Not gonna lie- working on setting up this website was a bit of a mental stretch for this elder millennial, part pain, part release, the familiar yet eternally unsettling ritual of trying to turn on the lights without knowing where the switch is mixed with the awkwardness of being the new kid in town.

Speaking of being the new kid in town, if you took a look at my adult life so far and decided to slice into it at any given point you would likely see me feeling like the new kid. For this post and brevity’s sake, I am going to focus on my “new-kid-ness” in the stunning Pacific Northwest.

In 2019 I up and moved from the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona all the way up to another suburb outside of Seattle, WA, where I soon learned it was all too common and none too novel to be “the new kid in town” with it’s influx of tech workers and their families. Since then I have been journeying to find my footing, especially as a professional artist. Is that what I am calling myself these days? I also like to say emerging public artist because it brings to mind creatures coming out of holes and struggling to shake off things.

Way back in “the before times” I worked in mental health as an art therapist, and there was a point in this transition where I had convinced myself that to move forward I was going to have to let go and eschew that designation. While I no longer feel this way, I recognize that there was mourning that needed to happen around letting go of a specific set of goals and dreams that I had been working towards. I feel more confident and comfortable claiming my roots in mental health and embracing my training with all it’s twisty turns and set backs. So, typically in CV’s I say something like: “My name is Tina and I am an artist, I have worked as an art therapist, family counselor, gallery manager, program director, independent artist and art instructor.” It feels like a lot of hats but there is a theme and I suspect it’s not out of the ordinary for my generation.

That’s probably more than enough for introductions, so I’ll let it be for now, on-and-off-again new kid out.

blurry selfie next to a work in progress inside my freezing studio