Every December I start thinking about the upcoming new year and what I’d like to focus on. I find that having a short list of goals and a plan for myself helps keep me focussed and that in turn allows me to carefully evaluate any new opportunities that come along with a more discriminating eye so that I don’t end up falling into the “why did I let myself say yes to this because now I regret it” trap! But before I think about what my goals or intentions for the new year will be I take a good look at what I accomplished in the year that’s coming to a close and how it all fit with the goals that I had set for that year. This helps me decide whether or not the goals I didn’t reach are ones that I want to carry into the new year and which ones to let go of and it helps me re-evaluate my studio priorities. Where did I excel, where did I fall short, what did I enjoy doing and what projects did I slog through wishing that I hadn’t said yes to? The answers to all of these questions inform my decisions about the new year and give me some good perspective on where I am and where I want to be.
So what’s on my list for 2017? 2016 was a very busy year for me – I did a lot of traveling and teaching and I didn’t get quite as much studio time in as I wanted to but I was okay with that because one of my goals for 2016 was to take on more traveling/teaching gigs and I had a lot of fun doing it. But now I need a break! So my teaching schedule for 2017 is going to be pretty light – I’ll be teaching at Craft Napa in January and then I am only booking gigs that I can drive to so if your guild or shop is in New England and you’d like me to teach email me!
I’ve decided that studio time and quilt making are my top priorities for 2017 and I have a couple of different themes I want to explore. I want to create a new series of whimsical bird quilts. I had a lot of fun making the Heron quilt and I want to continue to build on that.
I also want to explore making quilts in the style of the “Inside Out” quilt that I made this past year. Inside Out was juried into QuiltCon East which I’m very excited about and I’m intrigued by the whole “modern quilt” aesthetic and want to explore that further. I’ll be headed to QuiltCon East in February (I’ll be working in the SAQA booth so come by and say hi!) to experience first hand what the whole modern quilt genre is all about.
My other priority for 2017 is to learn to draw. Drawing is part of my quilt making process and I always draw and sketch out my quilts both in small scale and full scale before I start cutting into any fabric but I want to take my drawing skills further.
I took a drawing class at a museum in my area quite a few years ago and really enjoyed working with charcoal but it was a short 6 week class that only met for an hour a week and while it did give me a very brief taste of the fundamentals of drawing it wasn’t nearly as detailed as I wanted it to be. This drawing to the right is one that I did in that class.
That short 6 week class also taught me that I’m not particularly comfortable being creative in public. Especially if it’s something that I don’t feel particularly skilled or confident in so I struggled with that and I think that held me back a bit.
So I looked online to see if I could find a more comprehensive drawing class, something more like a university level drawing 101 class and I came across this How to Draw class with David Brody at the greatcoursesplus website. I’ve taken a photography class through the greatcoursesplus site and it was very comprehensive and professionally done and I learned a ton about outdoor photography. I looked further into David Brody’s class and decided that I’d give it a try. It’s also being offered through the Craftsy site here as well if you’re interested in taking it but don’t want to sign up for a subscription to the greatcoursesplus site. I’m three lessons into it and I am really impressed with the content and his teaching style and would definitely recommend the class if you’re serious about wanting to learn to draw. I’ll be sharing my progress and drawings from the course throughout 2017 here on my blog.
And so those are my priorities, goals and plan for 2017. Have you thought about yours – remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish!