2021 was an emotional rollercoaster. I switched from working at a nature center to having The Art of Ecology be my full time job! This is a dream come true, but I’ll be honest, running your own business is an emotional challenge. There were moments where I jumped up and down with excitement and moments where I was so discouraged and felt overwhelmed. Overall, it has been fantastic and those disheartening moments serve as motivation.
In April, I returned to Kenya to photograph daily life as part of a project for Forgotten Missionaries International. I photographed wildlife, the beautiful landscape, and ways that people interact with the world. These photos tell the story of Kenyan life so others understand some challenges the people face and experience the country’s beauty. Watch recordings of presentations I gave using my photos below!
Over the year I did a lot of Professional Development. I presented at the PA Environmental Education Conference about National Geographic’s educator certifications and ways to empower students. Then, in August, I blended the mental and physical benefits gained from being in the great outdoors with the benefits of creating art through a certification in Neurographica. Now, I teach Nature & NeuroArt classes where learners discover the wonderful benefits of art and nature! I also followed my foraging & wild-edibles passion through training in Wild Foraging. I am continuing this and will be certified in Herbalism (medicinal values of using wild-edibles) in spring 2022 through the Herbal Academy.
Speaking of foraging, I also published my book, “Trails-to-Tasting” : Foraging Field Guide and Drink Recipe Book! It includes recipes for seasonal foraged cocktails & mocktails as well as an illustrated field guide and botanical study.
By going full time, I expanded my reach and led many workshops, both in-person and virtually! I ran 25+ programs that encouraged learners of all ages to explore the natural world through art, such as Kokedama, Terrarium Building, Botanical Illustration, Photo Walks & Presentations, Foraging Classes, and new for 2021: Botanical Dye Workshops. One of the virtual presentations was even for a Montessori school in Southern India!
Now that The Art of Ecology is my full time job, I can give it the attention needed to make each new year the best. With the extra time, my 2022 goal is to get more of my original art out into the world, sparking conversations about ecosystems and the importance of environmental stewardship. With YOUR help I can continue making the world a greener place. Stay tuned for monthly workshops and my new Conservation Photography & Nature Art Summer Camp! As always, a portion of all art sale proceeds benefits wildlife conservation & habitat preservation efforts.
View my top selling products of 2021 and make sure that you get your own today!
Here’s to a 2022 filled with growth, exciting opportunities, and new ways to connect you to the natural world!
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