2018 is officially here, which means another year of art and growth is in the books! I’m so grateful for each opportunity I had in 2017 to improve not only as an artist, but also as a business owner and overall human being. I’m looking forward to this year being just as amazing, productive and inspiring. I have SO MUCH planned for 2018 that I can’t wait to get started on and share with you!
Before that though, I thought it would be interesting (maybe a little horrifying) to see just how far my art has come since I first started this blog in 2015.
So often, once the “new year” hits we focus on how we can change. But as I’ve said before, I like to take a little time to appreciate what has already happened! This helps me focus on new goals for the next year and also serves as a reminder of what can happen when we put in the time and effort. My skills as an artist are the perfect example of what dedication can bring. Because let me tell you, when I started looking through old artwork, it felt like I was looking at a stranger’s work.
Who even drew that picture on the left? Well, me. And even though I cringe looking at it now I’m still very proud of the woman who made it. If “2015 Chelsea” hadn’t decided to sit down, learn and work through those long ass days, then “2017 Chelsea” wouldn’t have a growing art business. I’m only who I am now because of the work I’ve been willing to put in. And that is the message I want to carry with me throughout all of 2018. There are months and months of endless opportunity lying out before me. 365 new chances to make a difference and I plan on utilizing each damn day to the absolute fullest.
I owe that to 2015, 2016 and 2017 Chelsea.
This is the year I make big leaps. This is my year of kicking ass and taking names.
Last year, I grew as a person as much as my artistic skills did. I started on this path of living my truth and learning not to hang onto to what others said. This is my journey. I changed the way I blogged, I took countless watercolor classes and I started to embrace me. It was a long, hard, frustrating, exciting, difficult, exhilarating (you catch my drift) kind of year. My “roller-coaster” year as I’ve come to call it on this blog.
I’m sure 2018 will have it’s surprises, both good and bad, in store for me. But I’m ready for it now.
So what sort of leaps am I making this year? Well, as I started to discuss last month, I’m going to start showing you a lot more of “me”. What does that mean? It means sharing more of my face and being comfortable opening up. This blog really started to feel like something important to me once I peeled back the curtains and it was no longer “just art”. I was about showing you what this journey as an artist is like, for me. Expect to see more and more of those vulnerable posts. The ones where I tell you exactly what it is like and I share all the ugly and beautiful bits of myself.
Also, a possible podcast.
It feels crazy even thinking that, let alone typing it.
A close friend of mine and I, (along with her significant other) are currently planning out what will (hopefully) be a wonderful podcast. Currently it is in the very early stages. We’re thinking of topics and what direction this project should go in. Because there are a lot of podcasts out there if you hadn’t noticed. I do think we have something to offer though and after a few tests episodes I’ll be sure to fill everyone in on how it is coming along.
Now, let’s talk about a project that is fully in the works right now: Leap of Words! That is the name of the officially open Facebook group I’ve co-created. Amber, my co-creator, and I are so absolutely in love with this space already. It is a small group, but is filled with such a wide background of writers who are all eager to not only learn, but also support one another. In these last few weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch members in Leap of Words connect, share and start pursuing their writing goals.
If writing is your thing, you need to be there with us.
So follow this link and join us (please!): Leap of Words – Community of Writers
On January 15th we’ll start our first group challenge called The Daily Writing Challenge! We’ve created the challenge with two goals in mind: help get you writing every day and also to try new forms of writing. Most writers like to stick to one or two “types” of writing, but we feel it is worth exploring all types! The challenge will be six weeks long and will address personal essays, fiction and poetry with each getting two weeks. Within those two weeks, we’ll explore one than one style of writing within those forms.
I’m actually very impatient for the challenge to start because I already know our group members will be creating some spectacular pieces.
This project is very dear to me because if there is one thing I didn’t do enough of in 2017, it was creative writing. I know someone out there is like…but didn’t Chelsea get a Master’s degree in Creative Writing last year…well you are correct! As soon as they handed me that degree though I basically stopped writing. I let the art business and it’s stresses take over, which was a good/bad thing. I learned a lot about small business and grew, but I let this other crucial part of my creativity suffer because of it.
With the help of this group though I’m “leaping” (see what I did there?) into a new year, which will be full of writing!
Of course that doesn’t mean I’ll be losing any focus on my art and small business. I’ll just be getting better at time management and making sure all my creative needs are met. There is so much on my 2018 agenda that is exciting and fulfilling, and I can’t wait to grab onto these opportunities for growth. You’re going to see new products, which includes a wider variety of cards and some stationary as well! I’m also in the process of seeing what it would take to create a calendar (although you won’t see a calendar for sale until 2019).
As you’ve seen looking at the photos in this blog by now, growth is so possible when you put in the work. When you take the scary leaps. When you never ever say the words “I quit”. You can walk away. You can take a deep breath and let go, but you don’t walk away permanently from your dreams. But it also requires one of my other favorite topics: humble gratitude. That is when we recognize how others have brought goodness and light into our lives. It honors the people who’ve given us the opportunities for growth.
That is why I’m starting this year off making sure I thank those who set me up for a fantastic 2018!
Starting with my husband, Sam, who has given me every opportunity he could to help me grow. Without that support at home I wouldn’t have had the strength to do any of this. I also need to especially thank Amber, my creative partner, who allowed me to join her in creating Leap of Words and ignited my passion for writing again! Then there are my readers, my friends and family, who’ve been here with me on this blog all these years. You continue to inspire and motivate me. I love each of you!
Here are the last couple of growth photos which I hope will inspire you to follow your goals in 2018, whether they’re artistic or not, know you are capable of achieving them!