Looking at this little snapshot of favourite images makes me very proud and reminds me quite how much I have accomplished this year, in terms of making, creativity, styling and photography. As they are all interlinked.
I was asked to write a review of last year, any ups/downs and plans for 2016. Which I did, and has already been posted on instagram, but I felt it was important to get a copy of that on this blog too. And afterwards I realised that in my usual self-deprecating way, I had forgotten to focus on things that I was really happy with and milestones that I could celebrate.
I had thanked everyone for their support, but had neglected to mention that from nothing my etsy shop now ticks away quietly, with a couple of sales every month so has been a big success story for me in comparison with attending local markets or selling at exhibitions.
I had a quick peep at a reflective blog post for 2014 checking in with former goals, and I think I managed one from last year! But it's ok, because it was a good one. It was to continue my self-development, to embrace new forms of creativity, not just my own craft, to allow a richness and diversity to my work. In plan is a basket weaving course, but I definitely want to develop my macrame and photography skills. In 2016 I'm going to be experimenting more with lighting, which didn't quite happen this year; I'll be developing more planters; and I hope to be throwing a range of domestic ware too on the wheel too. That's enough to keep me out of mischief!
Instagram, the friends I've made on it, the blogging world have all had a majorly positive impact on my driving force, motivations and personal happiness. I've said it before and will now say it again - thank-you to everyone who gives their likes, supports and comments - they really do get me through the day, and I value them all.
In terms of my work, my love of green friends and flowers has allowed me to create an accessible range of planters and vases which have started to travel around the world. The art-trades that I have done have been so inspiring, I just love doing this. You'll be seeing more of my work reaching different parts of the globe in 2016....
I've done a few joint gallery exhibitions, and for my personal goals, I would like to produce more one-off or gallery items. It's so hard to have the confidence to do this... The development process for slip-casting means it can take weeks to make a new shape or vessel which I can then seem to hang around for ages...
And the craft market... Markets can be so soul- destroying. You put yourself out there and people are just browsing, stroking, touching, drifting along... Not always. I have to remind myself it's not about one day of selling, this is an investment in my time. It's a shop window that will endure - and I know it does since people have returned a year later to buy things that caught their eye in a photo of a craft stall. I think that's why I sometimes prefer the on-line world as I feel more connected in terms of shared interests and aesthetics.
I'm looking at 2016 and excited by the potential that it offers. Let's see where it takes us. I know with all the creative souls behind me, it's going to be a good one.
Thanks! And a happy new year to you all.