This year was the second full year since I began my art journey. It offered me so much in terms of enhancing my creative skills and learning patience. The best part of it was that I had a chance to experience the freedom of creation and artistic expression. In the previous years, I spent most of my time learning and soaking up the intricacies of visual art. This year, I dug deeper by creating more original art and experimenting with different techniques and mediums.
Daily creation slowly became a part of my life, and I’m so happy to sense how this art journey enriched my life. I’m still spending most of my creative time in the ad-hoc kitchen studio that I build up almost every night. Until I have my dedicated creative nook, I’m totally fine with the setup. Here are some of the things that happened this year on my artistic journey:
- Sketching on Location: This year was the first time I went out with my watercolours. I sketched outside before with a pen or pencil, but not with watercolours. This was one of the best decisions I made. I collected so many memories not only by painting, but sometimes I got the chance to chat with curious people about art. See the sketches here.
- An interesting personal project: I followed the life of a honeysuckle for a good few weeks, and I drew it almost every day. Read here about this experiment.
- Art journal: I felt the need to dedicate a book to my art thoughts, so I started an art journal. I capture in it my inspirations, short notes, tiny artworks, colour palettes, future ideas and plans.
- Challenges: I’m not a big fan of art challenges, yet there were some I couldn’t resist. And I’m really happy it turned out this way because they offered me so much. I created some beautiful artworks, and I met new people, and even better, we inspired each other. See the blog posts about Bring Spring and Autumn Berries.
- Sketching in the Botanic Garden: In January I ended up being a friend of the Cambridge Botanic Garden. I didn’t plan to sketch in there, but every time we paid a visit, I turned up with my sketchbook and I sketched a variety of beautiful plants.
Making My Art Accessible
- Printing out cards: The idea to make cards from my art was on the table from the beginning, but I was never motivated enough to allocate time to send my art for printing. This year finally I gave it a go and they turned out beautiful. Selling prints of my artwork is definitely something I plan to start doing next year.
- Gifting original art: Sometimes I make promises to family and friends, that I will paint something personal for them. This year, I created and sent out a bunch of original art. Also, to express my gratitude, I sent original art to the amazing people who inspire me on my art journey.
- Delivering cards: I enjoy painting buildings, including family homes. A sudden decision led me to deliver some of the printed cards right into the letter boxes of the buildings I painted in Cambridge.
- Donations: I sometimes create art to support good causes. This year I sent a card to PAE and two cards for the National Doodle Day. The best part of it was that all three cards found their new homes.
- My artwork on products: Getting my artwork printed on the surface products was one of the biggest plans of this year. I spent a significant amount of time creating surface pattern designs and co-ideating about a potential business. Sadly, it’s not working the way we planned, and we put the project on hold for now. My artwork ended up on some products though, you can check them here.
- Factory visit: The biggest surprise of this year was the factory visit at Daler-Rowney. I never thought I could end up in a place like this, so I wrote an entire blog post about my experience.
- Artist talk: Some meetings have a lasting impact on one’s life. Such an occasion was when I met Jenny Muncaster at the factory visit. It was uplifting to find out that we speak the same (artistic) language, and that somebody understands and appreciates what I am doing. Both of us were excited about each other’s art, and we still are.
- Discovering fresh inspirations: I’m always in search of artists whose works inspire me. This year I would like to highlight the creations of three wonderful people: Ohn Mar Win, and Richard Briggs.
- My art framed and displayed: I sketched a restaurant that is kind to me, and I sent the card to the owners. They framed it and displayed it, which was a heart-warming gesture from them.
- Van Gogh Immersive Experience: This wasn’t planned far ahead, it just came as a sudden opportunity. I wasn’t a big fan of Van Gogh’s art before, but this exhibition changed everything.
New Ways to Support My Art
- Ko-fi: I created a Ko-fi account for the people who want to support my art besides likes and shares. This is a great way to connect with my supporters who would like to buy me a coffee (or more) to show their appreciation for my art and the things I share with them.
- Newsletter: I think a newsletter is a more personal way to stay connected with my supporters. I did not send out any so far, but I’m planning to start my newsletter very soon. You can subscribe to my mailing list here.
- Social Media: Personally, I’m not a big fan of social media in general, but it turns out it’s a great way to connect and interact with kind art-loving people. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been active on Instagram, besides Twitter (X), where I share my creations pretty frequently.
Plans For The Next Year
I don’t really have any specific plans for the next year. From this year’s experience, it’s better if I take opportunities as they come, I experiment a lot and I keep my options open. Of course, I have some ideas in my mind that I would like to bring to life. Also, the most important thing would be to experiment with all kinds of techniques, tools, and materials, and just create and create art. I consider myself very fortunate that I can follow this path, and I’m grateful to the amazing people who make this possible and support me tirelessly on my art journey.