Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year: Accountability and my word for 2016

Before we begin, the handsome Bleubeard, the energetic Squiggles, and I hope you are enjoying an art filled, safe, and beautiful New Year's Day.

It's once again time for my annual accountability post.  This is the one where I see how well I did the previous year, and how well I think I might do in the coming year.

Let's begin with my word for 2015, which was Represent.   As I explained on January 3, 2015, represent, a verb, means to stand for or symbolize, to indicate or communicate by signs or symbols, and possibly most important, depict in art, portray, and be an example of.   Add that to the words I've chosen the past four years, and you see I've tried to represent these words by setting a good example.   Looking back on my previous four years' words, I'm going to continue to try to inspire others, document the processes, utilize my tools, techniques, and time to my advantage, and represent my art by setting a good example on my blog.  

I thought long and hard about my word for 2016.   I finally decided this is the year to experiment.


As a noun it means:

    a.  A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.

    b.  The process of conducting such a test; experimentation.

    c.  A trial or tentative procedure; an act or operation for the purpose of discovering something unknown or of testing a principle, supposition, etc.

2.   An innovative act or procedure.

3.  The result of experimentation.

4.  Conducting experimental operations.

5.  A series of observations under controlled conditions used to study relationships to draw a causal inference.

As a verb, it means:

1.  To conduct an experiment.

2.  To try something new, especially in order to gain experience.

3.  To try or test, especially in order to discover or prove something.

I think that pretty much sums up what I intend to do in 2016.  To put it differently, I plan to experiment with new processes, procedures, and methods to gain a better understanding of the tools and products I already own.

As for accountability, let's see my accountability intentions I made on January 3, 2015, and how well I did:

1. Continue to make art that I hope some will find meaningful and show the process along the way. 
I believe I've done that, because I always try to remember to show not just the products I use, but also the process.  As for products, you won't find most of them at your local craft, stamp, or scrapbook store, because I get mine from junk mail, hand-me-down magazines, and my friends' recycle bins.

2. Create at least one tutorial each month.
Somehow I forget to count, but I'm quite sure I've created at least 12, especially during April, when I often create things that are new to me.  

3. Utilize my tools and equipment.
Not sure I utilized my tools and equipment, nor did I find new and better ways of using them.  I started out on the right track, then that idea got lost along the way.  Even though I occasionally looked for new and better ways of doing things, I'm not on any other social media site.  That means if I don't learn new ways to use my tools from my blogging friends, I probably won't be exposed to any.

4. Interview one artist a month.
I started out good this year, then dropped the ball when one of the people I wanted to interview got sick with cancer.

5. Create a bridge between fabric and paper, hopefully finding new ways of working with both at the same time.
I made several scrappy journals this year, so maybe that will count.  But the more I learn about paper and fabric, the more I know what I can do with paper, I can also do with fabric, and vice versa.

6. Create at least one abstract art piece each month.
What can I say?  That didn't happen.  I got caught up in other projects, including my 7 Continents altered book, and completely forgot to create abstracts.

I seem to be going backwards, instead of forward, since I was successful with four of the five intentions from 2014.   You can see I only completed two of my intentions in 2015.

So let's see what I'm shooting for in 2016:

1. Continue to make art that I hope some will find meaningful and show the process along the way. 
That's a no-brainer.  I've been documenting my process and products used for so long, it's habit.

2. Create at least one tutorial each month.
Since I'm no longer playing in several weekly challenges, I'm setting up a once monthly tutorial that I'll call Second Thursday Tutorial.  That way, I can look back on each month and make sure I've created at least ONE tutorial each month.   Don't worry.  I'm sure there will be more than that, but this way I have accountability for them, as well as a way to count them.

3.  Interview one artist every three months.
This actually seems more doable to me.  That means I might be asking YOU if I can interview you sometime this year.

4. Find new and better ways to integrate fabric and paper together. 
The more I expand my knowledge of both, I hope to find new and unique ways to integrate the two.

5. Dye fabric in my own different and unique way at least once each and every month.
I actually like dyeing fabric better than working with it, so I intend to create new dyed fabric each month.  If the dyed fabric inspires me, I'll even use it in an art project.  By the end of the year, I hope to have at least 12 new dyed (or painted) fabric tutorials (or at least 12 techniques) under my belt.

6. Stay on top of organizing by setting one day aside each month to show at least one, probably more, organized areas, drawers, shelves, or bins.
Sharing an organized area may be just what I need once a month for What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW).

7.  Create at least four abstracts this year.
These actually seem doable to me.

By setting up certain days to create certain things, I believe I'll be more successful with my intentions this year.  Of course, you'll have to wait till January, 2017 to see how well I did in 2016.

As always, I appreciate your continued support of my projects.  You and your visits make this all worthwhile!  Here's to a creative (and experimental) 2016.

23 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Love your critical review of the past year and your plans for this year, experiment is a good word, and experimenting is something I love doing. May you and Bluebeard and Squiggles have a happy, creative and art filled year. Hugs, Valerie, who is starting off the new year with a sore throat and earache!

