My January in Review

Happy February, everyone! Remember a mere 30 days ago, when we were full of hope and resolutions for a “new start”? Ahhh, how young and naive we were.

I had a lot of ideas on January 1st of where I wanted my life to go this year, and different ways to get me there. At first, I was completely overwhelmed, but I’ve found that breaking down big ideas into action items week by week has really helped me stay focused and motivated.

I figured it would be good and helpful to stop and take stock of what my January has been like to be able to keep track of the little joys throughout life. Did you have any specific goals you worked on this month?

Personal Life

Here’s a big update – I quit my job! I know, it’s completely crazy. I’m currently looking for a graphic/junior design role, and have been feeling very fulfilled from getting to devote more of my energy to my creative pursuits like my art and writing. (But if you know of anyone looking to get some freelance work done, let me know!)

When 2019 started I knew I wanted to focus more on all of the creative avenues I had always wanted to explore but never had the confidence or the time to do so. That includes things like writing more interesting and in-depth posts for this blog, experimenting with different art forms, and getting to read more.

That being said, I made a lists of promises to myself for what I had to do to get where I wanted to go. I don’t consider them “New Year’s resolutions”, because those can be broken. This was a pact I made with myself to stop dreaming and start doing. The benchmarks I set were:

  • write at least 3 blog posts a month
  • read at least 3 books a month
  • create and sell my own original art

I’m happy to say that I met those first two goals this month, and have lots of ideas and motivation to keep it up for the upcoming months!

Also, I am very excited because I was just notified that I will have a table at a makers fair in mid-February! I will be selling original wall tapestries and upcycled paintings and am so excited for my first experience selling at an art fair. If you’ve ever tabled before, tell me about your experience! Any/all advice is welcome.

Books I Read

Bluets by Maggie Nelson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I technically started this in December, but I’m counting it for this month anyway because it was the first book I finished this year. Bluets is an amazing poetry-novel-memoir hybrid that I risked intense motion sickness for to read while on the bus, which is my ultimate sign of devotion.

The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This is the first book I read on my new Kindle! I’m hoping to write a full review of my experience with the Kindle soon. I had read it before, and it’s the first book of a seven book series and is a really fun and easy read, but is definitely funnier the first time, thus the mid-range rating.

Artists in Times of War by Howard Zinn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

A very short collection of essays/speeches by Zinn during the early/mid 2000s about how art in any form has a duty to combat the accepted institution of war. My favorite quote from it was “What most of must be invlolved in […] has to not only make people feel goo and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this modest thing: change the world.”

The Chrysalidsby John Wyndham ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This one was an accidental re-read. I grabbed it off my shelf and didn’t recognize the cover, and when I started reading it on the train I realized that not only had I read it before, I had absolutely loved it the first time. I was ashamed that I had forgotten it, but rereading it was great.

It’s an intense but very readable sci-fi dystopian novel set in the far future. Society has completely fallen, to the point where planes and cities are a myth. David is the son of the town preacher, who demands that any living thing that deviates slightly from God’s “intended image” is a sin and should be expelled. What he doesn’t know is that David himself, along with other children in the village, have telepathic-like abilities.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur ⭐️⭐️/5

This book was recommended to me and I did like skimming through it before bed throughout the month, but few poems really jumped out and touched me. Kaur gets a lot of hate because her poems are so short and tend to sound more like snippets of wisdom from one friend to another, but I think that’s all part of the charm.

Art I Made

I’m happy that I’ve been able to create and experiment so much with my art this month!

In November I took a one-night workshop on weaving wall tapestries, and absolutely loved it! So, I bought a Weaving Loom online and got yarn from my local craft store and have been weaving away this month.

It’s really fun to play around with different types of knots, yarn textures, and colors. It can be frustrating because it’s a very time-intensive process and if something doesn’t turn out right, it can be hard to go back and make edits.

I’m slowly getting better though and hope to build up a inventory of weavings to sell!

I also started making a series of thrift store upcycled paintings ! I just finished another one last night, and bought FOUR more frames/prints to repaint and make my own, so I can’t wait to see how those turn out. With any luck, I’ll have them all ready in time for my art fair in less than two weeks.

And of course, thank you all for your support this month! Whether it’s listening to me freak out about what I’m doing with my life, giving me feedback on art, or even just reading this blog, it all means so much to me!

I hope you all had a great January – let’s see what February brings us!

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