I began an online class assignment in 2014 on the subject of hand-lettering a quote. It’s a good thing that the class is “work at your own pace;” I have been itching to get back to it and have a new sketch to show for it! This is the central image, I will be adding the rest of the quote and embellishments as I continue.
The sun is setting on another year and I have been thinking about goals, both old and new. It’s important for me to remember to celebrate accomplishments first, before moving too far into the goal-setting stage. I found myself ignoring that last week, my thoughts focusing only on what I’d like to achieve in 2015. Taking a moment to compose this post is bringing me back to more positive reflection.
For 2014 I am proud to have welcomed a new rescue cat into my home, The Amazing Mongo! He has a very loving and entertaining personality. I am also glad to have deepened some new friendships and renewed some older ones. I brought my artwork to three craft shows and heard great responses from new fans. I conceived of, produced, packaged, and began selling a set of temporary tattoos in my Etsy shop: “Foodietoos.” My parents and I went on trip to visit beautiful Tuscany and Rome (the latter has a very different beauty compared to the Italian countryside) in the spring, and then visited my brother in Colorado for a week in the summer. (Greg and I spotted a bull moose in the forest one morning!) Friends and cousins came to visit me throughout the year and we enjoyed what the city has to offer. I have been keeping sharp at my freelance day job in magazine production and helped the publication complete some important articles. I’m so thankful to be part of the process each month. I made sure my friends kept laughing. I discovered a new genre that I’d like to explore with my drawings … which leads me to 2015.
Goals and resolutions are definitely important but I never can actually accomplish everything I set intentions for at the beginning of each year, unless they are very low goals! (Eat fruit. Don’t wait 4 weeks to do laundry.) I have learned to not let myself become discouraged if the way things turn out isn’t quite the way I expected or would have liked them to be. It is too easy for me to get into a negative mind space and start thinking about what I “didn’t work hard enough” at, or “didn’t do enough” of, which tends to dissuade me from moving forward.
Looking back at what I did in 2014 reminds me that I am living a full life and I have to allow myself to be fluid within it … if I only stuck to my goals I might have missed out on some surprises and detours that enriched my year.
In light of that, I’m not going to post any of my specific goals here (Are you surprised? I am, too.) but I will share my general mantra for the New Year: Keep exploring, stay positive, reach out and up. (I stole that last one from yoga class!)
What about you, do you prefer very specific goals or more general ones? Why?
I made a deal with myself tonight that I’d write a blog post or do some work related to my illustration business before I ate dinner. This is usually my game plan on the evenings that I come home from my day job in magazine publishing and don’t have any set social plans. Luckily tonight I’m making my Mom’s classic pasta salad which does not need to be eaten hot, so I made it first and sat down to write this, so it will be ready for me when I’m done writing.
I always love a tasty, healthy and fresh meal to feed my body and this meal will be a soul-feeder too, I was just on a family vacation a couple of weeks ago and a recipe from Mom’s collection is a comfort for the times I miss being with my family in person.
Working toward my goals and dreams is the ultimate soul-feeder, of course. I never seem to have as much time as I want for pursuing those goals but my thoughts on that lately have been to make the most of what time I do have.
My current project is the creation of original art to sell in The Nancydraws Shop… I won’t give it all away but it has to do with living in New York City as an artist and appreciator of the beauty and unique situations that are part of that experience.
I began some experimental sketches and tests earlier this summer (see the image below), so far I’m happy with the way they are coming along, and feel hopeful that I’ll get a good response. But the process of creating something in a new way is also important, and its helping to bring the fun back into my artistic technique. I am looking forward to seeing where that will lead me down the road.
Now, back to feeding my body, be well until my next post!
I have taken on some tasks for the fall to achieve more creative momentum, and so far things are looking good. I am in week four of Etsy.com’s “Holiday Boot Camp.” Each week, participants are given a business-related article or two to read and a list of shop-tweaking tasks to complete in order to get everyone ready for the online shoppers who will be browsing for unique and creative items on Etsy. I’m also working on a few new items to post in my shop. This past week we were asked to update our bio or public profile, which was helpful because it is similar to my other big fall goal: applying for the NYFA grant.
The application for the grant is going to be much more challenging, a 700-word resume and 200-word artist’s statement is required, along with eight examples of my work from the past 5 years. Selecting the work examples is no problem; luckily I have more than eight images to choose from. I am planning on getting started on the writing next week, some kind of rough draft. I know I am probably the world’s best expert on myself and my artwork but I think explaining that in 700 words is going to be difficult!
Hooray! I goal I set for myself in May has now come to fruition! I have an Etsy.com store to sell prints of my illustrations, and whatever other handmade things I might create in the future. I just finished posting all of my current items for sale.
Thanks to Mom & Dad for helping out with the custom mats and shipping.
Without further delay, enjoy this link while I grab a cup of tea….