It’s my yearly recap of my artistic practice for 2021. Plus a concrete list of what I’ll be pursuing in 2022.
It’s my yearly recap and I love the heck outta these posts! There’s always some doldrums that set in for me during December. There’s so much on the schedule and there’s shopping and cooking and presents to wrap. It’s dreary outside and I often feel like hibernation is a viable choice until like March. No one will miss me right?
What helps me with those doldrums is looking back at my year. I count up the wins and lessons learned and make plans for what I will focus on for the coming year. I’m a planner by nature and a list checker deep in my heart so having an outline for the upcoming year makes me breathe easier even as I know that sometimes plans have to go to the wayside (I’m giving you the serious side eye here, 2020). So here’s my personal look back at 2021 and a look forward at my 2022.
My favorite things I made in 2021
2021 Goal Recap
These were my 2021 goals:
Rejoin Women’s Caucus for ArtDID IT. Write book.Giant chunk of book done. You can read it here on the blog! Redesign Website.I paid the incredible Amanda Hawkins at Little Bird to do the deed. I couldn’t be happier with the results!!
- I’ve got a couple of possible collaborations on the horizon for this year and I’m really excited about those. Yeah, I have no idea what those plans were or who they were with. Guess my excitement didn’t translate to any action.
Things that happened in 2021 that weren’t on the list
- My tree book took a trip to Annmarie Sculpture Gardens and Arts Center to be on display in the “On Paper: Printmaking, Book Arts and Beyond” exhibit!
- I recorded multiple podcasts with amazing creatives talking about creativity. You can listen to those at here and here.
- I have work in the Get Messy Art book that just came out this month (December 2021). More work in Strawberry Moon magazine coming out in January 2022.
- I wrote more than 30,000 words on this website. Most of them for my series called “How to Create Your Art Practice.” If you haven’t read it yet, jump in here. But I also wrote a good bit for my Art AV Club posts which you can read here.
- I started writing poetry again. I’m not sure if my poetry will ever be something I’ll be willing to share publicly. But I’m happy to have it back.
- I got to do some traveling this year! I visited friends in Richmond, VA at the beginning of August. They showed me so many artistic things that fed my soul and I had an amazing time. Then my family went to Deer Isle, Maine for my birthday in October and it ended up being a bit of an art fest too since Deer Isle is an artist haven. Many of my pieces for Subconscious Topography grew out of my experiences on these trips.
- I finished some journals! You can see flip throughs of them: here, here, and here.
- And of course, I made some things with yarn:
Grief shadowed this year
As I was looking back over my journals for 2021, I realized just how much grief I’ve carried this year. My dad passed away mid-January 2021 after being in the hospital since November 2020. Because of covid and fears of traveling unvaccinated, I didn’t go to the funeral. My step-mom had to handle so many details on her own because I wasn’t there. My dad and I weren’t particularly close so I’ve mourned not only what I did have with him but a great many, many things that I didn’t have with him.
As if that wasn’t enough, I had two friends who I’ve been close to for 10+ years move away to different parts of the country. It’s always hard when friends move. It was worsened by the pandemic because our friend group didn’t gather to send them off. And our group still hasn’t resumed our weekly meetups. There’s this whole part of my life that has radically reconfigured. Because our group hasn’t gathered in so long, it’s like it didn’t happen and there’s no marker for the change. I’ve grieved that.
And then of course, there’s the grief we are all collectively carrying over the pandemic. I’ve also grieved people who I know and care about choose not get vaccinated. The well of pandemic grief seems like it will never run dry. And while it sounds dramatic to say it, it has changed who I am as a person.
So much of what I have done this year has been colored by this grief. And until I read my journals and saw the day to day processing of it, it had completely escaped me that I was carrying this. I guess I just got used to carrying it? I think I’ll be feeling the impacts of this year of grief for a long time.
My word of 2021: Perseverance
I chose Perseverance after 2020 because I thought the reminder of moving forward even when things were hard was a good one. I honestly didn’t think about my word a lot of the year. So much so that when I read it in my post, I had the moment of O RLY?
But of course hindsight is amazing and it seems like a perfect word for a year of grief. While it didn’t come up like my word of the year has before, it most definitely sheds light on my year as a whole.
My guiding principles remain the same:
- Make Art
- Have people see my art (If you are reading this, you are one of those people! Thanks!!)
I worked through Susannah Conway’s Find Your Word for 2022! and my word found me. I’ll be focusing on the word Tend this next year with supporting words of Renew and Align. Almost all of my options for this year were about pausing to take a breath and be where I am so I’m hoping that these words will allow me to maybe hibernate a little, rest, renew, and begin again.
From these principles and with my word guiding me, I am committing to working on these things in 2022:
- I’ll be taking most of January and February off. Or at least I’ll be working really sporadically. My mom is having surgery in January and I’ll be staying with her for a while. I have a cruise scheduled for February. Who knows if we will actually get to go or not! But it’s on the books and if we do go, I plan to enjoy the HECK out of it. What that means is limited posting on socals and here because I’ll be working intermittently or not at all. If you need to get in touch, email is your best bet: misty at granades dot com
- I’ll be teaching in Wanderlust 2022. You can still grab a membership before the end of 2021. If you purchase from my link, I get a commission and I am thankful for your purchase! I’m excited to be teaching on of my favorite things: eco dying. There’s a ton of planning and filming to do and even though my class isn’t live until October, I want to get most of it done in the spring because my oldest kiddo is heading to college in the fall.
- I plan on finishing the book this next year.
- In March I will reassess my goals and see what I need to adjust or add or subtract.
I’m hoping some break time will rejuvenate me. I’m struggling to plan goals and while I was journaling about what to do this next year, I wrote about taking a sabbatical. That thought instantly made me go “ahhhhhhh” and I took it as a sign I needed a break.
I hope your plans for 2022 are what you need to flourish. It’s been a hard couple of years so if you are even still vertical count it as a win. Cheers, friends! See you in ’22!