Sami said...

Nice review of what you accomplished in 2015. Experiment is a good word Elizabeth! We should all experiment more, as it's what makes life more interesting. Happy New year!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Happy New Year my friend!
Your word for 2016 sounds highly promising for us visitors!
I am looking forward to the Altered Book Lovers 2016 year!
Wishing you that all your plans will succeed dear Elizabeth!
And most of all wishing good health and good luck for you and the boys my friend!
I don't have any plans in art for 2016 - I am not the so well organized girl - just "enjoying the moments" is my goal .
Thank you for being a friend!
Have you seen? Effy Wild did buy Journal 52. The new page seems to be very nice!

Helen said...

Happy New Year to all of you! Looking forward to seeing the results of your word of the year - think we'll be in for a treat or several along the way.

BJ said...

Happy New Year Elizabeth. I got an email through from Journal 52 about what journals to use for 2016, so wondering if they are starting up again??? BJ

Nan G said...

Happy New Year E, Bleubeard and Squiggles! I'll be back to fully read later..I'm off to the store before it gets crazy out there. Hugs from me, the Girls are watching the sun come up on the patio. :)

Meggymay said...

A quick hello on this first day of the year.
Happy new year, will be back later to read the posts i have missed.
Yvonne xx

Denise said...

Great word! Happy New Year!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Good "looking back" and "looking ahead" post! It is interesting to see how you set your goals. For me, I hope to teach myself some new things and keep up with blogging. That should be enough of a challenge for me :)

Nancy said...

A look back and a look forward is always productive! Your calendar always seems like a positive way to stay focused, too. Happy New Year to you, too!

~*~Patty S said...

Clearly you are a very good thinker and planner and more E!
I fly much more by the seat of my pants seeing where the moment leads me ;-)
Experiment is a fine word for you and your curious nature
we'll all get to enjoy your experiments along the way.
Thank you for all you do to bring like minded souls together always sharing so generously.
Wishing you and Bleubeard and Squiggles a New Year full of good health ... goodness and joy.
Happy New Year my friend oxo

Divers and Sundry said...

I'll be interested in seeing how your focus word manifests during the year. You sound so organized! :)

Happy New Year!

Corrine at said...

Happy New Year. May you be off to a great start for 2016. I feel like every day is a tutorial and more importantly a true sharing of your process including the good stuff and the oops what the heck happened parts we all experience. Coming here is coming to a real life place with a full and rich human - YOU - and a couple of cutie pie guys in their furry outfits. I shall enjoy being part of your creative journey for 2016 and seeing it unfold. xox

Monica said...

I like that you jumped straight into the new year.

Pamela Gerard said...

Now THAT is a good list for the new year! Love it. I have an (art) list of resolutions going too and I am inspired by yours. I like the tutorial idea -- I have posted a number of them but not lately and not regularly and I think it would be a good idea. And I look forward to your artist interviews too. i like the whole thing. Happy 2016 to you and happy art-making and creating. (And yes, I am going to spend the new year's day making art!).

Linda Kunsman said...

I completely enjoyed your review and goals Elizabeth , along with your chosen words. Looking forward to seeing you reach your goals thru out this year! For some reason, I have not found my one word yet but I figure what is meant to be will appear sooner or later. Happy 2016 to you, Bleubeard and Squiggles!

Karla B said...

Happy 2016, my friend!

sheila 77 said...

Gosh, Elizabeth, what a well thought out and interesting plan, and how brave and generous to announce it in advance.
I never know what to expect when I come here and it is always fascinating. Maybe there is not enough about Bleubeard and Squiggles and I'm sure they agree with me (or maybe not? I'll be interested to know what they think as they are so much part of your Real Life). (My teddies are always screaming to appear on the blog).
I look forward very much to following your blog in 2016.
Happy New Year!

My name is Erika. said...

You picked a great word. As a biologist,and as an artist, experiment is almost my middle name. Ha-ha! You have very big plans too, I am quite impressed. I look forward to spend 2016 with you as the helm of your blog Elizabeth. Hugs!

Halle said...

What a great word for 2016! You love to experiment so this one should be an easy one for you.
Happy New Year!!!

Gaby Bee said...

WOW, you are really organized, Elizabeth!
Hope that 2016 will bring you health, happiness, joy, peace and an endless stream of creativity! Happy New Year!

pearshapedcrafting said...

A great word for the year E! I read your plans and think we are in for an interesting year with you. .and the fluffy fellas of course! I couldn't comment yesterday as we were headed up hill over rough roads to meet son and GKS for a New Year's Day walk(which took a different turn altogether) Wishing you a wonderful start to 2016! Hugs, Chrisx

Viktoria Berg said...

It all sounds great! I particularly like how you pick up the balls you lost last year, examine them and decide that you want to try again. That´s the spirit! So many of us doing similar review right now, and that´s the best use to make of the new year; so important to take stock, evaluate, and restate.