Monday, January 23, 2017

Looking Ahead

2017 is so far proving to be a strange time. In some ways, it feels as if the new year has gotten off to a snail's pace start. Recovering from surgery is a slow, tedious process with steps forward and then back, forward a little bit more then back again. At the same time, I feel like the month has slipped through my fingers. I'm not sure I have a whole lot to show for a month's worth of living save a narrowing hole in my foot (one of the incisions is taking its sweet time closing) and a calendar full of doctors' appointments. Still, I am trying to regroup and make the most of the next few months before the specter of more surgery looms again.

Each December, I typically make an exhaustive list of resolutions which I use actively throughout the new year. I love wish-listing my hopes and goals for the annual fresh start that January brings. This year however, I made a very simple "Do More of This/Do Less of This" list. As always, I have big plans; it's just that I didn't spend so much time detailing those plans for myself. I guess this lengthy blog post will serve that function.

Word of the Year:
I am continuing with "story" as my guiding word/theme/inspiration. In truth, I feel like I could continue onward with "story" for many years to come. I dipped my toes in "story" in 2016; I really want to dive deeper into story-crafting and illustrating in 2017.

Online/In Person Classes:
I did a bit of planning/thinking for my first ever online classes but again, my health challenges pushed some of that to the background. As I continue to heal, I am beginning to refocus my life on teaching, both in the classroom and hopefully online as well. In terms of online classes, I am most stymied by the video component that I want to do. In the end, I'm just going to do the best I can with what I know and have. As far as specifics, I can tell you that there is a trilogy of classes on the drawing board with monster creation as the central focus. I also want to return to teaching in person art classes to adults, something I stepped away from 11 years ago to teach kids in the school system. I'm not leaving the classroom but rather expanding my reach back into the adult artist audience.

Art for Sale:
Throughout the life of this blog (ten years now!) I have kept sales of my art in the background for many reasons. I don't ever want this space to feel like a carnival midway with me barking every other post about things I have for sale. The reality is, however, that I need to make a bit more from my art-making to compensate for increased health care costs and decreased work hours due to lengthy recoveries. I am planning to reopen my Etsy shop and/or offer more work for sale here at the blog. An online class (or two) will help bring in some income as well. I am toying with the idea of opening a Patreon account. Most money-making ideas are still in the planning stages as I have been so focused on my health in the past two months. 

Finish the Unfinished/Begin the Long Planned For:
I have projects that have been languishing in the "unfinished" pile for some time and I am going to decide whether those projects are still relevant/interesting and move them towards completion while discarding other ideas that have lost their gleam for me. In addition, I have a select few projects that have been on the back burner for years, ideas that I've actually done an incredible amount of groundwork on but that are not yet truly started due to my own insecurities. No time like the present to set aside fear and doubt and just jump in!

Take Better Care:
While this isn't strictly an art/blog-related topic, how well I care for myself physically, emotionally, and mentally directly impacts how often I am able to be present in this space and certainly determines how much art I get to do. Self-care has long been my Achilles heel; I am absolutely miserable at it. My body and brain are starting to rebel and if I don't make some real changes, there will be consequences that will complicate not only recovery from any necessary procedures but also daily living. It is time to eject old tapes and craft the life, internally & externally, that I have always dreamed of. It won't happen all at once - everything is a step-by-step process - but it certainly won't happen at all if I never begin.

Regarding This Space:
This is the first January in a while where I had zero doubts about continuing Lost Coast Post. Last year felt like a good blogging year to me and I am going to build on what I started in 2016: posting as regularly as possible, providing more informative content, cultivating more conversation and interaction. I am looking forward to being here and hope that you will join me, bringing your encouraging comments and thought-provoking questions. Together, let's carve an uplifting, creative path through 2017, no matter what trials and tribulations the year throws in our way!
 


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your goals and plans! Definitely cheering you on and hoping that when the time is right you'll be able to share your wonderful creativeness through more channels. Of course, self-care has to be a priority, but that is much easier said than done. Seems like you are doing well with that, though.

As to sales on your site, I'd say, Go for it as much as you can! I don't think having a shop affiliated detracts at all. In fact, when I find an artist whose work I love (like yours!), the first thing I do is see if I can purchase something from them. It's a way to help support artists and to share their beauty in my world.

Hope you continue inching toward better health and that 2017 blooms beautifully.
-Ellie

Sarah L said...

Well, I will be first in line when you roll out your monster creation classes, let me know if you need a guinea pig!

Loulou in Texas said...

Your last sentence speaks volumes of your tenacity: "Together, let's carve an uplifting, creative path through 2017, no matter what trials and tribulations the year throws in our way!" So positive!

And I really like the idea of your "Do More of This/Do Less of This" list instead of resolutions. That makes so much sense, and I don't think it's too late for me to make a list like that myself.

Your note to yourself with your first little creature on the page is quite helpful: "Shade in graphite before watercolor," and your second little monster made me laugh out loud! What great pages you've created!

Your words and artwork have brightened my day!

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