2015 Art Resolutions

“Life is not the number of days you live; it’s the number of days you remember!” ~ Pasha

Already it is mid February and once again I find myself wondering where my days have gone?!?! “Where does my time go??” seems to be a constant refrain for me this past year. And so, when I recently stumbled upon a Ted Talk given by Dustin Garis on exactly this question — “Where did the time go?” — I sat up and paid attention!

What Garis discovered is undeniably simplistic, while at the same time being deeply profound. Essentially, he discovered that the reason time passes for so many of us so often without our awareness or memory, is because there is nothing happening within that particular time frame that is “worth” remembering.  The minute I thought about it, I realized how very true this is for me. DUH! How much of my days do I spend in meaningless activity that is not even worth remembering??  How much of my precious time do I spend doing memorable things?? How much of my life is actually memorable?? How many of my days are filled with meaningful, memorable activities or events?? And that is when I felt the “wake up” slap across my face! I don’t remember what I spend so much of my time on because too much of what I spend my time on is absolutely meaningless to me in the overall scheme of things! Wow! What a show stopper for me that realization was! But within an instant I’d recovered from the “wake up slap” and resolved to change my life from one in which I spend too much of my time in meaningless pursuits — to spending my time in the pursuit of a truly memorable life! 🙂

~ * ~

I’ve been procrastinating writing this post since the beginning of the New Year. Partly because I have wanted to give more thought to the matter, partly because I have felt a bit unsure about how best to proceed, partly because “I don’t know where the time has gone” and couldn’t find (or didn’t feel like making) time and, admittedly, mostly because I’ve just been too dang lazy and uninspired to write it. Thankfully, it seems the inspiration to finally put pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard!) has hit and will hopefully end in a coherent post today! LOL

For the past many months I have been feeling a deep and persistent need to retreat from social media and diminish my online presence, particularly on Facebook. Until now, I haven’t really been able to put my finger on exactly why I’ve felt this need so deeply, but I think I finally have it figured out. The internet in general, but especially social media and Facebook eat my time up in ways that, ultimately, are for the most part meaningless and not memorable for me. They are eating away my time … and consequently, my life.

I almost cringe to say that, because it implies that the friends I have met on and/or know only (or mostly) through Facebook/social media are “meaningless”. Well, that could NOT be further from the truth. Those people, those relationships I have with so many special people I have come to cherish through this medium is exactly why it has been so difficult for me to sever myself from Facebook. There are also some responsibilities I have as a Board member of the Pencil Art Society which requires (to a certain degree) that I be present/available through social media. And now that I am working for Paint Nite, I am required to post event photos to the PN FB page … and so, mainly because of these three issues, I have felt it is completely unrealistic and almost impossible for me to delete my FB accounts and withdraw completely.

Facebook friends are precious!

Facebook friends are precious!

However, I have begun to realize that it’s not necessary for me to delete my FB account in order to spend a LOT less time on FB. As long as I fulfill my “duties” for PAS and PN, then there really is nothing else “obligating” me to be present on Facebook other than my own misplaced sense of “guilt” about not “being there” for my friends.

And so, this post is, in part, a heartfelt note to my good FB friends: I love you and am so grateful for our friendship, but I am gonna be taking a LOT of “me” time away from Facebook to make my days more “memorable” in the upcoming year. If you wanna talk or “need” me, simply call me, text me or email me! 🙂  I’ve also discovered Instagram, which I am fooling around with a bit because it is much less time-consuming than Faceook is, so if you’re on Instagram, let me know so I can follow you. I will be sharing most of what I post on Instagram to my personal Facebook wall (if you see #hashtags on my posts on FB, know it is because I have shared the post from Instagram), and I will still be checking FB on a regular basis, probably daily, but hopefully for not more than a half hour or so at the end of the day.

