January’s trending art challenge is the #ToonMe challenge. It’s where the artist creates an image that is half photo, half cartoon, and all themselves.
So, for the first time in ages I dusted off my digital drawing skills and participated. I choose an image from 2019 that meant a lot to me, since it was my outfit for the Disney 101 panel, and I felt wonderfully playful in it.
I opened the image in Photoshop and started drawing in layers (realizing for the 100th time I need to learn Illustrator or another better tool.) It was difficult, awkward, frustrating, but oh so rewarding!
It took a few hours but I am very happy with the result and look forward challenging myself more in my art this year.
Resolutions are very important to me.
I like setting goals, manageable and stretch, to push myself into being a better person. Even though I know I will not achieve all my goals, I believe that the process of goal settings helps me identify my strengths, weaknesses, and the opportunities I have to grow. And when I look back on my goals, it helps me to acknowledge all the things I have worked towards, learned, and accomplished.
I discussed my philosophy on new year resolutions and they helped held me accountable for my goals by having me state them on the air.
Listen to the segment now:
That being said, here are my public 2020 resolutions.
I have cultivated skills over the years that allow me to create content, shows, and things for others, but it is time I create my own content and thus followers. This means regularly blogging, social media posting, pursuing opportunities to write with KSL, and sharing my drawings. I would love to build myself to a place that I can get a Patreon account and a regular content cycle.
I have spend the last few years living hand-to-mouth as I finished up my return to school, started a new career, and embarked on a blended-work lifestyle. I can’t keep doing this and need to find ways to make more income and save for the future I want. I need to do this by marketing myself and my services better, creating content that will generate income (Patreon, self-published works, Drama Princess book 2), and pursuing other avenues of income. I NEED to save an emergency fund, and an ‘opportunity fund’ that would allow me to say yes to what life offers me.
I simply want to get healthier. This means working toward a healthy weight, going to the doctor appointments I have been putting off for ages, and taking better care of my mind. I have some amazing friends who are helping me be accountable for this one.
2019 was a great year of creative growth and continuing to bloom amid trials. My goals for 2019 revolved around becoming comfortable with my creative voice and being able to afford to pursue opportunities. While I was not able to accomplish all I had plotted, I am happy with the progress I did make.
I am not going to share all my goals for 2019, but would love to hold myself accountable for some of my more public goals. Here I go!
At the start of 2019, my work as a radio producer with The KSL Movie Show was new and intimidating. (It still is in many ways!) I really wanted to learn the show, find ways to organize it so we can runs smoother, plus-up the content of the show, and increase interactivity to add value to our audience. I also wanted to seek ways to showcase my skills and prove my worth at KSL while improving my resume for future career opportunities. This is probably the goal I have done the best as achieving this year.
I cannot begin to describe the pride and excitement I feel at what I have brought to the Movie Show and KSL.
I developed a system of organization and templates that allows for quicker prep time, clearer communications, and just a more fun show for our audiences. The system has been adopted by many of the talk producers, so I must be doing something right! I cultivated great topics, guests, and relationships that have added variety and interest to the show. And expanded our show’s audience interactivity through the launch of the Movie Show Club, texts, Facebook group, and more.
I have proven my value outside of The Movie Show through special projects like launching new shows, training producers, modernizing a legacy show, and improving my ‘talent’ voice. I have become a regular contributor the Fan Effect podcast, building myself as THE Salt Lake Fangirl. And I have a special sense of pride in my work with General Conference special programming.
I am excited for all these developments and the opportunity to continue to grow my show and presence at the station in 2020.
In 2019 I really wanted to expand my creative voice beyond my work at KSL. While I had big dreams of writing blogs every week, short stories every month, a sequel to my Drama Princess book, and building myself into a kind of pop-culture influencer in 2019…. I totally chickened out.
Because, you know, talking to people is scary!
But, despite the fact I didn’t keep this goal as fully as I wanted, I did push myself to do some cool creative things:
I went to several pop culture, artistic, screenings, and cultural events. I had planned on blogging and social media posting about these, but didn’t for the most part. I did meet some amazing artists, see some great shows, and learn that I do have an interesting enough to follow, but I would need to post about them to make this possible.
I e-published two of my short stories on Amazon. ‘The Salt Shaker and the Pepper Grinder: A Charming Short Story About Our Favorite Couple,’ and ‘The Rock, The Paper, and The Scissors: A Cautionary and Fanciful Tale of How Three Best Friends Became Enemies.’
