It's now been nearly 6 months since my relocation from my home in Toronto, Canada to beautiful Brazil, where I am now living in downtown São Paulo with my Brazilian partner. Setting up a new life here has so far been going much smoother than expected, however I can feel my ambitious (…anxious?) side wishing things would get done faster. Immigration, moving my business, and setting up a new household from scratch is considerably more time consuming than I thought.
I have nearly completed the process of getting a permanent visa to live and work here, and we have moved into a beautiful new apartment, right downtown, off the famous Paulista Avenue. I love our new life and neighbourhood, it's an affluent area so the security is quite comforting, and we enjoy living close to so many amazing restaurants and cultural activities. Plus, I have an entire room to dedicate as my home studio! My Portuguese is improving quickly, I work on it everyday using Duolingo, grammar books and reading novels. I also get regular practice speaking in public and with friends. My latest accomplishment is being able to watch the news and understand it. I remember my first time visiting it all sounded like nonsense, but now I'm quite proud that I can keep up.
My day-to-day routine is starting to look much like it did back in Canada. I love being able to walk to the gym, the grocery store, the art supply store (we didn't have a good one back in the city we lived in prior to moving!!) and a ton of shopping. Furnishing the apartment has been a bit slow for my liking, partly for my lack of knowledge at first of where to buy things and lengthy delivery times, and partly because we're combining decor styles (my colourful, bright tastes vs my partner who thinks everything should be grey or black...*eye roll*). However, restarting a home gives me the unique opportunity to use my artwork in new ways, so I'm slowly designing various new home items for us, pillows, towels, rugs etc, which is a great way for me to play around with pattern design. Not to mention, all the blank walls I now have! I'm contemplating picking up my oil paints again and doing some large pieces for us on canvas. I'll share some sketches of ideas soon.
As for work, I've been working remotely on commissions since I've arrived, which has thankfully been steady. Shout out to my awesome Canadian clients! I do have materials prepared to send out to new potential clients here because, I never thought I'd say this but, I miss live sketching! I was doing it so often before that I grew to really enjoy it, it's sort of like being paid to take a life drawing class. Not to mention, getting out of the studio and working amongst people is refreshing. I'm feeling positive about reestablishing myself here, as the fashion industry in São Paulo is much larger than in Toronto, and the culture is quite receptive of art in general. Unlike getting my career started before, I also now have a wealth of experience under my belt, so once my visa is sorted out I'm eager to get things moving with a new marketing plan I've made
I'm also looking forward to having my studio completely set up at home. I'm writing this as I'm still working from the floor of my new space...furniture deliveries take forever. Most excitingly we've been planning to get a puppy soon, so I'll have a little studio buddy to spend my days with!
Overall, things feel quiet and calm these past few months, even though it's been so much change. I looked forward to this time for months before I moved, where I didn't have the pressure of having to work for financial gain, and could take some time to be creative and redirect my career to where I wanted it to go. It's been a productive six months and I feel like I'm in a good work flow. Relocating has been a huge inspiration and a much needed change. I find creativity comes best from change and challenges, so I suppose it's not surprising that I'm in a great headspace right now. I'm excited for what's to come!... and to be a dog mom :D