Re: my own FB Artist Page: Unfortunately, the way things have gone with Facebook business pages over the last little while, it feels like most of my posts are not being seen, and certainly FB has never helped me to sell any of my work (which is, after all, kinda the point of a business page?? LOL), and so I begin to wonder why I bother to spend any time trying to “market” myself as an artist in this way.  Again, it is a huge time sink that I think I could probably do without and put to better “memory-making” activities in my life. And so, while I have no plans to delete my FB Art Page, I think I shall be posting most of my art in future here on my blog and trying to market myself more through my Etsy shop, with updates/links to both from my FB Art page … and perhaps I will also post it on my personal FB page and on Instagram too. The subtle, yet deep sense of relief I get from just this public sharing of my decision to considerably withdraw myself from social media tells me it is the right choice for me. 🙂

~ * ~

Since the beginning of December I have spent quite a bit of time doing a lot of personal introspection and reflection and for the past several years I have chosen a “Word (or Phrase) Of The Year”  — usually a word or phrase that comes to me through meditation — which I then use to “guide” myself throughout the year.  Last year my word was “Grow” — and oh! how appropriate a word it was! I feel that I did more emotional and spiritual growing last year than I had in all the previous ten years put together! This year the phrase that came to me was “Be Not Afraid”, and though I don’t (yet) quite feel the “connection” to this phrase that I did right from the start to the word “Grow”, I trust that it came to me for a good reason, and I am using it to guide me through the upcoming year.

Watercolour "Sketch"

Watercolour “Sketch”

~ * ~

Besides deciding on personal/spiritual intentions every new year, I also spend a little bit of time at the end of every year daydreaming about my hopes,  dreams,  goals and intentions as an artist for the upcoming year and so, at last I feel ready to share my 2015 Art Resolutions for the coming year …  better late than never as they say! LOL  This is where I hope my artistic journey will take me over the coming year:

  1. I intend to sketch, draw or paint daily.
  2. I intend to seriously explore art journaling and watercolours.
  3. I intend to go on regular and frequent sketch outings with similarly-minded artists (ie: monthly Sketchcrawls, urban sketching).
  4. I intend to focus my future art publicity and marketing efforts mainly through my blog/website, Etsy and Instagram.
  5. I intend to create a series of drawings with a connected theme, enough for my own solo show in late 2015/early 2016.

How about you? Have you made any Art Resolutions for 2015? If so, I’d love to hear yours! 🙂

A page from my watercolour journal

A page from my watercolour journal

~ * ~

4 comments to 2015 Art Resolutions

  • I had already noticed after the show in August that you weren’t around as much. You should always do what is right for you and if FB sucks up too much of your time than it’s good to set boundaries!! I really am only on M-f and just a tiny bit to check in on weekends as that is studio time and time to spend with family and friends. I will always support you my friend…but will miss you too!! 🙂

  • Manon

    Sounds like you have a great plan for the year. Like you I am focused this year, but on “Learning”. This is my year to improve and take lessons by great artist. The winter makes it difficult due to travelling out of town, but as soon as spring comes I will be busy. I have already made arrangements to be taking lessons in oil painting. This excites me more than painting for resale. I am not interested in doing shows, I just want to learn. As for FB it is like eye candy for me when I see all the art that is done by others. The discipline is not going on during the day. I usually go on at night while watching TV. I do keep in touch with so many friends that I met on FB and later met in person. Like yourself, Darlene and Adolfo in Spain. Also, my Camino family that I shared so many special moments day after day for weeks. The FB has enriched my life in so many ways. I also keep in touch with my new Ancestry family that I have found on Ancestry.ca. I have moved around so much in my life and the FB has kept me in touch with old friends and family. It is all about control for me. If I can do it at night ONLY, and not let it interfere with my desire to spend time with my paintbrush and easel. We will find a way to keep in touch.. I know nothing of Instagram lol.:)

  • You have great goals and I know you can do it!
    Its fun to see how other artists sets them and how they go through with all, and its never too late to write down your resolution and set goals. My art resolutions are slowly going forward, need more inspiration and less time in front of the computer.
    I want to create a Etsy shop as well but don’t know where to start, maybe I can pick your brain during our next urban sketch days, lol.
    Okay so I will post mine in my blog, just have to get down to business and set some things in stone, its the only way I can get going! so stay tuned, it will come (one day).

    Time is tricky, but we work with it as best as we can!

    Looking forward to the next sketch outing, got my self a new sketch book as the last one got full after our last one, got inspired when we were out 🙂

  • Wendy Brunell

    Love reading your posts Lissa..and have you as a fav..so will pop in now and again and catch up on what you are sketching etc 🙂 WendyB