Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking back...

Before I start making all kinds of grandiose plans and goals for the new year, I should probably take a few minutes to look back over 2010 and take stock. My general goal for the year was just to play more, loosen up, relax both in life and in art. I tend to get bogged down in the tedium of daily tasks and put off the fun stuff until after my chores are done. I even have a hard time taking myself on "artist dates" once a week as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. But this year I tried to be more conscious of how I define play and the various ways I could add it into my daily life. I did have a fun year, beginning in January and February when I took a couple of workshops with Jane Davila, and learned a few new surface design tricks as well. I played with jewelry again, and my little aquarium pendant was included in Cloth Paper Scissors July/August issue, a first for me and a nice pat on the back. I also participated in several challenges through the FANE group I belong to, including the Conceptual art challenge, which was a departure for me, but also stimulating and fun. I read many books, both fiction and non-fiction, and learned a bit about myself as an artist. Part of my goal was to spend more time playing with my family, and we were able to take some great vacations this year, which gave me inspiration for a lot of art. I joined the Sketchbook Project, which has been another fun learning experience. And I managed to get my art sold at the Putnam Arts Council Holiday Craft Sale, something I've wanted to do for a long time. So all in all, this goal was successful. By bringing more playful fun into my life, I enjoyed some quality time with my family and also grew as an artist.
Initially, adding more playtime to my life seemed like an easy sort of goal. But in examining what I define as fun, I realized that I find challenges fun. I like being stretched and stimulated. As long as I don't put too much pressure on myself, learning new techniques and taking on new projects are things I enjoy. And as much as I like spending quiet time by myself making art, I was fortunate enough to have that balanced by family vacations and activities and a busy, people-oriented job. My goal for 2009 was balance, and although I'm still not quite there, I get better at it every year. Moving into 2011, I'll keep play and balance in mind as I challenge myself with some new goals.

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