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Finding Stability, Growth, and Inspiration: Reflecting on a Year of Art, Teaching, and Adventure -C

Welcome back to our blog! It's been over a year since our last post, and what a journey it has been! From serving ice cream out of a food-truck to finding my passion as a science teacher and coach, life has taken some unexpected turns. I'll try to share the highlights from my year, the lessons learned, and the ways art has been one of my constant companions throughout it all.

  1. Love, Commitment, and New Beginnings: Jess and I have taken a significant step forward in our relationship and WE GOT ENGAGED!!! :)

We've moved out of the parents basement, got our own space to call home, and are enjoying our time as a newly engaged power couple (insert sunglasses emoji dude here). I could never have done any of this without her and the support and stability she continuously gives me; Jess has and always will impact my journey and help fuel my creative endeavors. Forever and Always <3.


2. Embracing Comfort and Awesomeness: The Power of Socks!


In the midst of life's rollercoaster, one thing that has consistently brought me comfort and joy is my ever-growing collection of comfortable and unique funky socks. I have sampled all of the top options available for the socks I sell, and I can honestly say the ones I sell and PERSONALLY BUY are the best, most comfortable socks I have ever owned! The only pair that com-PAIRs (sorry, I had to) are some heavy duty $15 compression socks from VT (I have seen them from other universities, my first pair was from the Tennessee Vols as a joke, but they were so darn comfy I wore them to oblivion...aka: big-ol-holes in the feet.) I implore you to try out a pair for yourself, you will NOT regret it!


3. The Unforeseen Passion: Falling in Love with Teaching


While initially unexpected, my time as a science teacher has been a absolutely positive transformative experience. Little known fact about me: I have always had the thought in the back of my head of being a teacher; however, the fear of "wasting" an extra two years on school both in time and money prevented me from pursuing this journey. With the ever-growing teacher shortage and being unable to secure a job as a lab technician, and among a casual out-of-body experience, I joined an amazing school as a teacher and lab technician, getting PAID to pursue 2/3 of my most prominent passions for eight hours out of the day! Teaching has become a source of inspiration and personal growth in the past year, adding a new dimension, fulfillment, and quality into my life.


4. Art as an Anchor: Stress Reduction and Connection


I was almost scammed out of $1,500 last summer when doing what I thought was an amazing opportunity for commission work; if you are an artist and are asked to pay for the extra shipping or are getting paid significantly more for your work than what you are charging, take a few moments and think (and more importantly do not give any further information to the person you are talking to!) After the experience I hit a low point. How could something I love turn against me so quickly?


Although the experience almost ruined me, it did cause some significant improvements to my artwork. Due to the price offering, I invested in some new materials, software, and mediums and started experimenting. Even after the deal fell through I had plenty of paint to use whenever life got too much - long shifts scooping ice-cream or long WEEKS of busy teaching were no match for my excitement looking forward to trying a new technique with the new supplies my impulse-self bought. The new advancements in AI art create difficulties in keeping up, but the art we create is primarily to bring us, and anyone who is interested, joy, not profit. Everything else is a bonus.


5. Exceptional Tapestries: The Perfect Blend of Design and Quality


I have acquired a few truly unique tapestries over a few years and hours over hours of searching, and I was often bugged by the unsubtle and often harsh drug-related designs, as well as the similarities between so many of the tapestries. It took us years to discover all the tools and longer yet to gather the necessary experience, but we at CJ Pours have finally mastered the art of designing trippy tapestries. As artists , we have started to perfect the once unachievable vision of creating and selling unique trippy tapestries that everyone can enjoy! From spin art to acrylic cells and digital enhancements, CJ Pours tapestries are designed unlike anything else you can find! Delve into the details of these unique tapestries and understand why they're a must-have!


6. Musical Escapades: Unforgettable Concerts


Music has been an integral part of my life, and over the past year, I've had the privilege of attending some incredible concerts. From the mesmerizing performances of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to the energetic vibes of Trash Panda.


For both Jess and I, the self-made spotify playlist "Mello I Guess?" has played a major role in our art, often providing us with chill background music while we paint. Give it a listen!


https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4wDewgPiqG075iaP86Ijt6?si=6c80ba747af14269


7. Embracing New Challenges: Overcoming the Odds


Life has presented me with various opportunities to step outside my comfort zone and excel in unfamiliar territories. From coaching soccer and wrestling to pushing the boundaries as a science teacher with NO experience in formal teaching, it seemed that everything I did was something new.


At the start of last year I was dead broke. At one point I spent a quarter of my net worth on a Wendy's "Four for $4". Since then every new experience has brought challenges but has brought me further up from as low as I hope to go. I can easily give most of the credit to Jess and her family for their support. Life can often feel like a rollcoaster. Reflect on the lessons learned during the low points and celebrate the victories that have made the ride worthwhile.



Thank you for being part of this incredible journey. Stay tuned for more updates, and don't forget to check out our YouTube channel for more visual delights!


Stand Out in Style!

Camden

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