Around this time of year, lots of people starting looking forward. And I get it: The end of the year is a good time to start setting goals for the coming year. Getting a jump start on such things is always good.
But me? I always take a moment to look back. So many times in my modern life, I celebrate my achievements for approximately point 82 seconds before I'm already worried about the next thing. This end of the year list is my own way of acknowledging my wins which, in turn, motivates me to make the following year just as eventful.
Here's what I have marked as "complete" for 2016:
- I took an art class.
This was not a proper "technique" class (the majority of my time was spent making a paper mache sculpture) but it helped me realize that my strengths, the things that come naturally to me, were not things that everyone else enjoyed.
- I challenged myself to (and accomplished) The Late Bloomer Project, 32 paintings in 32 days.
I held my first art reception and ordered way too much food.
- I hung my first show - Local Color at The Cafe on Broadway.
There was so much to be learned about framing and hanging and pricing and bookkeeping. So wonderfully grateful for these guys for offering me this opportunity.
- Also, from that same show, I made my first round of art prints.
Still working through how to best go about this in the future but it was a wonderful first experience.
- I attended three "painting in public" events. Though this was on my list of things to accomplish once I started this journey back in March, I quickly realized that this isn't my forte (I get LOADS of anxiety), but learning what one doesn't want to pursue is important too.
- I had a temporary exhibit at The Hello Sessions in Portland Oregon at The Cleaners a part of Ace Hotels.
This was out of state, trendy, and in the presence of Lisa Congdon, one of my art role models. I actually had to check my own pulse I was so sure that I wasn't dead and/or dreaming.
- I was asked and subsequently illustrated an article in Edible Ozarkansas.
While sitting in Portland I checked my inbox to see the editor's request that I check out a non-traditional article and see what I may be able to add to it visually. After reading through the piece about travel and change and road trips, I was excited to pitch and have my "travelogue" idea accepted.
- I began to learn photoshop.
While my experience with designing the images for Edible was great, it allowed me to see where I needed to grow so a large span of my time afterward was spent learning the software that will allow me to becoming a more fully functioning illustrator.
- I totally redesigned my website.
After speaking with art consultant and agent Jennifer Nelson, I realized that my website was woefully lacking in some important aspects. This, along with the many hours spent learning Photoshop, seemed a bit like time spent in a Black Hole... all the the hours of work and eyestrain and not any "new product" to show for it. However, I am now insanely proud of this site and hope that this will last a long while.
- I have a free coloring sheet library.
It's probably a bit ridiculous to admit how much line drawing has intimidated me in the past. My #coloringsheetandhappy challenge has been one of the things that helped me push through that fear and I am wonderfully proud of the collection.