One of the things I am most creativity proud of is becoming a special guest at Fanx Salt Lake Comic Convention. I had set the goal at the start of 2019 to be on two panels, not even knowing how I would go about such a thing, but I did it! I got to talk about my favorite place on earth on the Disneyland 101 panel, and I moderate my own panel on embracing your inner geek.
I knew 2019 was going to be a challenging financially for me. It really was an experimental year to see if I can earn a living through part-time contract work, creative earnings, and as a self-employed massage therapist. The answer was.. kinda?
The most important financial goal for me this year was to afford the dream Disneyland trip that a friend and I had been planning on for years, which I am happy to report that we made! My friend is an amazing single mother of two great kids, one of which has special needs. We both took on extra work and budgeted like crazy to take the kids to Disney before they got too old for the magic, and while her son with Muscular Dystrophy could still enjoy most of the rides and experiences. It turned into one of the best Disney trips I have ever had!
Other financial goals revolved around taking care of myself better money-wise. Early in the year I took a course through my church on Personal Finances and Self Reliance that really emphasizes the importance of financial freedom. I understand the concepts, but could have done better applying them in my life.
I worked at building an emergency fund, but it got drained often because of well…emergencies…and poor planning. I was able to pay off my massage school student loan (after 14 years!) due to hard work and one final donation from an amazing massage client. And I meant to afford to finally visit doctors this year, but besides an emergency dental visit, I managed to procrastinate those much-needed appointments.
So, ya… I kinda failed the ‘financial experiment’ but am back in the lab redeveloping a plan to succeed in 2020.
At the start of this post I mentioned that 2019 was a year of growth amid trials. While I don’t want to give details about these trials, I do want to acknowledge them. I got a piece of news mid-summer that crushed me, forced me to alter my life significantly, and basically ruined the majority of the rest of the year. This trial forced me to move from a place of comfort to discomfort and I continue to grow because of it. I learned I can lean on trusted people in my life, that I am stronger than I thought, and progress means whatever I need it to mean.
My wounds are healing now. And in the future, I can help others because of the scars they left behind.
2019 was hard, and wonderful, and terrifying all at once. I got to do so many amazing things! Meet awesome people, go great places, and overcome significant trial. I learned I need to trust my own voice and put myself out there even more as a writer, creative, and as a massage therapist in order to afford a better life for myself. I frankly need to earn more income to pursue the creative lifestyle I want, and help the people I want to help.
As such, I am excited for the growth 2020 has for me, and excited to share my 2020 goals with you in another post.
Thank you for your time.
Please note: All opinions expressed on this website are KellieAnn Halvorsen’s and do not reflect on the opinions, policy, or believes of any entity she work for, her clients, or any of her affiliations.
Christmas Special: Drama Princess, Plus Shipping
'Ellie the Drama Princess: A Child's Introduction to the Theater Process' Book: > $14 per book* + $6.95 USPS Flat Rate Domestic Shipping. (Please include shipping information with your order)
Christmas Special Drama Princess, pick up from Halvorsen
'Ellie the Drama Princess: A Child's Introduction to the Theater Process' Book: > $14 per book. (Please include pickup details with your order)
You are invited to attend panels I will be a guest on for FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention in Fall 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 8410. I will be talking Disneyland, and moderating a panel that I pitched inspired by my story of pursuing my creative dreams and switching careers. It means the world to me to have people like you supporting my creativity and voice. You are welcome to follow my adventures at FanX on my social media.
You can purchase your passes, and save 20% with the code FANXKSL at https://fanxsaltlake.com/tickets/
So you’ve never been to Disneyland, or you haven’t been for several years? Our panel will give you everything you need to know before you go. What attractions you should ride, which restaurants have the best food, how fast passes work, and how to make the most of your vacation. We’ll even give you the details on what you can expect at Halloween and Christmas.
Friday, September 6, 2019 @ 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, in Room 250A
Geek culture is now mainstream, and many individuals are tossing their fears aside to embrace the stories and fandoms that bring them joy. Listen to pop culture experts’ tales and tips on taking the plunge into the geeky lifestyle you so secretly long for.
Saturday, September 7, 2019 @12:00 pm -to 1:00 pm, in room 255A
Please note: Halvorsen is attending FanX as a freelance creative and not as a representative of KSL.
