Looking Back, Looking Ahead
January is flying by! I’ve been taking some time to look at what I accomplished in 2015 and set my intentions for 2016. I don’t make resolutions and I don’t beat myself up over what I did or didn’t get done. My process is more about looking at what worked and what didn’t throughout the previous year. I like to think about what’s important to me and where I see myself in a year’s time. This is something I’ve been in the habit of doing for several years now, and I credit pretty much every positive thing that comes along for me to the intentions I set during this quiet month in the depths of winter.
Last year brought some huge changes for me.
Early in 2015 I set an intent for certain things to happen without having the slightest idea for how they would come about. None of these things happened the way I planned or imagined, but come about they did! The year ended with my gaining a confidence and clarity of vision for my life that I’ve been lacking for a long time.
Lots of these changes were on the personal front, including leaving my long-time partner and moving from the house we’d lived in together for the past 8 years. The upheaval interrupted the hot painting vibe I had going over the winter and I didn’t produce as much work as I’d intended, but I do feel good about what I was working on. In the second half of the year, I accomplished a number of things I’m really happy with, including setting up my website, starting this blog, establishing a daily practice of making art and completing my 101 Days of Hand Lettering Challenge (below are my 12 favourite pieces from that project).
After some deep reflection during the fall, I decided that I’m ready to make a career change. 2016 will be a year of working to get things into place so that I can do it: this is the year where I intend to transition from working for other people towards working for myself as an artist. I have a job that I have loved dearly (well, ok, honest disclosure, it’s really love/hate), but it’s time for me to let it go so that I can make art my main focus instead of just being the thing I do when I have a bit of energy left over at the end of a long day. The crappy economy is making me nervous, but that won’t stop me.
I haven’t made much art yet this year so I’m itching to get into the studio and throw some paint around. I’ll be doing another daily challenge beginning near the end of winter. I’m still pondering exactly what my theme will be. I want to work with abstract themes, landscapes and with integrating calligraphy and lettering into my work. And circles. And the colour blue. And the horizon. Well… I have lots of ideas!
On the practical front, I’ll be opening an Etsy shop to sell smaller works, approaching some galleries to represent me, creating a line of products featuring my hand lettering work, and also approaching some publishers with a portfolio of hand lettering work. I’ll be working on establishing a marketing plan and brand under which to organize myself. And over the winter I’ve got some classes lined up to help me keep my enthusiasm high and stimulate new ideas.
So hey ho, here we go 2016!