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I ended 2018 gorging myself among friends and ending a 3-month garbage-food binge. We talked about our favourite events attended and concerts seen in the year (my answers were Nightwish, TIFF, and Emmett Otter's Live Jug Band (official soundtrack release party)). I asked about everyone's goals (what's one thing you want to accomplish this year?). I enjoyed the personal conversations it induced, but wish I'd not saved it til the end of the night when most people had left.

I have been making strides in my last-minute to-do list, which is a list of all the little shit I've been wanting to get done before 2019 hits. I don't actually count January 1st, because my vacation ends the next day, so I have one more day to get my shit together. One of the things on that list was to get my email inbox down to zero, which I did, and no sooner did it fill with actually valuable stuff.

Aside from the first email I'd gotten, involving my student loans (which I finally made the first steps into getting started), I got an email from WallByrd - the theater company I greatly enjoy and admire, and that I've been trying to get involved with since 2016. In late summer, they finally put an open call to people who want to audition for this season, including requests for crew assistance. Ron and I went in (he for an audition, I for crew). Neither of us heard back, and assumed we weren't wanted. I was surprised they didn't want Ron - he's a fantastic actor and huge supporter of WallByrd, but I was heartbroken that they didn't want me, as the director and assistants had expressed wanting my help when offered in person.

And I mean, I went beyond heartbroken and into full existential crisis, because during a particularly moody cycle, I lamented not fitting in with my friends, because I'm not this and I'm not that, and I don't fit into any group. Ron's group, in particular, who were all involved with RIT (best I had was squatting there during my homeless saga), or music (best I have is a collection of instruments, none of which I can play yet with confidence), or sign language (I'm slowly losing my hearing and have no one to learn/practice with). And performance - and here's where WallByrd lands. I have been called upon for the occasional extra role, sfx consultant, voice-over, or DP, but have never had any kind of IN with that kind of gig, and applying to WallByrd was going to be my way to fit in somehow. It didn't come. Not until the last minute, long after I'd given up ever being in that world. And now I don't know how to feel about it. Maybe I'll feel excited when I can finally volunteer.

But it will definitely get me walking again - WallByrd's studio is a 20 minute walk away.


I also ended my craft jewelry business at the beginning of December in order to focus on my art. It was my most popular boothing experience, but I'm glad to see it go.



I do have resolutions, and I intend to fail at all of them in due time, but if I want to keep them, I should probably go month-by-month instead.

My plan for January is to keep getting shit together (finishing the unfinished and getting into new habits, or getting back into old habits.

1) Finish the temperature blanket I started one year ago. I'm just about done with August and should be able to finish it in a month or so if I knock out a month's worth every week. That might run til February, realistically. It was too hot to crochet over the summer.

2) Make reusable items in a further attempt to reduce my carbon footprint. I got a compost bucket from the Community Compost group and have started being diligent in recycling. Last year, we switched from plastic containers to glass. My next steps are to make mesh produce bags, washable cotton makeup wipes, and beeswax wraps. If you know any other environmentally-friendly steps, please share (note: while I recognize going vegan as a step in reducing my carbon footprint, it is not a realistic option for me due to health and money reasons).

3) The diet-and-exercise plan. I won't bore you with my diet plan. But I do want to mention that I spent the last three months on a binge, from various birthday and Halloween events in October, to THREE Thanksgiving feasts in November, and then a general disregard for paying attention to my health in December, because at that point, fuck it. I accidentally said YES to having a whole bag of my favourite homemade cookies set aside for me tonight, so I eventually tried to eat them all in one sitting because I knew tomorrow I'd be kicking the carbs again. Fuck, I didn't even get a donut. I got an egg-cooker for x-mas, and I'm kinda stoked to use it now.

Anyway, diet aside, I think I've found a plan to start slow on the exercise (while I get back on track with my eating habits) AND knock out some other necessities, which is to pick a couple of cafes in walking distance, but still a distance. I'll pack a bag filled with that afternoon's project (reading, art, writing, needlepoint, whatever) and I'll have a cup of tea while I work on the project, then walk home. I never get walking into my day because I hate going on pointless strolls, but I think if I'm motivated to go to somewhere and do something, it'll help.

4) Finish A Series of Unfortunate Events - this one's actually kind of immediate. I wanted to have the last three books read before January 1st, as that's the day the final season of the show comes out on Netflix, but I have one more to go. I almost don't want it to end, but I can't leave my mind only to the Penultimate ending.

5) Another purge of stuff for donation. I'd ideally like to go through my whole house, but it's not gonna happen in a month.

6) Finally write to Keenan, who I haven't responded to since the summer due to business. Well... busy-ness.




My hopes for the rest of the year are also in no particular order.

Fill a sketchbook per month and get some useful things from them (zines, ideas for bigger art pieces, comics...). I've started preparing for this by getting together all my blank and mostly-empty sketchbooks and covering them the fuck with stickers.

(interjection: speaking of covering things with stickers, I bought myself a regular old, but brand new laptop (a PC - because most of my customer demographic uses them and want to learn how to do things, and I have sure learned a lot) and I'm pretty stoked about it, and just wanted to share).

Learn a bit of music theory (I have many instruments, as stated earlier, but I think without music theory under my grasp of understanding, it's a bit rough to keep anything I've learned about them.
By the way, I bought myself a bass guitar (and amp)!! I'm very excited to learn some tunes.

Learn a 3D program (for 3D printing) and learn to animate (in ToonBoom). I got a big, professional Cintiq (coveted by many digital artists and animators) for my birthday and want to get to using it for evil. I mean, for animation.

Read all the Discworld books. This would be pretty straight-forward, but I actually intend to maximize my multi-tasking by using the audio books instead. There are a LOT of those books!

Booth with my art at least once. I have already been rejected once. I'm hoping to get into at least one convention, and while Utica's pop culture convention was nice, it was attended instead of going to an annual picnic I love, and I don't want to miss it again.

Post only personal shit to my Facebook. No more idly hitting "share." And I guess, use my Instagram more often. Oh, and make videos (not animated, but like, time-lapse work of my art) and post them on YouTube. I tried the Twitch streaming thing, but it is kinda fruitless.

That's enough to get started.



I don't want to do a year's end recap this year, but here's a year's end ART recap:

Starting with the best piece first, and then, cut.





January



February




April





May




June





August
(a very productive month being my first booth as an artist)








(I also made these this month)





September


(I made that scrappy one on my phone)

October

(I made the pre-undercut image in October - that one took A LOT of time).

The rest of the year was me sleeping, eating, and working.


No wait... I want to make a few honorable mentions instead of a full recap.
2018's high points included the season of concerts (including sneaking pass the guards to get up front at Nightwish), getting a new tattoo, going to Toronto and running into Ron during Toronto International Film Festival (and having breakfast with him each morning at my favourite brekkie place), boothing my artwork for the first time, scooting away to NYC for a day and scoring a pass to NYCC so I could meet one of my friends/heroes in person for the first time, and going to Doc Hammer's gallery opening and networking with a lot of cool people.

I hope the next year will be minimally invasive and mostly pleasurable.

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