TMS January 9th, 2015, Newsletter excerpt...
Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday. Seems like a long time ago doesn’t it?!
For many of us, the arrival of a new year is a delicious time of refining our goals and dreams. Personally, I enjoy mapping out the coming year with plans that will fulfill my intentions.
But before I go into my planning, scheming and dreaming I make sure I pause and consider the gifts and gains of the previous year.
I do so much more and accomplish so much more than I remember or give myself credit for. I suspect this is the same for you.
This week I would like to encourage you to pause and take stock of your artistic accomplishments in 2014. At the end of a year, our tendency is to think we didn’t do that much in the past twelve months, or at least not the stuff that was meaningful to us. But before you assume that, read over my list of questions below.
Honour yourself by celebrating what you did and what you learned. You have more to be delighted with and proud of than you might initially imagine.
My list of questions is intended to take you down a path of personal awareness and celebration. I encourage you to write your answers down. This is powerful stuff...just wait and see. J
TIP: Before we get started, you may find it helpful to grab your day planner from 2014, or your family organizing calendar or your journal. Hopefully you have something on hand that will help you remember what you did 10 or 12 months ago. Also, you may find it helpful to review your sketchbook or your paintings to help you get a sense of your progress.
Here we go...
Celebrating Your Artistic Journey in 2014
· Did you read any art related books in 2014 and if so, what did you learn from them?
· Did you watch any movies about artists you admire or did you read any biographies? If so, what did you take away from learning about the artist’s work and life?
· Did you add new images to your sketchbook over the year? If so, did this change and/or improve your drawing skills?
· Did you complete any drawings and/or paintings this past year (count the unframed ones too)? If so, how many? Make a good guess if you don’t know for sure.
· Did you visit any art exhibits, art museums, attend any solo or group shows? If so, review what you enjoyed about your experiences and what you may have learned from these events.
· Did you discover any new artists that inspire you? This could be someone you discovered from reading an art magazine, or from finding their website or discovering them on a studio tour. What exactly is it about them that inspired you? You may have been influenced by their use of colour, their mastery of their chosen medium, their work ethic, their success...jot down anything and everything that comes to mind.
· Were you involved in any art organizations? Did you renew an existing membership? Did you attend meetings to socialize and network with other artists? Perhaps you volunteered your time and talents.
· Did you connect with fellow artists in some other way (other than the art groups referred to above)? Write out if or how these experiences were helpful to you.
· Did you take a workshop or an art course? How did this help you grow as an artist?
· Did you explore a new medium? What did you gain from this experience?
· Did you try new methods or techniques with your favourite medium?
· Did you master a new skill? Give yourself credit for even attempting a new skill.
· Did you attend any art lectures or seminars?
· Did you improve your art making space/studio? Perhaps you sorted things or added a more comfortable chair or invested in better lighting.
· Did you establish a regular art making routine or did you in some way improve upon your studio habits? If so, how is this routine working for you?
· Did you mentor anyone or share your art making knowledge with someone? (making art with children definitely counts here)
· Did you invest in yourself and your passion for art, i.e. did you buy some new supplies, or did you take a class?
· Finally, if you exhibit your work, review what shows you participated in. Consider how well your displays worked, what sales you made, what the feedback from the public was like and how well your promotional material worked for you. What did you gain from these experiences?
After pondering these questions and reviewing your calendars and sketchbooks, consider what might be the absolute best thing that happened with regards to your art making in 2014. Write this down.
Pause, look at your notes and soak in the wow of how much art related stuff you accomplished...go ahead and squeal woo-hoo! J
A lot can happen in a year and yet it can be so easy to forget the various events. I hope my questions have helped you unearth some activities you are proud of. I’ll bet you were rocking it and I’ll bet were more amazing than you thought!
If you are reading this newsletter, you are doing something to add fuel to your artistic spark that you didn’t do a year ago. Congratulations. (and thank you for reading and while I am at it, thanks for the feedback and the questions too)
Maybe these questions are revealing to you areas that could use some improvement. The gift of a new year is a perfect time to start making plans for better outcomes.
Ask yourself what sort of art experiences you would like to have this year. Then brainstorm some ideas.
Perhaps plan to set aside some money to attend a workshop or to buy some new pencils or paper. Review your weekly schedule and see where you can add colouring or painting into it. Do you already have a business trip lined up or maybe a trip during March break planned? Check out the city you are visiting and see what galleries they have. Consider ways to slip a visit into your schedule. Have some fun looking for new ways to take your art further this year.
I encourage you to start marking up your brand new 2015 calendars with some super exciting intentions!
Everything is white outside my windows, but not this kind of white. Here is a lovely remembrance of summer.