Before I get carried away with ideas for 2019, it’s important and helpful for me to look back on 2018, to see what I accomplished, what worked, and what didn’t. The guiding words I selected for 2018 were: paint, teach, share, and connect.
Creating is the point of everything. It’s what brings me happiness, it’s why I started the blog in the first place. Above all, even when I’m creating products or loading things in my shop, I always want to remember to make time for painting and I did this in 2018.
As is the norm for me, I have times when I’m very prolific and other times when I let life get in the way. I’ve learned that a project, goal, or deadline, really motivates me. In May I bought a stack of small canvases and declared I’d focus on painting seascapes in acrylics instead of my normal watercolor. Painting with acrylics reminded me what it felt like to be a beginner. I was also reminded that practice leads to progress. Currently I’m committed to painting watercolor illustrations every day of the holiday season – a huge motivator for me.
I did post a few tutorial blog posts this year – on painting seascapes and on creativity in general, but what was really exciting was I was asked to teach watercolor to kids for a week of summer camp. It was fun, terrifying, enlightening, and exhausting! I really loved the kids. We’ll see what in person opportunities come my way in 2019.
This year I began filming mini videos of my process which is fun and I enjoy sharing. I keep saying I need to create longer step by step videos. We’ll see what the new year brings.
This year I offered my artwork in many new ways including selling originals online, selling at my first in person vendor event, and offering my illustrations as digital downloads on Etsy. I’m really excited, particularly about my Etsy shop. Before I developed illustration skills, I was a graphic designer looking for art to incorporate into my designs. It’s fun to be on the other side of things, offering clipart, invitation backgrounds, etc. to help others with their design projects. It’s also fun to think about each holiday or event and figure out what digital products will help people, and then to see what the response is to that new product.
I’m really enthusiastic about my newsletter. I share all the things inspiring me. I have the opportunity to connect with other artists who I feature, and I love hearing from readers who enjoy what I share. Sign up here!
Other fun things this year:
- My Dots candy illustration was included in Uppercase Magazine
- I heard Twyla Tharp author of “The Creative Habit” speak
- I collaborated with fungiftwrap.com on wrapping paper designs – upload your photo onto gift wrap!
- I’ve connected with a few people who have used my fabrics in their projects. Susan Finlay made a Swimming Quilt, Headbandhappyak.com made a swimmers headband, and another woman, who makes dolls for sick children using fabrics that represent the child’s interests, also used one of my swimming fabrics. Learn more about these projects here.
When I look back it’s been a great, full year of new projects, opportunities, and connections. I’m excited for 2019!