It’s nice to be back.
Is it a good way to start the year by looking back? So much happened last year. All that is going to shape the start of this year, it feels like the only way to begin…
To do – so much
My 2018 diary (which I could not function without) was full of lists of things to do. It felt like a purposeful year. I had a lot of expectations of myself and what I wanted to achieve.
By December I had to sellotape bits of the diary back together. I broke it (ha) – with ideas and thoughts and designs and dates and places to be and courses to go on and workshops and work meetings and plans and dreams and wish lists…
Did I manage it? Well, I reckon I did alright considering this is how the year began.
The good bits
One thing I realised about myself is that I am actually pretty good at getting stuff ‘done’. I can focus which is good to know, probably in part because I do love what I do. Then also partly the other small thing that it is a) my livelihood and b) my sole source of income, that’s direct link between motivation and survival right there!
That compliment I received. It meant so much to me to hear a dad say that my pieces remind him of the stories he used to read his daughter and it will forever stick in my mind, it was just so unexpected. I used to think it was about telling stories but now I understand I make pieces for storytellers too. People who love hearing and telling stories.
That marketing workshop . There is no way around it. I make things, and I want people to like, no, love these things. However, in order to get seen you have to do put it and yourself out there. It just feels a bit…bleugh. I went on two workshops – one of which I came away like ‘nope, no, no way, can’t do this, lets shut the door and close the curtains and forget about that and only ever talk to the cat from now on…’ The second workshop was very different. We all got a great piece of advice at the end and you know what? I reckon it will stick… What was it? Simply ‘Just be kind to each other’. That, my friends, is the kind of marketing shtick I can deal with.
The bad bits
I was quite tired. I barely paused for breath and I kept going. Do you remember that hot stifling heat in the summer? That was when I had a blanket over my head editing 200 photographs for the website. I started earlier and I finished later most days. I got into the rhythm. When I had a day off, I mainly fidgeted because I felt like I should be doing something more productive. Of course there is always more to do. No doubt the lists will continue to grow (they always seem to). This year I am ready for more adventures as well as being in my workshop. Ideas need a little space to grow I think. Maybe this will mean a little more help, to give in to the thought that I can’t take it all on and there are some things I don’t actually have to do myself.
And the downright ugly
That fear. Sometimes after you have made something and given it all your attention and love and care, you think that is it. There are no more ideas in there (*knocks on my own head*). There is no doubt I felt that more heavily at times this year as I tried to make sure I stuck to my own design rules and create more cohesively.
In my case its getting on with the things I need to get on with and knowing the ideas will come. That I think is the only way of becoming unstuck. Of course there are a billion more fears to replace this one but not for today, each has to be dealt with in its own way. To keep moving with a little bit of trust is the only way to go. I also think as I build a bigger collection actually having a few rules will make it easier to create.
To do – moving forward
I’ve spent the beginning of this year mainly around water. A quick count off of the top of my head over the past two weeks I’ve been on three river walks, three beach walks, and wandered around one quarry pool. My new years eve was spent building a boat from natural materials, set sail on a reservoir. It was powered by the fire made in the tiny cardboard hull. New years day was spent playing dare with the waves on a beach. Just like the way water moves, this year will be about getting into the ebb and flow of things. Work becoming more fluid, designs evolving, ideas consolidating, hopefully moving at a more consistent speed. This year the infrastructure is mainly in place, there is less admin to be done which means more making (there’s a happy dance to be had right there).
So, here is to a happy, healthy new year. Thank you for coming along.