January can be pure magic.
The promise of a fresh start is powerful.
January is a chance to take a step back, reset, and envision what we want the next year ahead to look like. How can we make the coming year our best yet? How can we grow?
In my creative practice, I have a very clear, albeit lofty, goal for 2022:
I want to be a better artist.
I could write at length about what it means to be a “better artist”, but to summarize I would say:
One who continually pursues the creation of good, authentic work.
And I think most professional artists would tell you, that is easier said than done.
So many times when I am working in studio, I find myself painting while holding tightly to certain expectations:
I must make every painting work.
I have to make paintings everyone will love.
I need to come up with a signature painting style that sells easily.
(I could go on and on…)
I’ll be frank here and tell you that these types of thoughts really get in the way of my creativity.
They tie me up in knots and keep me from taking brush to canvas.
I want to let those thoughts go, and have designated January as the start of that release.
I’m using this time in the New Year to play, investigate, and learn in studio. I am indulging my creativity and experimenting without expectation, so I can be a better artist.
I am creating for the sake of creating.
And I am already finding the magic.
It feels like the vision for this work has always been with me, but now I am finally digging it out.
Have their been failures? Absolutely. They move me forward.
Have their been successes? Absolutely. As big as a finished piece and as small as a single mark.
Most importantly, I have started to identify the processes and themes in the work that feel authentic and exciting. Processes and themes I want to carry forward.
And most surprisingly, I have noticed a small body of work has started to emerge from all my trials.
Work that I am now affectionately calling:
The January Experiments
Take a look:
What will the work eventually become? Where will it live? What will it mean?
I don’t know, but thankfully, I don’t have to.
Thanks for reading,