Looking Back On 2017 & My 2018 Goals

2017 Journals
My 2017 in journals & zines

In February 2017 I laid out my goals for the year on the Get Messy forum. I was concerned it was too ambitious with working a 40 hour a week job, but I think I did pretty well! Here’s how my year went:

Goal 1: Participate in Get Messy ✓
My goal was to create at least one page a week and get better at working from the prompts. I ended up completing 5 seasons of Get Messy during the year (Gifts, Art 101, Contrast, Color, and Fairytales) and I definitely created at least one page a week! I tried (to varying degrees) to get better at working from the prompts, but I think it confirmed to me that I don’t enjoy working from prompts and they’re not helpful to how I work in my journals. Even though I enjoyed aspects of the group (mainly the community) I decided that I would not be continuing with Get Messy into 2018.

Goal 2: Complete Year of Creative Habits ✓

I am still stunned that I managed to complete this goal! Sure, the end result wasn’t how I envisioned, but I think I prefer how it turned out. My original plan was to make art on a post-it note every day and stick them in mini journals. After 100 days of this (which I think is an accomplishment in itself!) I started counting everything creative I did towards YOCH. I have never followed through on an art challenge before this, so I am proud of myself for persevering! See my 2017 Year of Creative Habits project.

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Generally the amount of projects I was working on at one time!

Goal 3: Collaborate ✓

Technically I kept this goal! I have been working on a collaboration with Beatriz Helton since January 2016, which I continued until April 2017. I think we both got a little burnt out on it and wanted to pursue other projects – but it still counts! I also wanted to try collaborating with Messians. A number of the collabs fell through, but I did finish a Women Rising Collab with Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. Basically, I did collaborate but not as much as I had planned. Honestly, I learned that I find collaborating very difficult – but maybe that’s a post for another time.

Goal 4: Work in my “main” journals ✓

I’m not even sure what “main” journal even means anymore, since I started about 20 different art journals/sketchbooks this year! But I did other projects besides Get Messy and the post-it notes, so I’m taking this as a win.

Some zines I had art featured in

Goal 5: Submit work to zines ✓

I submitted my work to 7 zines in total, and I had my art featured in 4 of them! I had 1 rejection, 1 zine fell through, and the other is still in the works (hopefully). I’m really happy with how that turned out! One of the zines also involved being involved in an art show, which was an amazing (albeit terrifying) experience.

Goal 6: Project Life/Awesome Ladies Project

Well, technically I didn’t complete this goal – but something else came of it, which I see as a bigger win. My plan was to try and do a version of Project Life for my Awesome Ladies Project throughout the year, but even at the time I wasn’t convinced I’d have time for it. I put it down as a “loose” goal and proceeded to do nothing towards Project Life haha. HOWEVER, in July 2017 I was chosen to be a Creative Team member at the Awesome Ladies Project, created four projects, took part in 100 Days of All About Me, and contributed two blog posts using the ALP Story Journal. I think that outweighs not starting Project Life haha.

Other Highlights from 2017

  • I sold some art! I painted three commissions and sold postcards on Etsy

Honestly, I am stunned at everything that happened this year! I think I’m going to slow it down a bit in 2018 and keep my goals simple (mainly because I am now working a job I love and I want to dedicate more time to my “real” career). Here are a few things I want to accomplish this year:

  • Sell more of my art
  • Begin my recycled journal project
  • Keep working with the Awesome Ladies Project and Book of Me
  • Set up a YouTube account
  • Contribute to more zines/be involved in the zine community (I will be involved in a Zinefest as part of my new job)
  • Generally make art I love

Here’s to an arty and productive year! How did your 2017 go? What are your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear about them!

Pushing Through the Fear (Revisited)

In January I published a blog post called Pushing Through the Fear, which was all about how in 2016 I would be pushing myself out of my comfort zone and start believing in myself and what I create:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a problem with “putting myself out there”. Not only am I an introvert, I am a fairly shy introvert. I’m nowhere near as shy as I used to be, but still; I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, I don’t know how to take a compliment, and I often worry that, when I do try to put myself out there, I’m coming across as pushy or thinking too much of myself. This isn’t exactly helpful when you want to share creative projects and get involved in a community.

I have many conversations with my husband about what makes someone an artist, since he calls me one and I completely avoid using that word to describe myself. He thinks that you don’t need formal training or an exhibit at a prestigious gallery; anyone who creates things is an artist. I obviously have a different opinion, although only when it comes to myself it seems.

Recently I’ve been thinking more about this avoidance and how rationalizing “not being an artist” holds me back. I use it to talk myself out of sharing or submitting work, making things for people, or getting involved with other artists. I fear putting myself out there and that my work isn’t good enough, so it’s easier to tell myself that I’m not a “real artist” rather than risk whatever it is I think is going to happen if I try.

Continue reading “Pushing Through the Fear (Revisited)”