20160105_233408-1Happy new Year!

Ok so I’m a little late. The holidays snuck up on me as I was buried beneath work from a new client as well as the usual end-of-year to-do kinds of things, and of course, the care and feeding of the Jaegerlings (now aged 4.5 and 2.5). The ridiculously warm weather didn’t help. It only started to really feel like Christmas on its 12th day. Hanukkah is already a distant memory as Tu B’Shvat is at the end of January this year. Seriously?

Now that the loose ends of 2015 have been mostly been tied up, I can get on with it being 2016.

Of course I have a few new resolutions for 2016. I was thinking about these as I was sorting out my kids’ artwork the other day. I went through LITERALLY hundreds of my 4-year-old’s drawings from Sept through now, thinking she’ll hit her 10,000 mastery hours LONG before I will at this rate. Picasso was seriously on to something. I realized I have much to learn from watching my daughter progress  while “wasting” tons of newsprint paper.

So I resolved that in order to really practice and progress, myself, I’ll have to try and “Art” a bit like a child again.  That is to say:

  1. Don’t be afraid to waste materials.
  2. Don’t think too hard about it (the sketching will lead you where you want to go).
  3. Don’t edit while you sketch.
  4. Work quickly.
  5. Don’t overdo it. Stop when it’s done.
  6. Make it sparkly (this is the kid version of “make it pop”).
  7. Move on to the next.

The natural progression of this resolution is also that I need to stop worrying about the consistency of my media choices and if everything works in a series. I just to make more “stuff” the way I used to when I was a kid. Throw those ideas and creations out into the world and see where they lead.

On my way upstairs, I stopped to check in with Facebook (as you do) and caught some of the first 52 Week Challenge posts in my feed. By the time I’d got up to my studio, I was pulling out a bunch of “stuff” to “make something” for the “Fancy Dress” challenge, and this lady (above) emerged. Ok I went a little crazy with the glitter, which is also hard to photograph, but I felt better. I did it. Baby steps.

Another of my resolutions is to get more of that “stuff” out on social media and for sale without worrying too much if it’s “fitting my brand.” I think the definition of “personal brand” may actually be more or less the same thing as Giuseppe Castellano’ definition of personal style. It’s often hard to be objective about the way one actually looks. I have been told that my personal signature should shine through whatever I create as well. Looking at Fancy Dress Lady, I see that’s probably true.

Last year on Instagram I met a fellow artist and mom named Anna who lives in Sweden. Her children are roughly the same age as mine but she is somehow managing to create complete pieces of dynamic art, illustrations, and intriguing Tangles daily, posting them out on the interwebs and in her etsy shop. I am in awe as well as inspired that she is able to do this. I want to be able to do this, too. I know there are only so many hours in a day and that I sometimes have graphics work that takes priority to my personal work, but it’s a goal.

Like Anna, I don’t want to just wait around for people to hire me. I can get my work “out there” myself. My young self had hundreds of personal, creative obsessions. While I don’t fall in love with things as easily as I did when I was 9, I still have my own stories to tell and projects to complete. Another resolution is to get my own projects started (if not completed) without wondering if or how I’m going to earn money from them. I believe that if there is a true passion shining through in the work, an audience will come. We can’t all be J.K. Rowling, Johanna Basford, or Jacquie Lawson. But we can certainly try. So for starters, I put Fancy Dress Lady out on the interwebs and on Etsy for sale: http://tiny.cc/eppx7x  Ok that’s something. Not a large project, but another baby step. On to the next.

Last year I surprised myself by falling in love with the media and world of colored pencils. And here I’d thought I was supposed to be a painter. I discovered this love while working on my 100 Days project (which I also resolve to finish in 2016 – I need to continue working on simplifying). This year, I aim to improve my colored penciling skills and techniques. I also plan to work on improving gesture in my illustrations. I resolve to pay a bit more attention to contrast (didn’t we call that chiaroscuro in art school?). And maybe get into a workshop or master class later in the year…

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Jaegerling #1’s New Year resolution (no, we didn’t look at each other’s work before doing these). She’s holding her Artsplay maraca in this drawing.

Of course, finding creative representation in 2016 wouldn’t hurt either!

Apart from my creative resolutions, I resolve to manage my not-so-spare time a bit better, de-clutter the house, spend more time with my family, lose about 10 pounds, and get back to the gym – you know, all the usual stuff.

Just signed up for an 11 week yoga class starting next Tuesday. Let’s get this year started!