Since last May, so much has happened. I plan to stay on my upward trajectory. I’m going to keep myself in the orange as best I can.
The Color Orange: Orange indicates self-assurance, excitement, and zeal. Orange possesses orange-spiritual properties such as creativity, emotional balance, sexuality, harmony, passion, freedom, intuition, and emotional expression. Seeing orange is said to be an excellent omen. It means that there will be much happiness for you.
I walked around the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus the other day. I was there to fill out my new hire paperwork! I am very much looking forward to being an adjunct professor here next semester.
I’m still a Part-time Assistant Professor of Art at Kennesaw State University. Love it there too. However, full-time faculty positions are scarce and the amount of work adjunct professors receive is capped. Therefore, I had to double-dip in two states to increase my opportunities and income. It all became part of my master plan when Kelli and I moved to Chattanooga last year.
I haven’t been full-time faculty at SCAD since 2018. Yeah, it’s been a minute, but the lemons are finally starting to taste like lemonade.
First order of business is to move out of my storage unit and move into the new studio space. While I do this, I’m also meticulously going through everything. I have years of things to go through and selectively purge. Time to take inventory. Time to get rid of the broken and unusable. Time to organize my materials. Time to get a few more things to make this studio even more functional. Then it’s time to create!
The other day I was taking a scheduled break from my Drawing II class. I stepped outside and walked a few steps and looked up into the trees. I noticed these two. It looked like they were having a conversation.
I bought the house two doors down to keep as an investment property AND to use as my art studio!!! Throughout my professional life, I’ve managed to offset my mediocre income with wise real estate decisions. This was only possible because of the money I made from the sale of my loft in Atlanta. Thank you Atlanta Beltline! Hopefully this house is just the latest wise real estate decision. It should be, it really should. This might be the single greatest gift I have ever given myself. It’s not a gift, but I like to think of it as one because I am grateful.
Here’s how it went down. I needed a new workspace. Our new house is fantastic. I love it. However, there is zero space for an art studio. When searching for a home in Chattanooga, finding a house with enough space for an art studio was part of our plan. What we ended up doing was buy a house without space for an art studio but on a lot big enough to build one. Therefore, we planned to build something that would be part art studio and part shed to store our outdoor belongings.
I started sketching what I envisioned the structure to look like and reached out to a series of local contractors. I was having trouble getting interest because my job was too small for most building contractors. While in the middle of this process, I noticed a “For Sale” sign in the yard of the house two doors down from ours. I told Kelli about it, saying almost half-jokingly, that I should buy it. Buy that house instead building something on our property. She said it sounded like a great idea, and I should at least look into it. Look into it I did.
The price was right. I decided to make an offer! The house had been used as rental property for a number of years. It needed some fixing up if it was going to used as a primary residence. However, because it was going to be used as my art studio, it was basically ready to go as is. I’m oversimplifying the process, of course. Bottom line, I bought it. The house is now mine.
I’ve never had more than a spare bedroom for a studio. Now I have an entire two bedroom house for my art studio! I’m so psyched about that. Not only that, this place has a million dollar view and a ton of investment potential. You can see downtown Chattanooga from my front porch.
Add this to the list of major changes in 2021. Geez.
I’m thrilled. I have no regrets. Maybe I’ll rent out some of the space to share with another artist. I’m in no hurry to make a decision about that, and that feels good in itself. I love the fact that I can walk two doors down and be at work in my space. This is now and it’s also the future. As I mentioned earlier, this might be the single greatest gift I have ever given myself.
I’m sure I’ll post more about this at a later date. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of my new art studio, and the view!
I have fully processed all the changes that have come into my life. The last few years have been a rough ride overall. I have new perspectives on everything. I’m optimistic. I can honestly say that I am very happy. Considering everything, I am happier than at any point in my life.
January 2021:Brett & Kelli are a couple, after being close friends for a few years. May 2021:After months of discussion, they decide to move to Chattanooga. They buy a house in Chattanooga. Brett puts his loft on the market. June 2021:Brett, Kelli, and Grace move to Chattanooga. Brett’s loft in Atlanta is sold. September 2021:Brett & Kelli get engaged, making it official. October 2021:Brett & Kelli get married at an intimate ceremony on the historic Walnut Street Bridge, located in downtown Chattanooga. Grace and the officiant were the only ones there. The day was ours and it was perfect.
After some anxious moments, I decided to jump in with both feet! I am moving from Atlanta to Chattanooga. This is absolutely, one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. I’m moving to Chattanooga with my girlfriend (and future wife) and her daughter. My loft in Atlanta is in a hot area of town. Time to cash in and invest in a new future with Kelli and Grace in Chattanooga. Now that I’ve decided this is what I’m doing, my anxiety has lowered and I feel excited. I feel good about this.
I’ll miss my place on Wylie Street (and it’s view of my street art) and a lot of people in Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta for 15 years, and in this location for the last seven. The next chapters of my life will be in Chattanooga.
Major life changes came often in 2021. They played a big part in my extended absence from this blog. Here are a few photos from moving day.
In my opinion, there’s too many one-trick ponies in the Atlanta street art scene. Making the same old shit over and over again. The same drawing a million times. Greg Mike is just Atlanta’s most well known. THIS is what provided the initial spark that led to the creation of the Not so good sticker.
By placing these stickers here, I was taking my concept full circle. This was also a way to cover his work (just a little bit) after he had covered mine. Small time revenge haha. I’m sure these stickers were gone within two weeks. I don’t know because it was literally one of the very last things I did before leaving Atlanta. True story. I proceed to get two flat tires a moment later which delayed my dramatic high tailed exit out of town. Had to call on a friend for help, and left Atlanta the next day. This is why life is a comedy.
Another true story. I told a couple of friends how I wanted to make a sticker that said “Not So Good” and slap it on all the mediocrity surrounding me. The idea grew to be much bigger than my simple personal critique of the Atlanta street art scene. It was universal and could be applied everywhere.
One of my favorite places is Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA. It’s a beautiful place. The last time I was there, was the first time there at golden hour, the most beautiful time of the day. Thought I’d share a few pictures of the memory.