Back in January, I shared a list of books I hope to read in 2018 (I’ve finished most of them already, so please send recommendations). Reading more consistently is just one of the intentions I set for the new year. So far, I have been doing well in keeping up with my resolutions. However, I realized I have not yet shared my art-specific objectives for this year. Thus, I bring you a new list!
An important note: whenever I set new intentions for myself, I typically approach them with the “progress not perfection” type of mentality which helps me pace myself and keep things healthy. This same mentality applies to my creative practice. Many of my 2018 objectives may produce tangible end results, but the overarching goal is to establish a more sustainable approach to my practice.
Without further ado, here are my 2018 creative objectives:
1. Draw or write something each day.
I may not be able to produce a fully finished piece each day, but at the very least I can sketch. If I’m really not feeling the visual creative energy, then it’s probably a good time to work on writing and editing my illustrated novella project (upcoming in 20??) instead. Thus far, I have been fairly successful at meeting this objective, save for a few sick days last month.
2. Practice the guitar once in a while (or hey, maybe even daily).
If there is one thing that taking six years of piano lessons as a child taught me (it wasn’t how to sight read, sorry), it’s that musical practice positively affects other areas of my life and my visual creativity. I often find myself brainstorming new illustrations while poorly playing a selection of Daughter’s discography. So, I’ve been making a concerted effort to play my guitar more frequently, even if it’s just the same eight or so songs over and over again (apologies to my neighbors).
3. Actually write down ideas after brainstorming.
Speaking of brainstorming, I have a terrible habit of generating ideas and then promptly forgetting them because I fail to write them down. Not this year! I’ve got a dedicated page in my bullet journal to record everything that comes to mind.
4. Get back to the basics.
Given that it’s been a few years since my last formal art class, I think it’s time I start revisiting the fundamentals. Specifically, I’m looking to do more life drawing and plant studies.
5. Learn to ink with a brush.
This is a fairly straightforward and tangible objective. I am comfortable with my digital inking practice, and I have a variety of Copic and Sakura pens for more traditional inking. However, I’d like start inking with a brush and some India ink, as I think it will push me out of my comfort zone. Does anyone have favorite brushes or inks for this purpose? I think I have an old bottle of Higgins ink somewhere…
6. Get outside.
Another straightforward intention. I don’t plan on living in Colorado forever, so this objective is dual-purpose. First, I’d like to enjoy more of this state’s natural spaces before I eventually leave. Second, I find that hiking or even just taking a long walk does wonders for breaking through artist block and generating new ideas.
7. Stay Authentic
In the creative industry, I think it is easy to get bogged down or discouraged with your work. With so much content being created and shared online every day, it’s easy to feel lost or unimportant. Thus, “Stay Authentic” is, first and foremost, a reminder that my creativity is for me. Sure, I like being able to share my work with others and engage in that sort of creative exchange, but I create for me. So, I do not need to worry about whether a piece is “good” or if it will garner a lot of attention; all of that is secondary. This mental shift allows me maintain the joy in creating, and hopefully, it will make my work more sustainable in the long run.
That’s it, for now. At the end of the year, I think I’ll revisit this post to share my progress. Have you set any creative goals for the new year? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments below!