One of the most important things about trying to keep art and personal resolutions is that you have to check-in with yourself periodically to make sure you’re on track to complete them. It’s July, just past midway through the year, so it’s a perfect time for that introspection!
Did you make New Year’s resolutions in January? How are you doing on yours?
To be honest, I kind of forgot what a lot of my resolutions are, so this check-in should be interesting.
My first goal was: Art journal every week.
The whole point of me making this resolution was so I would create a proper habit of drawing regularly, so while I haven’t been art journaling per se, I’ve definitely gotten into a drawing habit.
These definitely aren’t part of art journaling, but were some of the paintings I did as I built up my daily painting habit! You can get stickers of this in my shop here.
I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to complete a daily painting pretty much from March until now! One thing I’ve done to accomplish this is completely shift my sleep schedule. I now make an effort to sleep from 11 pm to 6 am every day during the weekday, which means I get almost 2 full hours of painting time in the morning before I go to work. 2 hours is plenty of time to fill a sketchbook page!
Read 30 books.
Get the printable for this reading tracker here.
If you are friends with me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I’m pretty on track with this! I am currently at 16 books, which according to their breakdown, puts me on track to finish 30 books by the end of the year.
Some of my favorite books so far have been:
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. She tells a fascinating story about two families, connected by a common ancestor but ripped apart by slavery. It traces the generations of family across two continents and three hundred years of history. We see how these two branches of family have been affected by the legacy of slavery, and how that legacy continues.This book tells a story of how political events and narratives shape a history across generations.
Give Us the Ballot, by Ari Berman. Ari Berman charts the transformation of American democracy since the birth of the Voting Rights Act and the counterrevolution that has attempted to limit voting rights, from 1965 to today. He frames his writing around one man, John Lewis, who has tirelessly fought for voting rights for his entire life and continues to do so. This book dispels the myths of voter fraud and shows how those concerns are fully coded in racist thought. If you are American, this book is a must read.
Simple Matters, by Erin Boyle. This one’s a little different from the others, but I loved it all the same. Erin writes about living simply, but unlike Marie Kondo, she does it in a practical and realistic way. She writes like a breath of fresh air, and while I find books like these tend to be steeped in some amount of classism, it was an enjoyable read.
Post a blog post every other week.
I’m certainly on track for this, and it’s been very fun to come up with new blog post ideas and to delve more into my art process! I hope you’ve been enjoying reading my writing and the way my brain works. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve written so far:
The story behind my Starry Night Elephant painting, which (spoiler alert!) I’m planning on developing into a full-fledged illustration series;
My 100 Days of Painting recap post along with some of my favorite paintings;
How my partner helped me treat myself on an excursion up to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, and why I think everyone should have one of these days once in a while;
And finally, the time I realized I needed to focus more on things that made me happy, instead of committing heavily to unrealistic deadlines for projects I gave myself.
Open an Etsy printables shop.
You can get the printable for this customizable Turtle House calendar here. I’ll switch out the month and start day for you, free of charge!
This one’s evolved quite a bit, since I’m now also selling stickers, prints, and more! I do want to work on coming up with more printables – so far, I have a reading tracker, a personal growth monthly challenge tracker, a year-long mood tracker, and two printable calendars – I just have to exercise my creativity muscles to come up with some more. My bullet journal has gotten pretty pared down to really simple spreads, which I think makes coming up with printables a little bit harder.
Do a technology detox once a month.
A quick page of art journaling from my trip to the Poconos with my partner and his family, which included involuntary technology detoxing.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably know I’ve done atrociously at this – as in, I’ve barely done any technology detoxes at all! The one day we were in the Poconos without Wi-Fi and poor service might actually be the only day I was off the internet – and not voluntarily, either.
I don’t really have any justification for my inability to complete this goal, but now that I’ve revisited this goal, I’ll have to start trying. Maybe I should schedule it in my calendar, so that I can remember. Do you have any tips?
Be more compassionate to yourself.
One of the ways I am compassionate with myself is creating a daily painting habit and indulging in some silly art ideas!
I’ve been working on this a lot, and I think I’ve been getting better! I’ve started working on some really healthy, productive habits, including daily art and creation and a new attempt at maybe exercising. I still have quite a lot of body image issues, but I’m hoping that putting my energy towards improving my mental and physical health will ultimately help with that.
So that’s my year so far! I think doing these kinds of check-ins are really important to staying on track with your goals and seeing where you need to improve; for example, I would have not remembered my technology detox goal at all if I hadn’t looked back at the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year!
I’ve also been developing some new goals – I’m throwing myself head-first into working on Cissy’s Art Café and creating a good personal brand. I have a bunch of projects in my head that I need to work on, such as a proper portfolio section to this website, and I’d love to start freelancing! I’m also slowly working on making a Youtube channel, which is extremely nerve-wracking. It’s unclear if I’ll get the courage to talk on camera or show my face, but we’ll see! If you have any tips on any of my goals, definitely let me know in the comments.