Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014: A Year of Preparing

One month in. Hurray for the New Year.

I'm always making lists. If you've ever seen my studio you'll notice there are post-it notes and papers tacked up every where and piles of notebooks stashed in different places all of which contain lists. Some of the lists are even repeats. It's a sickness that keeps me sane.
Post-it notes and paper lists galore
2013 you started out on the right foot then tripped repeatedly throughout the middle and yet somehow managed to get back on the right foot before the end of the year. I did some pretty large things in 2013. In no particular order I turned oldish which actually rocks, figured out how marriage works, conquered new dietary restrictions, changed up my employment, got all new shiny windows installed in the house and opened my etsy storefront. While I didn't find complete balance as was my goal for 2013 I did get much much closer which feels great.

2014 my hopes for you are vast. I will always have thoughts of balance in my head, but this next year I'm going to direct my focus on preparing. The beginning of 2014 has found me floundering about a bit aimlessly. While I have some ideas of what I want my future to hold there is no way of telling. During church a couple months ago I wrote the following in my sketchbook:
"Do what God asks you to do today because what he has you do today will prepare you for what he has for you tomorrow. He is preparing you RIGHT NOW for the deeds he has in store for you. -Me"
Waiting for the future only seems to produce a future of more waiting. My greatest accomplishments have consistently been when I was committed to doing regardless of knowing where I would land. Doing seems to get the wheels turning and once chugging along at a good pace I can course correct. To cease doing always results in train-wrecks and makes the future seem farther and farther away. So for me the best way to prepare for the future is to focus on the present and the best way to focus on the present is by doing. Being intentional, mindful and present is the plan. I'm not going to worry one bit about what I "should" be doing just as long as I'm doing. Here are a couple things that I've started doing:
   1. I want to be able to give back to the community down the line. I want to learn a useful skill that may help me give back outside of art. I think the fresh experiences a new skill will bring will only help to enrich my art. To begin I've started to learn a new language with the hopes that in 2-3 years I'll be fluent and can volunteer.
   2. I want to ensure I have a diverse stream of income in the future. Exploring different artistic outlets (lettering, hand-painting objects, embroidery hoop painting) will enrich my normal painting habits at the very least, but could also lead to different income streams. I'm banking on the fact that with time some doors will naturally open while others naturally close.

For the blog last year I listed three specific actions I wanted to accomplish:
   A) "... showing up here more than never." Check. Showed up 10+ times.
   B) "I hope to expand the diversity of my content..." Check. Featured Alasko.
   C) "I intent to share photos of my studio on a regular basis..." Oops.
2 out of 3 is not bad at all in my book. And since I like lists so much I'm going to do another one. A) I aim to achieve a regular blogging schedule. My track record is lousy, but I'm going to start small and try for 1 post a week. Once I get that down pat I might try to make that one post a week always happen on the same day and time of the week. B) I never want to apologize on this blog for not posting. I find it tiring to read blogs which always seem to start with some variation of "Oh sorry I haven't been around!" Instead I hope to just post and if there are any unforeseen absents I will simply explain if I feel the need no apology included. C) And now to completely contradict my first point, I no longer want to commit to doing something "soon", "the future" or at all on this blog. Gone will be the day of me saying I'm going to do something and then not following through. From here on out I'm not going to say anything about what I'm going to do and focus solely on what I have done or what I'm currently doing. Consistency and delivery is the name of the game for this blog.

Cheers to the New Year.


  1. Congrats on getting closer to hitting your goals last year! Stay encouraged this year! It's only gonna get better :). And being an adult = managing those to do's on your sticky notes :). Reading the quote from church... I wonder what your relationship with God is... But it's a touchy topic, ha! So I will stop here.
    This is funny, I have just started learning German. I wonder what language are you learning... Sprechst du Deutch? I think that my German will REALLY suck. People will laugh at me but oh well...
    This post is intense. It's first time I'm reading someone else's blog. I only got to the "For the blog" and I have too many thoughts in my head and can't read further without forgetting them. I wonder what do you do, it doesn't sound like you have stable source of income? You're an artist and sell our artwork... I hope it works out well. I am amazed by people like you who struggle making art want to give back to community. As if community really gave something to you? I'm just thinking out loud. Thanks for your post. It inspired me.

    1. Ich sprechen ein bisschen Deutsch. ;-) I would like to give to the community not because of what they have done for me, but because I can do something for them. I think lives are made richer when people help people with no expectations.

    2. Yes, I agree. Lives are made richer when people do so...

  2. I knew that I forgot something... In my comment above, I forgot to ask... how does marriage work?

    1. Marriage works great! With the right person of course.

    2. Yes. Hope you have the right person!