End of 2017, Start of 2018

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It's the end of another year and the start of a new one! A lot sure as heck happened this year, let's talk about it :)

Despite having wanted to take things easier this year, after working so hard and pushing myself so much last year, I think I still ended up doing more of the same, haha. The overarching goal was to focus on my overall happiness in life in general, as well as in my art.

Going back in my mind over all the years that I've been creative, and alive in general, haha, but we're an art community here, so let's focus on the important things ;), I've had varying goals. Some for my own personal satisfactions, like experimenting or trying to get better as a whole, and other more jealousy-based reasons, like I must get better than that person before this specific time or else I'm a failure. (We can talk more about my history with jealousy another time, but needless to say, yes, I am human, and I've gotten some major green feelz in my time, haha.)

They were all different reasons, but they all came down to the same thing--a rushing need to get better. Over the years, it just became a part of who I was and how I worked. I had to go fast, I was impatient, I had to draw a lot, since drawing a lot gets you there sooner, etc. But I had noticed, while I did enjoy drawing and was relatively happy with my artistic process, there was a deeper down sense of stress. It's not that I seek satisfaction with my artwork, since I will always want to be dissatisfied so I keep having motivation to push (we can discuss this more later too), since I love testing my limits, but there was this lack of internal happiness about my mindset during my process.

My process isn't complex. It's draw, experiment, study, etc. My mindset during it felt...off. Bit difficult to describe, but it was irking me. I wanted to find a certain kind of happiness with my process. I wanted to feel more free and able to be as loose as I wanted without stress. Stress to constantly push. Stress to perform. Stress about never being good enough. Stress about being wrong. Stress about everything. It wasn't, and isn't, healthy. I wanted to make a change.

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That was my goal for this year. To let go of all my stressors and anxiety and just draw. Focus on the passion and not the results of the passion. If you know anything about psychology and mental health, that's not an easy task to do! I have to completely change my thinking, my internal workings, my subconscious. I also knew that if I could do this, then that might bleed over to other things in my life. Make one area of your life better, others could fall into place. (It's more complex than that, of course.)

Keep in mind, for the most part, I was experimenting with this by myself this year. And it's a bit difficult to describe what it was that I was doing. In a nut shell, it was trying to consciously remind myself of what I find most important--my happiness. Remind myself that it's okay for things to go wrong, to screw up, to struggle. That not everything I do has to be a perfect show. That it's okay if I try something different, and if people don't like it, that's okay too, because I'll have tried. Just reminders.

Clearly that wasn't enough for this year, but what else should I have expected? haha. These changes will happen in time. I'm not feeling negative about the progress. I still feel those stressors, that anxiety, and all those emotions. I still struggle. But hey, that's okay! Because I'm trying and I'm learning, and even if the progress is small, it's still progress.

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I'm looking forward to what 2018 will be. I'm walking into it head held high and feeling positive. I want to keep exploring with this path, see what else I can do, what more I can learn. I'm hoping to focus more on relaxing, enjoying the art process, exploring mediums, and branching out. If you guys would like to join me, be it similar or completely different goals, then that's awesome! Let's do this stuff together.

And before you go, if you'd like to see some of my art from this year, check out the video below! It's mostly finished pieces, but I've tossed in a few random studies here and there.

I hope ya'll are having a great day! I wish you all a wonderful New Years, happy holidays, and time in general. See you in 2018! <3

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