Yesterday I had a look back at the last year, and promised (in a moment of madness, no doubt) to post about my resolutions for the coming year. Yikes! What was I thinking?
Resolutions are tricksy things. Common wisdom says that you should make specific resolutions because you’ll fall off of general ones. My brain doesn’t seem to work that way. If I have a general, generous path, I can find my way along it, but the straight, narrow roads of traditional resolutions seem a setup for failure to me.
I view myself as a work in progress. The me that is now can’t see the me in July, and her circumstances then. If I’m making a painting, I may start out with a sketch, but it evolves as I go on, often ending up much better than if I had stuck to my initial idea no matter what. For my own creative life, flexibility is a necessary ingredient, and I evolve as time presents me with new opportunities or obstacles.
So I prefer to walk along a wider road of general intentions, maybe meandering from side to side a bit, than walking a knife edge of a resolutional goat-path. As long as I keep my general direction in mind (sort of an internal GPS), I’m much less likely to find the way blocked by a boulder that I can’t get around, or fall off the cliff beside that narrow trail. If new roads present themselves that look better than the planned route, I’ll go exploring, as long as they seem to lead in the right general direction. This may seem an inefficient approach to resolutions, but it’s a lot more fun, and is a lot easier on the soul.
What? Specifics, you say? OK, I’m stalling. Presenting one’s resolutions for public view, however broad, is an act that cannot be anything other than nervous-making. It might be a tad embarrassing if I follow one of those side-paths and end up, for example, taking up the tuba and joining a circus. But from where I am right now, I’ll tell you my general proposed route; and as always, I’ll be blogging about the journey!
This may seem mutually exclusive with some of the other things I’m listing here, but it’s essential to all of them. Creative growth requires exploration, but mindless wandering is something different. Eyes to the distance, but mindful of each step — one could go a bit cross-eyed from this!
Making comics, always! But I also want to do some more writing in prose form this year, some of which will become comics, and some of which I’ll release into the world as is. I’ll never have time to draw all of the stories I’d like to tell, so the written word will have to suffice for some of them. Besides, I like to read words — don’t you?
Make more Tutorials:
I really enjoyed the ones I did earlier this year, and i know a lot of other people did too (some of them have been pinned to Pinterest! I looked!). They take a fair bit of time, so I won’t hold myself to weekly, but I’ll be adding to them as time permits.
Learn to Make Simple Videos
This one’s pretty specific, but I want to learn this for a couple of purposes: making tutorials, and making some videos of some of my songs, just for fun.
Augment my Digital Skills
I’ve got a foot in the Adobe door with Photoshop and InDesign; it’s time to tackle those pesky vectors with Illustrator! I’ve also got a nifty program called Manga Studio which is languishing, neglected, in the depths of my computer, and will be good for learning to draw directly to digital. Lifelong learning: keep those brain cells hopping!
Draw for Fun:
Sometimes I forget, in the heat of a deadline or in my quest to make a living, how much fun drawing is for its own sake. I intend to doodle, sketch, and scribble more this year.
Feed the Muse:
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that Iris the Art Muse likes chocolate. But she needs other things, too (she wants a trip to Paris, but I told her she has to learn French first). Walks on the Beach. A lazy day wandering around downtown. Watching movies. While I’m feeling like I’m goofing off, she’s taking it all in for later storytelling and art-making.
Balance The Other Muse(s):
The music muse has already made her appearance here as well, and she took up a good bit of my autumn. There is a writing muse who hangs around with the art muse, and all of these gals demand their time, sometimes getting into terrible kerfuffles with each other. Somehow, they must all learn to work together.
Of course I have personal resolutions as well, which are outside the scope of this blog (ha! that’s a neat way to avoid talking about dieting, eh?). They’re probably a lot like what a lot of other people are resolving right about now, and all I’ll say about them is that I’ll be following the same general principals as my creative-life resolutions:
Focus (but not on a treadmill)
Feed the resolutions every day (in some cases, it will be lettuce. Lots of lettuce)
Be gentle with myself and the world (occasional indulgences)
Stay flexible (tai chi)
Achieve balance (everything in moderation)
… and above all, have fun
P.S. this is my 200th post!