Sometimes a news story just captures your attention, makes you want to be part of it, and makes you feel like standing up and cheering (even if you're hearing it while driving!). The story of Barrington Irving did that for me. He is the 23-year old pilot who will become the first African American, and the youngest person to fly solo around the world. He began his historic journey on March 23, in Miami; he'll clock more than 130 hours of flight time in his single-engine plane, dubbed "Inspiration," and will traverse four continents. He calls his trip a "World Flight Adventure," and when asked why he wanted to undertake this challenge, he said he wanted to inspire inner city young people, and all youth to consider pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace. "They can look at me and realize that if I can achieve my dream, they can too. I wish I had a chance to bring every child tracking the flight on my adventure, but I will be carrying all their hearts with me in the plane," Irving said when he left Miami. "This is what fuels me-having youth believe in what I can do, so they can also begin to believe in themselves." Barrington was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in inner-city Miami. His interest in aviation was spurred by a chance meeting with a Jamaican United Airlines pilot, who took him to see an airplane cockpit when he was 15 years old--after that, he was 'hooked'. He's expected to return to Miami during the last week of May, and I hope it will be covered in the media, and I'll make sure to watch it while sitting at home, so I can really stand up and cheer his achievement. Way to go, Barrington!
This year for my business has been an adventure, too. I've committed to step out into the world of professional shows, increased my production, revamped my booth design, developed new products (here's my latest clock), made connections with other artists, and committed to marketing my art in a more focused way. Luckily, unlike Barrington, I'm not flying solo--I have a network of artist friends and helpers, as well as the invaluable support and assistance in all things of my husband. 'Still a work in progress, but I'm enjoying the ride so far.