I am so excited for a new year. Something about the roller coaster of 2013, climaxing with an insanely busy December and a desert road trip, made me feel the annual transition more than ever before.
I'll start with a quick recap of highlights of 2013. Early in 2013, I quit my day job. It wasn't that I was making a full-time living from my art, but I thought I had a part-time job in tandem with it, so I hastily put my two weeks in. However, I didn't get the part-time job. I sometimes pride myself on risk-taking, but this time, it became stressful after a few months. Still, soon after I quit, I was offered a solo art show at Delta Workshop in Sacramento, CA, decided to write a children's book and things just seemed like they were off to a good start.
My Etsy shop grew this year. I painted portraits of a couple of actors, a musician and his family and other wonderful people. I sold art prints to people prominent in their fields at KQED and HGTV Magazine. I also vended at a few events in great locations including the Bank of the West tennis tournament at Stanford and the Berkeley City Club.
Still, I was floating around in a sea of unknown. With each of the above events, I had periods of floundering between. Should I focus on portraits? Should I focus on handmade bags? Hand painted scarves? Design work? What should I paint? There was so much unknown and uncertainty.
Toward the end of the year, I returned to teaching part-time. The kids teach me so much about risk-taking, intuition and just having fun while making art. I painted many portraits for clients for holiday gifts. I also created a super fun hand illustrated band logo. And the highlight? I ended the year with a solo show at Seeing Things Gallery. It was well-attended and the feedback exceeded my expectations. This show taught me so much. I worked for long periods in isolation. In doing so, I utilized tons of determination, focus and discipline. I made work that was purely me. I dug deep into what bothers me, confuses me, amazes me, pleases me.
And now I have a better understanding of what is most important to me, what feels best to make and do. I need to return to being outside more for inspiration and I need to use my intuition. When things are unsure, we get scared and make strange decisions. This year, I understood being in touch with my intuition more than ever. This is how we can embrace the unknown, when we let things reveal themselves and listen to our gut.
In this time, I realized I will continue to create textiles, in limited-release, small batches. However, I will be primarily focusing on original artwork and a variety of creative projects. Rather, than New Year's resolutions, I will list out some things I will be doing this year:
- A dual group exhibition at the Citadel and Works Gallery in April entitled Shelter
- Taking sailing lessons in early spring
- Moving my children's book from sketches to completed
- Opening my own online shop (in addition to Etsy), where I will have original artwork available
- Finishing two new paintings that did not quite get finished for the Seeing Things show and revealing those within the month
- Painting a huge handful of ideas that came to me at the end of 2013
- Continuing hand illustrated design work
- Continue to teach children 10 hours a week
- Sitting and reading in my hammock
- Traveling, hopefully getting to a few more National Parks and possibly an overseas trip
Although I have this list, the direction can change at any time and I don't mind that.
What are you working on? What do you want to start or finish in this new year? Please leave a comment below.
Note: I will be writing about my desert trip in a post next week!