“Live ’til You Die.” Has been longtime ALS sufferer, Creighton Rider’s motto for the past 10 years as he has fought this progressive neurodegenerative disease. And he has done just that as he continues to press the boundaries and limitations his body has challenged him with. But the issue has now become, he has lived a lot longer than medical science predicted, and his life savings to support him and his family is dwindling.
While friends and family have rallied to support Rider, even forming a team called “Creighton’s Riders” raising funds for ALS research and awareness at the Saints to Sinner’s bike relay event, it’s time for others to join the team.
Halvorsen was a Publishing, Sales, and Administrative Assistant from June 2017 – July 2018.
Part of the challenges I have made for myself this year is to be more Creative. So, when May rolled around instead of just liking other artists work, I actually produced my own. I participated in MerMay, month-long celebration of creativity, community, and above all… MERMAIDS.
Here are some of my favorite creations for that time. Enjoy.
I had the honor of being one of the few graduates of the University of Utah’s class of 2017 invited to be the student commencement speaker. While I was not selected, I was thrilled at the opportunity to apply. The following is the speech I submitted for consideration.
It’s taken me 11 years to stand before you with this 4-year degree and I am grateful for every minute it took me to get here. From a trade education to an associate, to a Bachelors, the journey has been a refining process that has given me the tools and confidence to be who I am. Notice, I said who I am, not who I am today. This is because college has not changed me, but challenged me on a deep personal level to know my own mind and self. College has challenged me to evaluate who I was and how I thought, to shed old limitations and pre-conceived notions, to find and refine my own passions, and craft a new vision of my future to doggedly pursue.
From our first courses at the University of Utah we are asked to think more, and warned we will be challenged on more fields then an educational one. I am a communications major, and as such I evaluate how we interact and communicate with the world around us, as well the thought process and rhetoric that goes along with that communication. My first class at the U was a Transfer Interest Group, in this course we learned how to transfer to and navigate the University, as well as grapple with the logical fallacies that cloud our reasoning. You are challenged to understand that “You are not so smart,” which also happens to be the name of the book we study by journalist David McRaney. We learn that there is a myriad of misconceptions and shortcuts that we employ to translate the world around us, from the ever-present and dangerous Confirmation Bias to the comfortable and enticing Consistency Bias. Being aware of these fallacies from the start. I was able to tackle my university education with a more humble and aware outlook.
This humility and awareness is key as we passed through our generals and into our specific educational sequences. We are exposed to facets of the world that we often would not have had the opportunity to do so in regular life. Along the way, something sparks our interest, ignites our mind and fuels our educational and career dreams. We find what we are passionate about and now that we found who we are, we are prepared to pursue it.
This passion can sometimes be a huge shift in our own story, for several years I thought I would build upon my own trade education in Massage Therapy to pursue a higher degree in Biology. But as I took a general communication course, I understood that communications is my passion. That I enjoyed the creative trial communications required more than the structured interpretation of the human body. Now was the time for another challenge to who I was; do I pursue my passion and change focus, losing the time and money spent on my biology courses? Or do I keep on my biology track working at something I liked, but wasn’t the happiest about? I choose my passion. My happiness. My creativity. And my newly discovered me. I know that many of us here have had similar experiences and stand here ready to graduate clutching diplomas and dreams of our new passions. And I am excited for all of us!
The University of Utah has prepared us for our futures on an educational level, mental level, and personal level. In these halls, we have been challenged to remove the roles constructed for us by our parents, family, past educators, friends and peers, and explore deeper subject of our personal interests. The education we have received has trained our minds to continually learn and face challenges. The experience of interacting with a menagerie of students, professors and topics has widened our minds and gifted us with a support system. We leave the campus and enter the “real-world” as ourselves, capable and ready to take on the challenges before us.
I am leaving to pursue my own creative communications goals; to pursue a career in public relations and arts advocacy. To continue to challenge and learn about myself as I become a force of good in this world. We all can become a force of good in this world! We know who we are. We have earned the tools, now is our time to use them.
In Fall 2016, I took “The Editing Process” at the University of Utah. The course is an upper division communication/writing course described in the catalog as: “Judging content and form and preparing copy for publication. Graphics, layout, and picture editing included.” This course reaffirmed and honed my writing and formatting skills in everything from article writing/editing to formatting newspapers. Throughout the process, I learned to trust my intuitive creative design skills and delve deeper into Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Concurrently with the course, I worked on promotional material for my community theater’s production of “Disney Aladdin Jr.” and was able to include some of the designs into my portfolio.
-Kellie Ann Halvorsen