Art Challenge for 2021 + My Intentions for the Year

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Happy New Year, friends! We finally made it out of 2020 and into 2021! I hope everyone had a safe and happy celebration. While the first stroke of midnight on January 1 didn’t magically transform the world into the universe’s perfect destination, there is definitely a lot of hope that this year will bring change, happiness, and ease back into our daily lives. Until then, remember to be safe - not just for you, but for those around you. Looking out for your neighbor is the ultimate act of compassion.


With that said, I wanted to share my intentions and the word I chose for 2021. And the challenge I’m setting for myself this year.


When it comes to the new year, I don’t like to set huge lofty goals. It’s too easy to fall off the tracks and give up 10 days in, because I wasn’t able to stick to it “perfectly”. Instead, I like to go in with overarching intentions and vague outlines of what I want to get done throughout the year. And my favorite way to guide those actions is to pick a word. This year, my word is “deliberate”.


Deliberate

adjective

/dəˈlib(ə)rət/

done consciously and intentionally


verb

/diˈlibəˌrāt/

engage in long and careful consideration


Last year felt very go, go, go! Do everything! Keep up a hefty social media posting schedule! Make new art every single day! Increase your likes and comments! Get more engagement! Sell, sell, sell art to anyone and everyone!


But that’s not how I like to make artwork. I enjoy the actual creating aspect of art. I like to make work that takes longer, to take time to make decisions about my work, and to make work that reflects what I want, not what some algorithm wants. In short, I am very deliberate about my work, in both aspects of the word.


Consequently, this year will look quite different from last year. That means a buttload less screen time, more time outside, and slower work coming out of my studio. Art is not a product. We shouldn’t be pumping it out like an assembly line. Art is meant to explore and meander, and those aspects cannot and should not be rushed. To incorporate this mindset into my practice, I will be prioritizing my blog posts, transitioning off of social media platforms (or at the very least, slowing it WAY down), and taking time to create according to my needs and wants. Note: creating slowly and more deliberately isn’t a bad thing, nor will it ruin your artistic career.


Another item I’m tackling this year is my Art Supplies Challenge! Last November, I started thinking about all of the art supplies I have, and I realized I’d never get through all of it if I kept buying more supplies. So I decided to give myself a challenge this year to not buy any more art supplies until I use what I have. Under this challenge, I am able to buy certain items: surfaces (canvas, paper, etc.), neutrals, and artist tape. But that’s it. I’m not allowed to buy anything else until I work my way through my current stash.


I’m looking forward to the challenge of having to incorporate materials I don’t use often into my work. And having to explore new color combinations or material combinations as I run out of items. I’m also curious to see which items I don’t end up replacing at the end of this challenge, as one of my goals is to reduce my waste and spending. This is definitely going to get harder as the year goes on. On the bright side, I’ll get to invest in my favorites at the end of this experiment!


If you’re still looking for a challenge or something new to try this year, this is a great place to start. (I know I’m not the only artist out there that has more supplies than I know what to do with!)

 

I think that about wraps this one up. I wanted to post on January 1 like all the other cool kids out there, but that didn’t feel deliberate enough to me. It felt like me getting caught up in the “shoulds” again. So while this might feel “behind” to some, this is right on schedule for me. Happy New Year, y’all! Let’s make it a mindful one.


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Thanks for reading and happy creating!