Well hello there, 2020

Another year zooming by me. I remember from being small my grandma talking about how fast the years go by as you get older. I feel that a whole lot this year.

In November and December I make space for myself to do recap of the previous year and plan for the coming year. My family goes to the beach for a week at Thanksgiving and I spend some time dreaming about the upcoming year and what I want to work on creatively. I let those plans percolate and then in December I write down all the things I accomplished the previous year. 

2019 Goal Recap

This year I accomplished so much! I’m actually a tiny bit impressed with myself because in addition to this list, my family and I also helped my mom move here from out of state and get settled in her new apartment. I love having my mom near but it’s been an adjustment adding to our already busy mix of life. Neither my partner or I have ever had family living close to us as adults, so while it’s taking some time to get acclimated, we are thrilled to have her included in our family in this way. 

At the beginning of 2019, I thought I’d try making quarterly goals so I made first quarter goals and then…none after that. The first quarter went by so quickly and then bam! the whole year was over.

Here’s my combined general list and quarterly goals from the beginning of the year:

  • I want to have another show  I effectively had two shows this year!

  • I want to make art Check and Check! I made over 45 new works this year!
  • I want to take 1-3 in-person classes  I did a Radiant Art Retreat!
  • I want to meet other artists in person A fellow artist recognized me IN THE WILD and then I also visited with artists friends on three other trips!
  • read four books per quarter that aren’t purely escapism I did read more non-fiction this year but I’m not sure I managed one a month. Maybe 7-8 for the whole year? Shoulda written them down!
  • walk 20-30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week – NOPE. This one was a fail. It’s always the first thing I ditch when things are busy. If anyone knows of a way to keep up with exercise, I need ideas and lots of them!
  • keep up with my year-long crocheted temperature blanket – NOPE. I abandoned this project in MARCH! Ha!
  • finish my Lowe Mill application and turn it in I did and now I have a Lowe Mill Show set for June 2020!
  • one other small private goal – You know what I get for keeping things private? Zero memory of what that goal was.

Other things I accomplished:

  • Set up my Etsy store. I tried to set it up 10 years ago but never put any items in the shop. Ten years later: a shop for my art!
  • Met my dollar goal in the Etsy store! Who knew putting your art out there would result in sales? I know, I know. Literally everyone knew.
  • Updated my website. I have a love/hate thing going with this website. I love it because it’s fully under my control as a WordPress site. I hate it because when I don’t know what I’m doing, I tend to spend a LOT of time floundering around. In my dream world of someday, my personal assistant will handle it.
  • Completed the #the100dayproject for the second year in a row.
  • Created a 30 piece collection for my Etsy store in preparation of being a part of a Holiday Gift Guide.
  • Had art in a silent auction for charity.
  • Finished 5 art journals.
  • Wrote an article for Get Messy Art.
  • Had my studio featured on Cut Out and Keep.
  • Did guest artist teaching at a local high school.
  • Judged a city wide public school art competition.
  • Made 16 crochet projects. Gave away 10!

2020 Goals

Ah yes, what to do for the next year? I started off with a mind map containing my two guiding principles for what I do.

  1. Make Art
  2. Have People See My Art

That’s it. That’s how I make decisions. Is what I’m doing allowing me to make art? Is what I’m doing allowing people to see my art?

So starting from those two things I generated a whole list of things to do next year.

  • I joined the Women’s Caucus for Art. There’s a state chapter and I’m excited to get involved.
  • I have a show scheduled for June-August at Lowe Mill.
  • I have the names of four other venues I’m going to be calling to see if I can show work there.
  • I’m planning to attend a workshop on artists’ grants in February.
  • I’m going to pitch a workshop to a venue.
  • I’m going to be supplying my Etsy store with 4 collections of work during 2020. You can read about my quarterly approach here.
  • I’d like to spend 15-20 hours per week on studio time. I’ve mapped out two possibilities for my Lowe Mill show. I’ve got ideas for revisions for the Handprints series and additions to the Modern Icons series.
  • I’ve enrolled in the Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop. 

While I love to sell my stuff so people can enjoy my art long term (also HELLO monetary validation!), I am not making things with the singular intent to sell. 

Are you selling only what you are making? Or are you trying to buy the right to make things?

—Ginger Hendrix, from Time to Make


2020 Intentions

Speaking of One Little Word, I’ve been thinking about my word A LOT. I tried “grace” last year. While I love me some grace!!, it was too intangible a word for me. My 2017 word was “wait” and it was AMAZING! It came up for me in ways I never imagined. SO GOOD. My 2018 word was “hope” and it was pretty good too. It came up often and I had a handful of instances when it was a really good focus word. So I thought “grace” would be the same. 

I think I need a more actively doing word. I was thinking about “action” as a possibility. But “action” can be SO BIG. You know, Change the World big. Who needs that kind of pressure?

I don’t need to do big things, small things are more my style. So I was thinking “small action”. But that’s two words. You can see where this is going, right?

Small Actions. Smactions.

So with that to giggle about, my word for 2020 is “smactions.” 

I’ve made a list of smactions. Some are about showing up. Some are about giving things away. Some are about sharing what I have. Some are about building bridges. Some are about educating myself. The intent is to do a small thing most days to be encouraging, to pass the mike, to be a positive force for the people around me. I plan on keeping a log. So it’ll be like Make Something Every Day but instead it’ll be Smactions. 

Tidy Sum Up

I’m proud of what I accomplished this past year. One of the gifts I think being in my 40s has given me is the ability to not spend quite so much time worrying about what people think. And that includes what people think about me listing my accomplishments. 

I make these lists for two reasons. Me and You. Me so I’ll remember and you so you will be encouraged to do your own thing with gusto. So go into 2020 and do the thing you are made to do! I’ll be there doing my thing and cheering you on too!