Hello 2017! So I’ve decided to go ahead and write about my 2016 highlights as a keepsake for myself.
1. UK Trip – One major highlight of my 2016 is going and spending two weeks in the UK. It’s mostly for work but a lot of fun times squeezed in between. I got to meet great people in Cambridge, eat delicious food, cherish my alone time and explore a number of touristy spots like Abbey Road, Camden, Buckingham Palace, etc… I still pinch myself whenever I think about it. A sub-highlight I should note is that I am now well adjusted to my new work/environment and I’ve established friendships so I don’t feel too anxious waking up in the morning.
2. Watercolor workshops – I got a lot of requests to teach watercolor and it took a lot of courage and preparation to finally set up not one but four workshops last year. I’m hoping this can be a regular thing as I’ve gained so much from teaching and sharing my watercolor passion. I wish to inspire people to create and use any medium to express themselves. Hoping that in 2017 people will still welcome my workshops warmly as they did last year.
3. carlacochua.com revamped! – I finally launched this website and switched to WordPress. Spent a weekend organizing my portfolio, choosing the right theme and tinkering with css. Thanks to my techie friend and Google for all the help in getting this website up and running. I would like to blog more about artsy stuff this year so if you have any suggestions what I can write or share, please comment below.
4. New watercolor brands/materials – Loads of new paints I got last year; Sennelier, ShinHan, Schimcke and my dream paint, Holbein. The latter 3 are artist grade paints so I’m super happy about leveling up my materials. I also invested on Escoda travel brushes, an easel and a travel case. I was on a roll in my art purchases and I’d like to think of that as a good thing since I got exposed to new brands and learned how they work. Someone once asked me how much have I spent on my hobby and honestly, I don’t even want to think about all the accumulated costs of my art stuff. There’s always that feeling of not deserving anything and I’m just wasting my money and time here (“This is not your job.”) but….I don’t want to think that way anymore so I allow myself to be happy (with proper restraints of course). I don’t buy anything on a whim. Most of my more stuff were gifts from friends and family, which I’m truly grateful for.
5. Passing my Scrum Master certification – Woah all the anxiety paid off! This is the second PSM exam/cert I took but the last one was like 4 years ago? So I decided to take a new one. Exams really put a lot of pressure on me as I want to do good, not just pass.
This is me as a typical Chinese perfectionist student. I’m a lot more chill now. P.S. for those who don’t know, I work in the IT industry and Scrum Mastering is what I do full-time . Luckily, my team is supportive of my art sideline and come to think of it, a lot of my organization and communication skills come from my day job hehe.
6. Painted my first acryl gouche piece (which is now hanging on a powder room in US). I’m going to explore this medium more this year.
7. Meeting other artists by attending Artambay sa South and the craft central launch party!
8. Adventure with my officemates in a shady beach in Batangas (due to some mutual agreement I can’t speak of their name) where some of us got robbed of our cellphone and wallet while we were enjoying the buffet and evening program. It was like we were suddenly in the set of CSI without any of the competent forensic investigators. All I can say is that this was an inside job and beware of rooms with individual fire exits that can be kicked down by a 12 yr old. Not all highlights are good so I’m putting this one here because it was terrifying and I’ve never experienced anything like that.
9. Attended way more events than I’ve ever done; like the Cambridge year end party, several dinner despedidas with my HS barkada, a wedding and tons of lunch and dinner dates with my closest friends. I actually complained to a close friend on about how much it costs to go out (hello uber!) but this is the reality as your world expands. You meet new people and build new relationships. You invest your time and money because for me these people are worth it.
10. Shanghai trip with the family – I love travelling and being with my family so anything with those two combined is a highlight for me. Another thing I love is not spending anything hahaha which is what happened in Shanghai where everything is just ridiculously expensive. We consoled ourselves by eating Godiva soft-served ice cream and hot chocolate everyday – costing about 55 Yuan each (about 413 pesos – ouch!). Shanghai was clean and not very polluted to my surprise. Even their Disneyland was lovely but kind of lacking as compared to HK Disneyland where you really feel Christmas in the air. There was no Christmas decors in Shanghai Disneyland. On Jan 31 midnight, we waited for some New Year extravaganza and fireworks in our hotel balcony only to realize in China they celebrate Chinese New Year instead. Still there were lots of funny memories during the trip, as expected in a family as weird as ours. 🙂
Well, thank you 2016! You were a good one. 🙂