I'll just be honest here- I hate winter. This is no secret to anyone who knows me. Particularly in the city, I find it a real challenge to be inspired by the season. For the most part, everything is brown, slushy and messy. Those lovely white snowfalls with the huge, fluffy flakes are too few, far between, and fleeting. And, even if I am inspired, getting out and braving the cold, wet, uncomfortable outside is just not fun.
On top of all that, this calendar year has had a busy start. There's been a wonderful abundance of house guests visiting our cozy little downtown apartment, an exotic work trip coupled with some changing responsibilities in my job, and then a surgery in early March that has left me couch-ridden and exhausted for far longer than I would have liked. The overly optimistic pre-surgery Megan imagined that she would have a lovely relaxing time recovering, doing silly little crafts while watching endless marathons on Netflix … but the truth is I’ve been too tired to do anything (except the Netflix marathoning. That happened. A lot). It’s like my brain has been so focused on knitting me back together that it can’t focus on anything cool. I suppose I can't fault it, but it has put a serious crimp in my artistic plans.
But spring is a time of new life. Of fresh starts and the re-birth of colour. Spring seems like a much better time to start a new year. So, I'm just going to call it as such: my creative year is starting in April. And with that declaration, here’s my (no longer belated) review of the art that I did ‘last year’, and what I’m looking forward to starting this year.
2014 was the year I caught up on my editing backlog. I’ve had more than a few photos in my 'to edit' pile for an embarrassingly long time, and it sure feels awesome to have things nearly up-to-date. Of course, since catching up, I've managed to put a few sets of digital negatives back onto that 'to edit' pile, but this time, I have a plan to ensure that the process doesn't get too overwhelming. I’ve always said that allowing time between when the images are shot and when they are edited is helpful in determining an image's true value, and I’ve noticed it has been a lot simpler to pick the good images from the bad when I’m no longer all bright-eyed and excited about the actual nature that I was seeing and can focus on the actual technical worth of the images. So, in light of this, I’m setting up a collection in Lightroom so that I can go through my images once a year and add the really worthy ones to my portfolio. Prior to that, I'll edit images and add them to my 500px account, but we'll save the big important portfolio culling for a time far removed from the shooting date.
2014 was also the year that I started making some good progress on my toy photography (and not all the progress was in just buying more toys - although I did that as well!). After ages of looking at toy photos and just being amazed by them, I’ve finally pulled my own little creations out and just started playing. I’m not quite sure where these projects are going yet, but it feels pretty great to just be shooting.
All in all, I think I did pretty alright when it comes to art. I could have done more, but I think that will always be the case. The plan for this year is just keep at it:
- Spend time seeking out and gathering beautiful things.
- Take time to explore.
- Be inspired.
- Try new things.
- Just make things.
- Get messy.
I'm trying very hard not to set any particular goals here, as I don't think it's necessary. I do have a few plans in mind, and a few targets that I would really really like to hit, but I don't want to gauge success or failure on standard metrics. I just want to do better at making art. As long as I try, I'm pretty much there. (And I think it's more important to remind myself of this fact than to stress over meeting some self-imposed deadline.)
In any case, it will be quite fascinating to see if kicking off my creative year in the spring instead of along with the calendar year actually helps to energize my projects. I guess only time will tell!