Are we too far into January to still be talking about goals and intentions for the new year? Probably, but I'll go ahead and share some of my thoughts on the year ahead anyway.
My goals and intentions for 2016 are largely focused on making more work. A lot more work. Last year ended up being, somewhat unexpectedly, a year of transition. Some personal changes rushed to the forefront and became my biggest priorities. The changes were mostly very positive, but it’s amazing how even positive changes – changes that I’ve wanted for a long time – can still be disruptive and demand more of your attention and energy than you could have ever anticipated. It took me some time to find my footing again with new routines, and I started small by simply trying to draw more in my sketchbook and by reserving specific blocks of time on my calendar for painting. Now I feel ready for a more dedicated commitment to creating new work and just as importantly, by doing it more intentionally.
The timing of all this is conveniently converging with the start of a new year. One of the things that I know I want to do in 2016 is further develop and commit to a new routine, while also finding some good balance with everything else in my life. I’m still working through exactly what this will look like, and I think it will develop and shift over time, but I did want to start out the year by committing to a simple daily practice. I wasn’t ready to sign up for any year long commitments or large personal projects (although I am thinking about those things too), so when I heard about the 31-Day Drawing Challenge on Creative Bug led by Lisa Congdon, it seemed like it would be a great first commitment for 2016.
Each day has a word prompt (a teacup, a leaf, etc.) and she posts a short video with tips and examples. So far most of the prompts haven’t been too far out of my comfort zone, but some of the words have definitely been things that I wouldn’t normally draw, such as a cat, and I'm already a bit wary of the animals that are on the calendar in the days ahead.
But it will be good to commit to something daily, it will be good to actually follow through and complete it, and it will just be good drawing practice, particularly the things that I wouldn't necessarily draw on my own (animals) or things that are not my strength (animals, again).
I’ve been posting the drawings each day over on Instagram, and you can follow my progress over there.
This year I managed to leave all holiday preparations until the very last minute, including all shopping, gift wrapping, baking, and a few paintings that I gave as gifts. After the flurry of activity to get everything done, I was very thankful that the week after Christmas provided some empty hours to relax, regroup, and to start thinking about next year (as well as some time to binge watch Star Wars movies).
At the end of 2014, I really slowed down and finally felt like I was ready for some changes. I was making space for new, and new definitely arrived in 2015. Now at the start of another year I find myself back in that same frame of mind, excited to see what 2016 brings. I am feeling ready to create some new habits and goals within this new life. Hopefully posting more here on the blog will be a part of that, but mostly I'm looking forward to the new paintings, drawings, photographs, and days that lie ahead.
Wishing you all a wonderful new year. May we all have a great one.