So it’s the end of another year, and this one seems to have flown by! For the last couple of years I’ve been making a post in December taking a look at what I’ve done over the year, art-wise.
2022 is my least productive year so far, at least in terms of art and new books that I’ve put online. This is partly because ‘life’ took more time away from art than usual, which can’t be helped. But I’ve been getting back on track in the last month 🙂
As with last year, I’ve continued to work on new colouring designs, as well as other art.
I published one new colouring book in 2022, Adventure in Abstract. I normally manage more than one book in a year, but I was still really pleased to get this one out as I started it back in 2016! I kept putting these drawings on the back burner while I was working on other books, so it’s a great feeling to have it finished finally.
I’ve also been working on my next book, which is all positive words. I’ve got about half of the drawings done, so hopefully I’ll finish it early next year. Going forward I plan to put out at least one new book a year, but I’m also going to be concentrating more on improving my figure drawing skills so I can expand my range of subjects in future years. I want to focus more on animals and fantasy (and fantasy animals!) especially. So my output might slow down for a year or two, but I’ll make up for it later on!
Painting and Other Art
When I wasn’t working on my books, I was painting and messing around in my sketchbooks. At the moment I’m doing a lot in private that I won’t be sharing online, such as practice exercises, experiments with different styles etc. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for this exploratory work this year, but it’s going to be a big part of my practice going forward. I’ll share a few things here and there, but I think it’s important as an artist to have that creative incubation space where there’s no pressure to show anything to anyone, or to sell it.
A big part of my levelling up process is doing the Evolve Artist program, which I began last summer. I was working on this steadily all year, until I got derailed at the end of September. I didn’t get back to painting regularly until late November, which put paid to my hopes of finishing Block 3 by the end of the year! But I’m back in the swing of things now, and most recently finished Block 3 exercise 11 (of 20).
Here are a few of the Evolve exercises I’ve completed in 2022:
I’ve gained a lot of value from this course so far, and am looking forward to finishing the Foundation blocks next year, and continuing on to the Advanced program. It does feel like a bit of a slog occasionally, because it’s challenging, and still lifes aren’t my favourite thing to paint. But I enjoy it most of the time, and it’s well worth the effort of pushing through when I’m not feeling it. You can see all the exercises I’ve finished so far here.
As far as other art goes, I haven’t added many new pieces to my online stores this year, since I’ve been focusing more on Evolve and colouring pages. But I did post some new things in the last few weeks, and it feels really good to be doing that again. I’ll be focusing a lot more on this when I’m through with Evolve and can use that time for my own art. In the meantime I’ll do what I can, but I’m not pressuring myself to be productive. It’s a bit frustrating when I have ideas and rough sketches for so many paintings I want to make, but for now I have other priorities.
Early this year I also created a series of geometric pattern designs, which I added to my shops. At the time I was thinking I wanted to get more seriously into pattern design as another branch of my art business, but the exerience of making so many in a short period of time made me realise that I’d rather keep it as something I do for fun. I love making patterns, but three main art ‘things’ (along with colouring books and wall art) feels like too much in the time I have available.
I don’t see myself doing anything different in 2023, other than more art time generally. I’ll keep plugging away at Evolve, finish at least one new colouring book, and make more time to have fun with my sketchbooks and more casual stuff.
I’m now going to take a break for a couple of weeks, and I hope everyone has a great holiday 😀