Goodbye, 2016

You were a heck of a year.

Let’s just concentrate on the good, though, shall we?

Well, one year ago I started to seriously dedicate myself to my art – drawing every day, filling up sketchbooks, painting more paintings… Here’s what I accomplished!

  • 8 and a half paintings using acrylic – either acrylic on canvas or acrylic on wood panel
  • ~50 watercolor paintings
  • 2 sketchbooks completely filled, 2 giant sketchbooks halfway done, and one more started
  • 3 gallery shows with another one coming up
  • Landed my very first solo show by invitation
  • My first vending experience!
  • Making real money off my art

And the entire time I kept thinking I should be doing more! But looking back, it seems like a real accomplishment. I set out to Become An Artist and I feel more confident now saying I am one. I feel really proud of what I’ve done last year.

Other accomplishments and notable events!

  • I got engaged! Everyone assumed it would never happen but lo and behold!
  • I read somewhere around 40 books – definitely below average for me, but hey, nothing to sneeze at either
  • I biked about 650 miles
  • I started to learn how to dance
  • I worked several awesome design freelance projects, including my first branding project
  • I traveled to New Orleans, Austin, and Rincon, Puerto Rico
  • I built a ton of furniture

I set some goals for 2017, mostly around art. I want to spend the first part of the year focusing on more learning, doing lots of anatomy, plein air, and master studies. I have my first solo art show coming up starting in the first week of January – I’ll be showing 8 or 9 paintings in a small show titled “Death and Technicolor.” Landing a solo show this early in my career feels surreal – I’ve been crazy busy prepping artworks, finally signing and titling them, and just preparing myself for what’s to come. Then, after winter is over, I’d like to participate in a few more vending experiences or shows, but not too many – I got so swept up in this stuff during the fall that I barely had any time to actually make art. I’d really love to just spend time playing around in between shows and actually having the time to create some new pieces. Tenuous goals include finally opening up an online shop, starting a webcomic, making a zine, and making a video game. We’ll see what happens!

I know these are turbulent times, but I think it’s really important to find whatever grounds you, and then hold on to it. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you can turn to it as a comforting thing. For me, art is my comfort and the thing I fall back on when everything feels like a big black hole of despair. And while it’d be really nice to be able to Change The World Through Art, I’m also okay with it just being a safety fallback for myself. I hope that whatever happens in 2017, we all discover, rediscover, or keep up with the things that make us happy in the midst of it all. Don’t ever lose sight of what you have for yourself, and don’t ever feel guilty about comforting yourself when everything feels like it needs your attention more.

Anyway, happy new year, everyone. May 2017 bring surprises, joy, comfort, and peace.

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2 Comments

  1. Happy New Year to you, Becky! You’re right in that these are turbulent times, so it’s important to find comfort in things that will help you face reality. I’m glad you have art to back you up when times gets rough. For me, I think my main thing is reading, and I usually re-read things because reading familiar books help ease my mindset. If I try to read something new when I am not in the right mindframe, I pretty much fail at reading then.

    You’ve accomplished a lot in 2016 with your art, and I hope you’ll have a lot more successes and shows in 2017. Congratulations on being engaged! It’s great you were able to travel some, and 40 books is a great number, as well biking 650 miles and learning how to dance.

    Good luck with everything in 2017! Keep it up with all things you enjoy and love doing ^^

  2. Big hugs for all you have achieved this year. I didn’t start following your blog until halfway in, but you have produced so much artwork and done a lot in that field that it was easy for me to consider you an artist already. 🙂

    2016 was really rough in some ways but it was great hearing about all the positive stuff that came out of it for you. I hope to read more blog posts about your art adventures, I love seeing them and you’re one of the few creative bloggers I follow (the others have careers similar to mine, in tech, or just something else!).

    You are totally right with your final message – we must never lose sight of what makes us happy. 🙂 I think that is important and it takes us some time to really stay positive and appreciate what we have. 💖