Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy (creative) New Year!

The other day someone asked what I like most about the start of the new year. Jokingly, I answered "consignment checks." I'm relieved to say that it seems like the economy (in our little corner of the world) showed some signs of recovery this holiday season. But what I really look forward to in a new year is the prospect of some quiet time (after all the wonderful holiday noise) for creating new work.

And it's a not only a new year, but a new decade. So what are you going to do to cultivate your creative life? That's what I've been asking myself this week. I'm not much of a "New Year's Resolutions" person (if you want to do something-just do it). And big resolutions are often difficult to keep anyway. I prefer to think about what steps I might take to shape the year ahead. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao-tzu.

This year, I enjoyed making many new "art friends" (and got to know some others a little better). I'm looking forward to those associations with the hope that we can all encourage and inspire one another. "Encourage" seems to be the word I keep using lately. Maybe it's my "word" for 2010... seems appropriate for a teacher, doesn't it? Here are a few of the steps that I hope will shape my creative journey:

Make more time to experiment. While I already do this to some degree, I want to make it a regular practice. At least once a month, I will try something new or do something I haven't tried for a while, just to shake things up... it doesn't have to be a grand project.

Visit the art museum. It's a great source of inspiration. I am ashamed to say that I went to our amazing museum once this year - once. It's 10 minutes away (and free). This year will be different...

Draw more often. I used to be really good about this, but have been less so in recent years (especially last year). Gotta work on that.

Use my camera creatively and not just for documentation. This past year I found some time to do that a little bit. It's a chance to shift your focus - especially doing macro photography. And I like to manipulate the photos too... all this can inspire other ideas. Watch for some more of that.

Remember to keep it simple/don't over do it. For me, this includes not overcommitting and having reasonable expectations of what can be accomplished in a certain amount of time. Sometimes I thrive on creating under pressure, but other times it just creates more pressure. Mostly, it's just tiring. THIS is going to be a challenge. =)

Blog more regularly (at least once a week) and read more blogs. It's tough to keep up with all the wonderful blogs that I discovered this year, but I will to try to read a few more than I do now.

And of course, I want to continue working toward being the best teacher I can be.

Wishing you all a happy, heathy, joyful, prosperous, creative New Year!

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