looking back, a year in review

After lots of slowing down, head clearing and rest, I am finally ready to share with you my look back at last year's goals. Time to reflect and celebrate all that I’ve learned before I start my "to do" list for the new year.

Keep an open mind
I resolved to keep my creative path open and although I sometimes struggle internally with the idea of focusing on one medium vs. many, I have become increasingly more accepting of my multi-art personality. I feel that I am narrowing in on my core passions and want to continue to clear away what isn't working or bringing joy. This year, I would like to weave my passion into everything I do.

Make more art

Art ... I delightfully focused on making more art last year. I sketched more, explored watercolors for the first time and completed ten acrylic paintings, 10!!! Of those paintings (3) were commissions, (4) I made as gifts, (2) sold to a collector and (1) is currently for sale. That's huge and looking back on it felt effortless and very joyful. That makes me believe that completing 15 or 20 paintings this year is totally possible. By continuing to make more art and allowing myself permission to be present in each project; my point of view, style and most authentic self will be that much clearer.

In addition to making more art, I began a long term goal of offering art prints of my work! I found a local place to have my work professionally scanned and after getting a few scans done I opened up shops on Fine Art America and Society6 so, that prints of my artwork may be purchased. I have wanted to offer art prints to those that enjoy my work for a long time. I am excited to see how much further this will go this year.Oh and I created my first art print wallcalendar! I look forward to creating a new calendar each year.

Design ... In looking at my freelance design work, I continue to love creating wedding invitations and I need to share my work in this area. So far every wedding project I pick up is for someone I know or from word of mouth. I am currently working on my 7th wedding suite design, lucky #7! I have been hesitant to get this part of my indie business going but, I think it's time to start really think about it. I took my entire design portfolio offline this year. It was so outdated I couldn't stand sending people there. So this year I need to rework my design portfolio. It's kind of daunting to think about but, I need to do it to move forward.

Etsy ... And lastly I took a look at my Etsy shop. When I make things from my stash of beads, wood, paper products, magnets or any other craft I want to try on a whim many of those experiments end up as real items for sale in my shop. Thus far, I haven't had much of a plan for this area. I have narrowed in a few things I really like doing like magnet sets, canvas and art jewelry and finally posted a few original paintings in my shop this year. My photos are looking so much better from when I started and that is something to celebrate. I have a little outdoor setup I use to try and keep them consistent. There is still more work to be done in the photo dept. It will always be an area of improvement for me but, I am proud of the way pictures look right.

Stay Involved
Activities this year that keep me grounded and connected to art and my communities were: Art Masterpiece, The Meetup Biz Goal Sharing, Creative Every Day and Art Every Day Month, East Valley Artisans, The Artists Corner - Sharing Tips and Tricks Group, Phoenix Philanthropists Volunteer Meetup and One Moment. I have called myself a groupie on more then one occasion and over the past few years I have tried many different groups and meetups. I feel good about the ones I am involved with now.

Experiencing art with kids in the Art Masterpiece volunteer program is really cool. There minds are so open, I love hearing what they see and how they feel. Art Every Day Month was mind blowing and I can't wait to participate again this year. I joined the One Moment (OM) blog meetup to share my one moments. It is has been nice getting to know the other participants and share my life on a more personal level with you here, on my blog. My local art group has been inactive recently but, I met some wonderful local artisans and keep in contact with them.

This year, I want to stay with what feels good. I would love to take a workshop or go on a art retreat and be immersed in creativity with other creative souls. That would be fantastic.  

Overall Well Being
Work ... I'm still working too much, too often but, I did set some loose boundaries this past year. I took Saturdays off and limited my time on Sundays too. I started taking a hour lunch breaks during my regular work week to enjoy the afternoon at the park with the kids after school. This has been a great mood lifter for all of us.

Health ... I stopped my gym membership with the idea I would save money and practice yoga and zumba on my own. So far neither has worked for me. I am home so much, I need to get out for these activities. I like being in a class - it pushes me further. I would cry a good cry in yoga pretty regularly (do you ever do that?) and that helped relieve so much stress. I am however, 2 pounds away from a big weight loss goal so, that is so exciting. (2 pounds, really?! can't I just be there already!). I have read many healthy cookbooks and simple living books from our library this year and with each one I learn something new. Knowledge is power! Beets have become a staple in my diet and I find that I now crave them! They are delicious grated raw on top of salad or juiced with apples, carrots and ginger. They have done wonders for my gallbladder and digestion. It's been a stellar year overall for our family's health and I am really grateful for that.

Life ... I lost both my grandmothers this year and that was hard, really hard. Being that I only get to see them once or twice a year I still feel like when I visit New York this summer they will be there. It shook me up a lot and made me question where I live. Really question it. When thinking into the future I know I want to be closer to my sisters and I want to enjoy life with my parents while I still can. I would like to focus on cultivating deeper connections with the important people in my life this year. As my kids get older and more independent I want to remind myself they are still young and need my attention when they need it, not when I'm ready to give it. I think I'll use the beginning of each season as a reminder to check in with myself, reflect on our family connections and make adjustments. When you push in one direction is very easy for another area of life to get off kilter, keeping the balance is necessary for me to live my happiest most fulfilled life.

So that's where I am at. It took my so long to process this, all month really. I kept coming back to this post and thinking on these points. Whew,it was exhausting. Now that I have looked back I need to start looking ahead! That is where the new explorations and possibilities lie. Cheers to a Happy New Year!

No comments: