One of my favourite parts of December is taking time to look back over the year and celebrate everything that happened. It's something I only started doing in the last couple of years and I find that it is so worth it. I usually make a list of all my favourite memories and moments, and the accomplishments that I'm especially proud of. Then I think about what I want more of for the coming year, and start working on a plan.
This year part of the recap involves looking at the creative projects that I undertook and appreciating everything that I made this year. Next week watch for a post about my creative goals for the New Year.
This year I made an effort to get outside of my creative comfort zone a little and try some new things. And I think I was successful. I got involved with some group projects, tried my first creative job, and learned new techniques. Here's my list of creative accomplishments for 2015:
- Draw Paint Print experiment: In November of last year, I started working through the book Draw, Paint, Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars and decided that I was going to do every single exercise in the book. I spent months experimenting and playing, and this spring I finished the book and wrote about what I learned.
- Photography: I took my DSLR camera out a few times to practice. I tried to express my love of winter in photos, and I showed you some of the most interesting parts of my trip to Turkey, Egypt and the UAE.
- Unfinished painting challenge: I participated in a project at a local art store where the goal was to bring in an unfinished painting and take home someone else's to finish. It was an interesting challenge, and a lot of fun - and it inspired this blog post.
- Printmaking class in Turkey: I learned the basics of traditional Turkish wood block printmaking from a master printmaker in Istanbul. It was definitely a highlight of the trip and I've since tried to replicate the technique at home. Watch for more prints in 2016!
- Bellydance lessons in Cairo: I took advantage of our time in Egypt to take private lessons with women who are steeped in the Egyptian dance culture. I learned more in a few hours than I might have in a whole term of classes at home.
- Easter egg decorating party: I kept my annual tradition alive and encouraged my friends and family to get crafty.
- Window Display: I was invited to take part in this amazing project, where artists teamed up with businesses on Whyte Avenue, here in Edmonton, to create window displays for Pride Week. I loved making my paper mache string balls and got a lot of good feedback on the window. I hope to participate again next year!
- Woodcut workshop at SNAP: The Society of Northern Alberta Printmakers is an amazing resource in our city, and one that I wish I took advantage of more often. I finally signed up for a one-day workshop to create a collaborative woodcut. We were instructed to draw a character based on someone interesting that we've seen or known. It brought up some anxiety around drawing but was so satisfying once I figured it out. The finale was a few weeks later when we got to see our giant block printed with a steam roller. It was pretty cool!
- The Drawing Project: This was, and still is, a big one for me. I decided that I didn't want to be scared of drawing any more so I created a yearlong project to help me befriend my inner critic and make drawing fun again, and I invited you to join me! We're now almost a third of the way through it and though it's been hard to keep the momentum going, I'm still having fun and staying inspired. Sign up here to join for January, and follow me on Instagram to see what I've been drawing.
- Installation Coordinator for Kaleido Festival: I got my first creative job, organizing the art installation competitions for Kaleido Family Arts Festival. It was stressful but very rewarding - I met a ton of great people and loved being so involved in my favourite Edmonton festival.
- Lamppost installation: As part of the festival, I created my own lamppost installation. Yes I used the same balls from the window display. I couldn't bear to throw them out!
- Illustrations for the Local Good: One of my Local Good blogging team-mates did a wonderful post about hidden gems in our city and I did some illustrations for the places that people suggested. I'm still working on these so watch for more illustrations in the future.
- Collaborative creativity game at Nuit Blanche: This is another project that I'm super proud of. I made a creative game for people to play as they perused the market at Edmonton's inaugural Nuit Blanche. I had around 150 people participate and it was amazingly inspiring. I'm hoping to do something similar at other events around the city.
- Fibre arts workshop: Harcourt House has a lot of interesting art courses and I was pleased to find this one-day workshop on basic weaving and embroidery. Though I went to South America to learn weaving, I haven't woven in over a year and I miss it. This was a great reminder of what I loved about it.
- Christmas crafting: I hosted another Christmas crafting party and we made ornaments and gift wrap. I wrote this post last week about all the wrapping I made.
- Taught workshops: This year I taught five printmaking workshops and two map-making ones. I taught in some new venues and got excited about all the possibilities there are for teaching and inspiring others and can't wait to jump into 2016.
What are some of your creative accomplishments from 2015? Leave a comment below!