Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year, New You (and me too!) Part 3

"Our aspirations are our possibilities."
- Samuel Johnson

Spreading the joy of Spring
Photo by Jason Paluck

A New Year is ripe with possibility, which is why I love this time of year!  This year I want to push myself to new places creatively, and develop the skills that I need to do it.  I will focus on the things that inspire me, and work on including those ideas more into my work.  I want to produce work more efficiently and frequently, and explore new ways to share it.  Here's what I'm working on:

#1:Unblock Creativity

Piano Night    钢琴 夜
Photo by Xiangdian

Last year, I worked through Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way," and I cannot say enough good things about it! It was a wonderful experience that encouraged me to let go of  many stifling feelings and better embrace my creativity. I filled several of my customized notebooks with Morning Pages, and these enabled me to get back on my creative path, which I had allowed many obligations of life to push me off of.  This year, I plan to continue my study with Julia by reading "Walking in This World", and keeping up my Morning Pages practice.

To aid in unblocking your creativity, try participating in something you have always wanted to do.  Take an art class, start a new hobby, or devote time to a practice you gave up long ago.  I was given the very lovely gift of a piano for Christmas, and this year I am going to learn how to play. I have already mastered "Lightly Row" and "Yankee Doodle"! Because this pursuit has nothing to do with my career, I can let go, and truly enjoy the experience.  As creatives, we have to find activities that allow us to feel this way.

#2: Harness Inspiration

Photographer's Reflection
Photo by Bien Stephenson

Art. Nature. Fashion. Literature. Music. Fantasy.  All of these things (and more) inspire me, and I will be working harder to capture my passions and include references to them in my work.  I have been focusing a lot on improving my craftsmanship, and will still do so (see #3), but as I grow stronger in my creative skills I will be more able to express my personal visions.  I look forward to challenging myself in this direction.

What inspires you?  How are you sharing that in the work you are creating right now? I'd love to hear about it!

#3: Develop New Skills

Hand In Paints
Photo by Umair Mohsin

I am committed to adding new skills to my repertoire in the studio this year. These will include expanding my capabilities with clay, metal and fabric.  I am investing in the tools necessary to perform techniques I have always wanted to try, and I will be increasing the types of products I offer at Elysian Studios.  I am very excited about these new creative possibilities!

#4: Enhance Productivity

magic tools
Photo by DailyPic

Mastering the art of productivity is something many of us continue to search for. Staying on top of organizing supplies and business files,  maintaining reliable correspondence and producing new work can be overwhelming.  How do you efficiently organize your tasks?  Lists that prioritize tasks by importance help me get through each day.  Whatever I don't finish in one day, goes on the list for tomorrow!

I have also found that creating my own little assembly line works wonders for building efficiency when creating new work.  Instead assembling one piece of jewelry with a certain color palette, make a collection of coordinating pieces. Instead of one bead, make one hundred in the same style.  Instead of sewing one textile collage, make several with the same patterns.  Creating multiples while you have the materials at hand is one easy way to boost your productivity.

#5: Expand Exposure

I have been diligently working on participating in the blog, Facebook, and Twitter communities, and will maintain my presence in these venues.  I will also be exploring new opportunities on Google+ and YouTube this year, so add me to your circles and look for more fun tutorial videos!

I am also hoping to get out to local Fine Art and Craft shows later this year. While I love my Internet community, I think it is also important to remember the community you have locally.  Nothing beats seeing and touching handmade items in person, and exchanging friendly conversations with other art and craft enthusiasts. I'll be busy scavenging the local Goodwill and Salvation Army Stores for unique finds to put together my booth display!   I am nervous about taking on this new venture, but I know it will be a worthwhile experience.  

What are your creative goals for this year?  How will you challenge yourself to reach them?  Click here for more 2012 Resolution Inspiration.

I wish you a very Happy and Successful New Year!

Are we connected? Keep In Touch!

join on facebook follow on twitter flickr photostream subscribe in reader
                Facebook            Twitter              Flickr            RSS Feed


  1. If you figure out how to do all this -and- sleep more & exercise, let me know! ;) All the best on your goals, girl!

  2. So much great info here! A lot of good advice to strive toward. But the part I loved the most was that you got a piano and are using it!!! Good for you for allowing that into your life! I remember my girls playing "Lightly Row" :-) You'll surprise yourself with what you will be playing by summer. This made my day, Erin, knowing you are enjoying such pleasures!

  3. Wonderful, Motivative Post Erin! I love the bit about the assembly line and collections. That is exactly what I have been working on for the last month and have found I am getting much more done. My creative goals for the year are taking one of my big barns and making it into a work shop and being able to work on a lot of ideas I have had over the years.
    Have fun learning the piano :-)

  4. Truly inspirational, Erin! Loved your post simply because I can connect so much with everything you're sharing! I also read your post on Morning Pages - I must give that a go myself !
    I'm looking forward to seeing more video tutorials from you :-); you did a great job with the last one !

    Geanina xo


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to join in the conversation!