So today is the very last day of my project Making Art Everyday in 2016. I did it! It's crazy to think that I made art and was creative every single day for a whole year and it's my second year. This year wasn't short of it's challenges, but I knew what to expect. I knew that if myself or one my kids were sick, I would still need to show up for art. I knew that on the days that I didn't want to make art, I had to. I knew that on days when I was uninspired, and would rather be sleeping, rather be doing about anything else but be in the studio, I had to show up and make something.
At the start of this project two years ago, I did this project entirely for myself. I just had my son, Everett. and I was a working artist before I had my kids, but making art was turning less and less into a priority. I also want to be an awesome mom, and be hands on with their learning, laughter and life. I could feel art slipping away from me. When I had my son, I knew that I needed an art project that would force me to show up every day. I would have to share it online, to hold myself accountable, because if I didn't share it I wouldn't even get past the first week.
I am extremely grateful to choose art every single day even if it's just for ten minutes. Its my time, to just be me, and I try to be as authentic as possible. It's my time to shed away all of the layers of everything else going on in my life, and to just be myself. Granted, there are plenty of days in this art project that this is the last place I want to be, but overall I am very grateful. I am grateful for nourishing my spirit and soul. I am grateful for all of the emails, notes and messages that people send me about how much my little spot on the web means to them. I think what warms my heart the most is that I started this project because I wanted to save my creativity and my passion for making art, and it means even more that I have met and touched so many other people. I am truly grateful.
Originally, I wanted my year-end blog post to be about tips on completing and starting a year-long project. I think if I were to give you advice on starting a year-long project, I would first say that it's hard and there are going to be days that you won't want to show up and there are days that you will hate what you make. You will hate everything about the project and give yourself every excuse to just quit and might even trick yourself into thinking you can quit. I'm not going to embellish the part about it not being a difficult project, because it is hard. If you're ready to take on this sort of project, you need to do it for your authentic self. This is soul work. The best part is that you will feel yourself grow in ways that you can't possibly imagine. Every day is a new day, and you have the luxury of starting over. Sometimes even the terrible days bring all sorts of surprises. I can't even tell you how fortunate and lucky I have been this year. I have sold more artwork this year than I ever did even before I had kids. It's been my best year to date. All I can say is that I promise myself that I will show up for art every day and try to make my best possible work. I am still growing and evolving as an artist, but this project makes me excited to go further than I ever thought I could.
So if you are thinking of starting any sort of project, I would love to hear about it. If you are thinking about wanting to make art every day in 2017, Here are the rules that I followed the last 2 years. You can do it, and there is no giving up, and all you need to do is jump in.