Tuesday, December 14, 2021

2020 in a Nutshell

 Well well well... I forgot to post my yearly round up yet again so I'm doing it 1 year later ๐Ÿ˜ Honestly there really is no other way to treat the year of 2020 than by forgetting it ever happened.  But I did manage to gather up photos last year that represented my experience, and looking back on them now is kind of bittersweet.  

I had been living with my parents for 4 years after graduating from college, working 3-4 jobs at once trying my hardest to build my dream career as an artist and scientist.  I went back to grad school in 2018, and finally thought I had a job that could sustain me enough to move out of my childhood bedroom permanently.  But I spent the first 3 months of 2020 filled with uncertainty, not knowing where I'd be living or if I'd still have my job in San Francisco.  And then on March 16th, the pandemic reached new heights and San Francisco initiated the first shut down in the US, making all the decisions for me then and there.  I flew back home to Florida the next day with only 2 suitcases, leaving behind most of my belongings and moving back in with my parents.  It was a shell-shocking experience that a lot of people had, especially millenials like myself who had been just scraping by for years with no savings or job guarantees.

But while it was hard facing this defeat, I understood how lucky I was just to have a safe place to stay during this year that seemed like the apocalypse.  Wildfires in California engulfed the Bay Area in an orange haze.  The George Floyd tragedy ignited a global surge in the Black Lives Matter movement.  The pandemic killed hundreds of thousands of people with numbers rising daily.  The presidential election....  And all we could do was stay at home and watch.  2020 felt like I was sitting through a documentary on the collapse of modern capitalist society, but it was happening in real life.  Even now it feels like it was all just a bad dream, but the pain and trauma is still there reminding us it was real, and it hasn't ended.

I'm not even sure how to finish this post.  I look back with sadness for the incomprehensible suffering that occurred last year.  And seeing every bit of it through TV and social media was a stimulus overload that we as humans were never built to withstand.  I'm really shocked when I see the little bit of art I managed to make in 2020, and I'm grateful I had it to keep me going.  No matter what you created, read, watched, cooked, or did in 2020, be proud of yourself, because 2020 was a true test of our resilience as humans.  It reminded me of what really matters in life, and more importantly, what needs to be fixed.


From top left to bottom right: A sea turtle tattoo design for a friend, a cover illustration for the Florida Keys NWR Junior Ranger handbook, a painted storm drain in my hometown about water pollution and the Indian River Lagoon, a logo for my friend's podcast "Marine Bio Life", and a mini roseate spoonbill portrait


I started selling prints in my shop, made new products, and ran my very first Kickstarter campaign for my sea turtle enamel pin designs!

Personal Work

"Sea Turtles of the World" - a series I painted highlighting all the sea turtle nesting sites in the world, with hatchlings popping out of fruits native to one of their nesting locations

And finally, I finished my first series of Wild Florida drawings I started in 2019 highlighting animals that rely on the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Of course I couldn't stop there, and I started making more for a future book I'm working on!

Social, Environmental, and Personal Strife

Two pieces I made at the peak of the BLM movement, the second one paying homage to the town of Rosewood - a predominantly black community in Florida that was invaded and burned down in 1923 by racist rioters.

My silly addition to all the amazing artists creating social media pieces to encourage voting in the 2020 election


I made LOTS of backyard buddies during the shut down!
And continued my favorite activity, bird watching<3
Malabar Scrubs
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve

Sea Turtles

And of course, getting to escape the human world at my job as a sea turtle nesting surveyor really kept me afloat this year<3

Past year's "In a Nutshell" Posts