Monday, 28 December 2009

2009 In Review

This is the bit where I review my 2009 New Year's Resolutions and make some new ones for 2010. I almost couldn't find where I'd written down this year's Resolutions at first. Then I realised they were probably in my old art journal, the one I abandoned when I resolved to use quality products (see, I'm improving already). Here they are:

How did I go?:

2009 Resolutions / Goals
1. Keep a food & exercise diary.
I certainly did this very successfully. The diary encouraged me to eat somewhat better, and helped me to identify problems and improve my diet. Low-GI is your friend, I say! It especially helped me to keep on track with exercising regularly. Late last year I ditched my gym membership and had no way of tracking my progress - the diary provides motivation for me to exercise regularly and build on my achievements.

2. Save money & travel at the end of the year.
I achieved the goal of saving enough money to travel, but unfortunately circumstances prevented Boy and I from going out and doing it. This year was the Year of Weddings. (Not ours! ehehhe) Thanks to the Weddings though, we did have two lovely short holidays in Echuca and in Bright. We got to hang out with friends and had a fantastic time. Mountains and wine and cheese and beer, oh my!

3. Sell at a shop or a market at least once.
Er, this resolution fell over completely. I didn't even make enough craft items throughout the year to fill half a market stall. In 2008 I only sold one or two crafted items in my Etsy shop, so I made a half deliberate decision to make knitted/crocheted items just for myself/friends and not worry about selling them. I decided to concentrate on zines as they seemed to constitute the vast majority of sales online. As for a market stall, I'm pretty sure zines would not be a very saleable item. I only wrote one full-size zine this year anyway...
I knew this would be a challenging goal for me, and I wasn't very optimistic that I could achieve it. I had no idea just how badly I would fail to achieve it, though. In fact, going through my blog posts from a year ago, I can see how little of what I was starting at that time has come to fruition. My confidence was at rock-bottom for most of this year. I could write a much longer list of what I didn't do than of what I did do. I don't think that would be very productive however, so I'll refrain.

4. PROJECT: Write an appreciation letter once a week.
This was a project that I devised late last year. I wanted to write an illustrated single-page letter each week on the theme of gratitude for various different things in my life, and perhaps make them into a Blurb book at the end. I think I wrote about 5. I am not really good at long term projects. My interests tend to skip from one thing to another fairly quickly. Numerous times I've become interested in a craft, but by the time I've had the money/time/effort to purchase the materials, I'm already no longer interested in it. (Hence my series of 5-Minute Obsession posts!) I started to feel guilty that I wasn't writing a letter every week, that I was 'ruining' the project, etc. So to spare myself the guilt, I officially cancelled it. I'll glue the pages into my old art journal for safe-keeping.
Perhaps this 'project' was less about completing the project and more about learning what kind of art/craft project works for me. (i.e. short ones!)

5. PROJECT: Do a drawing once a week.
I sorta, kinda half completed this project. I probably drew on average about once a fortnight. I was better in the second half of the year when I started to get into my art journal again. I'm no Michelangelo, but if I feel my art journal requires, say, a naive interpretation of a chilli, I can put one in without worrying too much that I'm going to ruin the page. Realistic portraiture is still beyond me though!

6. Practice piano 1/2 hour per week.
I got bored with this one pretty quickly too. Then too much stuff started to accumulate on the floor in front of where the keyboard is set up in the hobby room. This resolution lasted about 3-4 weeks. Like I said, when I get bored with something, I don't bother persisting with it. I still like the idea of knowing how to play an instrument, though.

2009 Wrap Up
This year was a bit of a 'nothing' year for me. I didn't get much done. I spent a lot of time not feeling very good about myself, and a lot more time trying to figure out why. To use a computer analogy, I think creative people often go through phases of Input, Processing and Output. 2008 was a year of Input for me, 2009 was a year of Processing. Ideas have started to appear on the monitor of my creative life recently - hopefully in 2010 I'll figure out how the printer works and there will be Output!

2009 Statistics
Books read: 133
Items sold Etsy: 42
Items sold Artfire: 3
Opportunities: 5
Opportunities followed through: 1
Blog posts: 54
Craft items started: 10
Craft items finished: 6
Zines written: 2
Art journal pages completed: 15
5-Minute Obsessions: 12*
No. of 5-Minute Obsessions projects materials acquired: 9
No. of 5-Minute Obsessions projects started: 6
No. of 5-Minute Obsessions projects finished: 0
Longer than 5-Minute Obsessions: 6**
New techniques learned: 4***

* 5-Minute Obsessions: 1. embroidered fabric art cards; 2. making a drop spindle; 3. terrariums terraria; 4. rubber stamp carving; 5. Moleskine products; 6. bookbinding; 7. drawing what I wear; 8. calligraphy; 9. online Art Journalling course; 10. crocheted animals; 11. needlepoint/Jane Austen crafts; 12. making cushions.

** Longer than 5-Minute Obsessions: 1. writing; 2. Rhodia paper products; 3. fountain pens and nib pens; 4. downloadable stationery; 5. JetPens; 6. reading (lasted all year!).

** New techniques learned: 1. no-sew zippered crochet pouch (made up myself); 2. Sharpie ghosting; 3. gel medium transfers; 4. envelope enclosures.

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