Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019, A Year to Explore

Image © Sierpniowka /

Happy New Year! Happy Creativity! 

One of the things I always like to do at the start of each new year is find a word that will set my intentions and guide my creative path for the next twelve months. This year the word I needed came into my mind precisely at the stroke of midnight:


Isn't it a great word? I love the idea of letting go of my old thoughts on what I imagined (or insisted) 2019 "should be." That doesn't mean I'm abandoning any of my works-in-progress, or giving up on my dreams, etc., but I want to take a new approach to how I work with these things. 

To start off with some good road maps and travel guides, I treated myself to two new art books (yes, I went to the mall after Christmas . . . ): Draw It: Tools, Techniques, Methods; A Workbook Manual for Sketching and Drawing, and Drawing 365: Tips and Techniques to Build Your Confidence and Skills. Both of volumes are divided into bite-sized segments of advice and encouragement that I can use every day, all year round. Already I've been inspired to try exercises such as combining brush pens with oil pastels, or using a Sharpie pen to make a complicated drawing from one continuous line, methods I never tried before.

As a companion exercise, I made myself a set of affirmation cards. Nothing fancy, just some plain index cards decorated with metallic gel pens and a sticker or two, but the messages I wrote out for myself are strong, each one a powerful  invitation to take the road less traveled.

Starting this week I want to explore new groups, new classes, new themes, new places to write and draw, new techniques, new mediums, and new story ideas. I want to travel with an open heart, an open mind, and an open sketchbook. (Yay, more art supplies!) Now if only the snow would melt . . .

Tip of the Day: There's nothing wrong with goals and plans--I've used them to my advantage my entire life. But once in awhile it feels good to either a) pack them away until another time, or b) consider whether they still serve you, and if they're really what you want to do. Sometimes the journey toward a goal can fulfill us in ways actually reaching the goal never could. With that in mind, I invite you to take the time to explore what it is you want to do with 2019 before you make any concrete decisions. Let me know what you discover!

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