I titled this post “Blooming Dara,” because like a flower, I believe I am blooming more into my womanhood. I am more set in my ways, and comfortable in the skin I am in. The trials and tribulations of life still exists. I still struggle. I’m still unemployed and continue to look for work. Yet, I have a better handle on things than I did in years’ past. When faced with adversity, one must learn how to look within self to cope, to keep going, and smile when you don’t feel like it (that is the hard part). I continue to smile and when necessary look in the mirror and tell self, “You are beautiful. You are smart. You got this.”
So what has changed since 2015?
For starters, I’m about to embark on a new age. I’ll turn 35 on April 22nd, a milestone indeed. I am comfortable to call myself an artist, because I honed in on the type of art I like to create. I love it so much that I am venturing into the entrepreneurship world. Wow. Just staying that gives me goosebumps! I’m still an ESL teacher, because every day I meet a new person or store clerk whose native language is other than English. It goes from pleasantries to helping them practice their English speaking skills. I also think saying, “Hi my friend” when entering their store or small business makes a difference. The other day, I visited my favorite diner in Brooklyn and a waiter, whom I haven’t seen in a long time, passed by my table. I tapped him on his arm and said, “Hi my friend, long time no see!” He gave me the biggest smile and said, “Hi, how are you?” He doesn’t speak much English but his smile alone made our brief exchange worthwhile. So much so that he gave me extra coffee. Smiling, like English is truly the universal language.
I’m a writer, and write all the time. I constantly buy notebooks or make notepads to jot down to-do lists, goals, or write down reflective moments. I also have a journal. My room is a post-it haven of notes (friends who visited my home knows this well)! I like to write something I call “Nightly reflection” on Facebook where I share thoughts, self-affirmations or something motivational that occurred during my day.
On a personal note, I’m a girlfriend to someone who I adore very much. Yet, I’m often called “spouse” or in his language Yoruba, “iyawo” which means “wife” to his friends and family. He is the reason I had the pleasure of traveling to his home, Nigeria. I visited Lagos, Nigeria last December. It was my first international experience, and an experience that truly changed my life in more ways than one. That is a story on its own, and I will certainly blog about it on a later post.
Year 2016 so far
I am constantly working on my art, from creating to research, to taking classes on how to market my work, and of course networking. I’ve taken a more serious approach in putting my art out there for the world to see. I believe if my artwork is being looked at and (hopefully) admired, I already won half the battle. I don’t have a sales background. I don’t know how to persuade someone to buy anything I make, but I hope my art will be good enough to sell itself. Free classes in sales and marketing definitely helps newbies like me. I love recycled art, taking used items and making them into decorative works of art. I love bottles and jars, whether glass or plastic, to paint and add accents to them. I like home décor. I use these jars and bottles as vases, incense holders, storage for my hair brushes or pens, or leave it as it is. In February, I opened an online store with iCraftgifts.com. It’s called Dara Sunbubbles (http://icraftgifts.com/darasunbubbles.com). I sell my bottles and jars on the site. I plan to add more items in the coming weeks.
Doodle to design?
One of the challenges to being unemployed is boredom. I took out one of my handmade notepads (I made it from a cereal box and old computer paper) and started to doodle. From that point on, I continued drawing squiggly lines and dots. Each pattern is different. There is no previous sketch or idea, I just do it. And it is very relaxing. Ironically, I made my first doodle/design on April 24th of last year. I guess April is special for many reasons. I kept at it until I bought a sketchbook and continued to draw more of these lines and dots.
I came up with the name “squiggly lines, dots, and whatever else,” because in all my doodles there’s at least a squiggly line or dot within the pattern. I love doing it so much that I drew it on a t-shirt and button down shirt, ceramic dishes, created magnets, bookmarks, and mouse pads with the design on them. I love making the bottle and jar art, as well as my “squiggly lines, dots, and whatever else” design. I look forward to marketing them further.
To learn more about this journey, check out my artist blog on Tumblr: http://darasunbubbles.tumblr.com
Hopes and Personal Affirmation
I continue to grow as a woman, and hope to grow as a future entrepreneur. I hope my art and writing will take me to new heights. I have ideas on how to promote my work and remain true to my life’s goal which is to make a difference in this world. My affirmation to self is to remain strong, smile through the struggle, and not to lose faith. I remain in prayer which allows me to build confidence in self and in what I do. I welcome feedback and support from friends, family, and even strangers. I believe in any form of art, it’s a collective of ideas, interpretations, and opinions. There are no right or wrong answers, just guidance and pathways.
I want this blog to grow and reach more audiences, because I believe in the power of reflection. It takes people, experiences, emotions, happy and bad times, struggle, and so much more to make us become the people we are today, at this very moment. I’ve learned so much from so many people in my lifetime. From those who I am no longer in contact with or friends with, to those who are in my life currently, I learn something from my experiences with them. I look forward to learning more and gaining insight along this journey. I look forward to the near future.