For the last couple of years I haven’t chosen New Years resolutions as such but chosen a word to live by for the next 12 months. My one little word for 2013 was “Grow.” My one little word for 2014 was “Explore.”
Why I chose “explore” as my one little word for 2014
My one little word for 2014 was Explore. I’d had a tough year in 2013 so wanted to give myself time to heal, to get used to my new life and also explore creatively as well. I wanted to take away the pressure of creating something for a specific reason. Before this year, most things I’d made were for education or for work, not for myself, not just for the sake of creating. This meant that when it came to creating for myself I would, for example, paint a picture, I’d expect it to be perfect first time, I wouldn’t practice, I wouldn’t explore all the possibilities. Professionally I would try but I guess, not exploring in my personal work may have affected my professional work too. It really seems silly admitting this now but it is the truth and I’m glad I’ve spent this year exploring the possibilities.
I chose 12 phrases to go with the word explore, they’re loosely related to each month of the year. These would be just a quick reminder of what I wanted to focus on throughout the year.
Reminder of the 12 phrases
Explore new things
Explore the process
Explore my voice
What did I do throughout the year?
There were a few things that I purposely did to keep the word “explore” at the front of my mind. I have a little notebook that I’ve written the 12 phrases down on a page each, and throughout the year, I’ve written things that have happened or that I’ve done which related to that phrase. The only other thing I did was to keep a piece of paper at the front of my diary which I’d written “explore” on it as a note to myself in a way to remind me.
I used brush pens for the first time this year, I enrolled on some online classes to try my hand at hand lettering, I also started making my way through watching a huge list of films, films that I wouldn’t necessarily watch. I’m not a film watcher and I’m always that person who hasn’t seen the film that people are talking about and I don’t want to be that person.
I’ve done a lot of painting, drawing and creating this year, a lot more than I usually do. I started an art journal that, when I started, I would work on it every day then it started to slow down after a while and now I just work on it every now and then. It has been a great experience though and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve almost filled a whole sketchbook in a year, that has never happened before and I think of it as an achievement.
This was mainly relating to yoga and rest. I’ve managed to get into a routine of practicing yoga regularly this year, I really notice when I haven’t been able to practice. I also explored silence in not using social media for two weeks. I learned that I didn’t always have to be looking for the next piece of information.
I closed my Etsy Shop (reluctantly) as it was clear to me that I wasn’t ready to have a shop and didn’t have the time to maintain it either. Having a shop just put more pressure onto an already exhausted Sian!
Rob and I moved in together. This year we celebrating our ten year anniversary, which I still can’t believe it has been that long! We’ve learned a lot this year and I very much look forward to the future in our house!
This was to encourage me/us to go on more walks on weekends. I now walk to the train station every morning and I’ve really enjoyed it. We managed to get to a country park in the summer which was really nice to walk around and observe the view. It’s difficult because Rob walks a lot for his job (he’s a postman!) he walks about 11 miles a day and so when it comes to the weekend, the last thing he wants to do is walk and I don’t blame him.
I created a orange journal in 2013 and wanted to explore colour a bit more, maybe do the same for a different colour. I didn’t do that! In creating my art journal, there is a lot more colour in it than I’ve used in the past so maybe I’ll explore a different colour next year.
I love to paint and this year I’ve used acrylic, watercolours and watercolour pencils for all sorts of things.
Taking part in two skillshare classes has been so beneficial to learn about different processes. In creating my art journal too I’ve learned more about the way that I think and work.
This year we’ve been to Bruges, Orlando, Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico and Miami. Three of those were in the same trip and I loved seeing so many places. I never really considered the idea of going travelling but I love the idea of visiting a lot of different places on holidays.
I’m not sure anyone really can say, “yes, I’ve found my voice” I think it is an evolving thing. I certainly haven’t even found one thing that I enjoy doing yet. I fear becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. I’d love to become a master of just one thing, or even just good at one thing that I enjoy. Am I a writer? Am I a hand letterer? Am I an ilustrator? I’m a graphic designer professionally and enjoy it but I want to find “my thing” that I’m good at!
It’s difficult to see where I’ve progressed as a designer. However, I have been pleasantly surprised when working on new-to-me projects at work and have felt like I’ve done well with happy clients all round.
My little word for next year will be “create.” I want to continue the great work I started this year. I don’t feel like I created as much as I wanted this year due to buying our house, I’m sure there will be something that comes up next year and I’ll still be as preoccupied with other things but I’ll try my absolute best.
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