I say it's obligatory, but it's also a lot of fun! It was neat going back through my photos and art projects to see what I wanted to remember with you. There were a lot of random highlights, like how we built a fire pit, or seeing my cousin's kids at family gatherings and wondering at how fast they grow, or finding giant puffball mushrooms and eating them... But here are some main highlights.
To the Past!
Since the beginning of 2020 I’ve been working on a Christian art ministry project called "Moksh: 7 Stories." It is an evangelistic animation series for Hindus. I had hoped to finish at the end of 2021, but there’s a bit more I need to do yet. But heads up for a very happy blog post sometime in February saying “I’m done the Moksh project! Hooray!” It's been fantastic to continue participating in contextualized art minstry from home. For Moksh, I've been working with a team all around the world. Thank God for zoom!
If you know any Hindus and you want to talk with them about the gospel, this might be a good resource for you! If you think this is a worthwhile ministry, consider becoming a patron of mine at https://www.patreon.com/kylartforgod
Oops Sorry About That, and The Big Catch
Last year I illustrated books two and three of the Mac Wiebe series! It’s been amazing to work with my auntie Kim. Together we’ve made three books about my cousin Mac from his childhood. When Auntie Kim began writing these books it came from a heart to remember Mac with friends and family. It has succeeded in this goal, and it also is a way to raise money for cancer care. Auntie Kim has blessed me by including me in her book publishing project. It’s helped me learn how to illustrate children's books and it’s provided income for me as I began my art career. Best of all, I’ve gotten to know their family a lot better through illustrating these sweet books. I love you guys! Looking forward to more books together.
You can buy any of the Mac series books at themacseries.ca
Farmer Gail and the Henhouse Mystery
In 2020 I illustrated a book for a family friend about a real encounter she had with a wily calico fox. The book was released this summer as Farmer Gail and the Henhouse Mystery! This was my second illustrated book since my return to Canada in 2019, and it was a lot of fun to paint. I tried to emulate Beatrix Potter’s style, which I did not succeed in doing! But I did succeed in illustrating in a sweet, whimsical style that I am pretty proud of. I’d love to delve deeper into that style with another book someday.
You can buy Farmer Gail and the Henhouse Mystery on Amazon!
Family vacations in the cold
On to some more personal items!
I’ve spent a lot of time with my family since returning to Canada in 2019, and that’s been a huge blessing for me! Last January we enjoyed clearing the creek of fallen trees (from that big Thanksgiving Snowstorm of 2019). As the year progressed, we visited local tourist sites such as Delta Beach and Falcon Lake. We also had several outings in the crown land near Mom and Dad's house!
On Boxing Day, 2021, Colson and I celebrated two years sharing an apartment. That has been a great experience for both of us! I think Colson and I would agree that getting two kittens - Lady Grey and Toffee - has been a real highlight!
I’ve maintained a sourdough business since the summer of 2020. It’s been a very enjoyable creative outlet. That is, a different kind of creative outlet than all my other creative outlets! I love making good food, and I love it when I’m able to share that food with others.
You can see more of my bread on my Instagram account, Kyla's Weebakery.
I started working part time at MCC again in 2021, which was beneficial for my social well-being and also provided a well-needed boost of income. I love my coworkers and I love shopping for neat junk every time I work there. So I guess that boost of income isn’t as much as it could be, but hey! Now I have an ice-cream maker, and other random things that I definitely need in my life. Here are two items that I did NOT purchase, but thought were fun enough to take a photo of and share with you! If anyone can decipher the turkey photo for me, you get a prize.
It was nice looking back on 2021. It was a pretty good year, all told! There were certainly struggles and problems as there always are, but the general trajectory was upward. I thank God for that. Since returning home in 2019 I've experienced some depression and hopelessness. But true to form, God has led me by the hand out of the muck and mire of my mind and led me back to the path he's laid out for me. He is a faithful friend!
Here's to an upcoming great year. Happy New Year, everyone!