from my paying gigs but that doesn't mean I'll be away from my studio. Although I plan to  spend the first few days catching up on some reading, I am looking forward to utilizing my time creatively to the fullest extent that my current health will allow.

As mentally and physically challenging as the constant body pain has been over the last half year, it's also giving me clarity and greater sense of purpose. Life can change quickly, unexpectedly, and with no real rhyme or reason. Now more than ever before, I see how precious and valuable my own time and life truly are. I think that if I can get through whatever the coming months have in store for me, I will inevitably be stronger and better for it. Maybe if I choose to see all this as a good thing, it will actually become a good thing. To me there can be no better time to FINALLY let go and make art that I want to make.

At the very least, I know crying and whining and wishing things were different has absolutely no effect on the outcome. Giving in to the negative thoughts and energies swirling around my own mind can not be allowed. When things get rough, the only thing that does anyone any good is simply doing good. Thinking positively seems to be the most logical thing to do right now. I'm hoping for the best because a positive mind is my best chance for making everyday a little easier to handle.

Deep breaths.
Here goes everything.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pain, Pain, Go Away--I've Got Work to Do!

It sure has been an interesting couple of weeks. After months of constant back pain, and sporadic hip, groin, knee, and neck pain, my symptoms took a turn for the less-than-ideal. Congestion, headache, head pressure, extreme fatigue, muscle twitching, loss of concentration and fogginess in my short term memory all decided to join me on my journey to Diagnosis Alley.

So, duh duh duh: While it still has not been officially proven one way or another, I'm starting long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme Disease since all my symptoms appear to correspond. Whether it's Lyme or not, something definitely is not normal with my body and hopefully I can be evaluated further and get to the bottom of it all before too long...

Oh, and just to keep things fun, I've also acquired extreme elbow pain in my right arm, making it very difficult to do much of anything (least of all illustration work). So I'm doing what I can to power through the last of the Scholastic portraits but have begrudgingly pulled myself out of the second half of the project. It's simply too risky to commit to work I may not be able to deliver in the coming weeks.

With a little luck, lots of optimism, and a strong dose of doxycycline, I should see some improvement in the next few days. That is, if it actually IS Lyme disease...and if not, who knows!

Whatever happens, I'm going to try to make the best out of this health dilemma. I'm sure there are many lessons to be learned from enduring whatever the next few months have in store for me. I may not be in control over what is happening, but at least I can control how I deal with it all, right?

Think good thoughts, Courtney...

P.S. Did you know I live my life based on the wisdom and guidance of fortune cookies? Well, I do. Many of my most important life decisions were directly impacted by the timely receipt of a particularly compelling cookie message.  The trick is that I ask it a relevant question, and it gives me an insightful response. This is the fortune I received when I asked the following:

How am I going to get through this overwhelming period of pain and uncertain health?

Not bad, not bad at all. :)

I did actually manage to work for a few hours today which felt good. Here are a couple more portraits with just two more to go.

Now I'm off to read and relax for the evening!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Strapping Lads

I'm at the tail end of the first phase of the Famous American's project which has been ongoing in the background of my life for a couple of months. Just a few more portraits to go, and here are three that I hadn't posted yet. 

Also, so as to better support the educational work I've been doing lately, I've added a section for it on my website which you can see here: Educational Portfolio.