Dec 20, 2018

End of the year thoughts.

I haven's posted in a while and I haven't uploaded everything I sketched this year. By this time (end of December) I am usually all caught up with scanning/posting and writing (however few words I add to my images). But not this year - and there is a reason for that.

On the outside certain changes in the platforms and online communities that I use made me aware that I need to adjust a lot of things at once and to took some time to figure out. I am not sure if I have the right system now but I am trying something different and will keep tweaking it until it feels like a sustainable practice.

On the inside, I've been asking myself why do I keep this blog and how to make it more relevant to the current work and not feel like I am always catching up. This stems from the fact that if last year I had over 700 sketches it is closer to  850 this year and this number does not include all the special projects I did - from "One week 100 people" to "Direct watercolor challenge" which I did in gouache and set myself a rule to make one painting each day of June with 20 brush strokes or less. I also started sketching as a part of my project-based learning of the Spanish Language and did a whole Inktober with it. I did over 100 gouache paintings of the Silicon Valley and made a poster with them. I taught several group and private workshops. I filled two sketchbooks underwater (while scuba diving on Bonnaire) and participated in the Sketching Work Design Online Exhibition. Made a set of Greeting Cards, went out to sketch with friends and made a bunch of new sketching friends. Changed some not very visible but important things on my website and quite a few visible things too. I also changed my relationship with iPad from artificial and strained to useful and even joyful sometimes. And the list goes on and overlaps with some of the graphic design jobs I did as I hope it will more and more.

The point is I used to try and post EVERYTHING. And slowly but surely I got bored and fell so much behind that it does not make any sense to catch up. So I tried to re-think the whole thing - from why I keep this blog to how to be responsible with the time and attention of others and myself. And something that Roz Stendahl said in her post really helped me to coin the answer for why I keep blogging: "I am writing letters to friends who may or may not be interested in sketching or art materials, but are happy to know what I’m up to, and happy to know I’m occupied—because that keeps me out of real trouble!"

I will continue uploading photos of my process on instagram, will use Flickr as organized storage of all scanned work - you can browse it by subject, sketchbook number, travel destination or project. And I will follow my friend's Suhita's advice and will be picking up patterns from all of this and sharing them as blog posts which I will then point to on social media.

Let's see how long till I succumb to the lure of just dumping a bunch of images on facebook :)