What I’m aiming for in 2014

After much reflection I have finally decided on a set of goals for 2014. Most of them aren’t ‘check box’ goals (either I achieve them or I don’t); rather, they’re more about making progress in a certain area, which makes sense, given that my growth in these areas won’t be restricted to just one calendar year. But I think highlighting a few things that I want to focus on will help me be more mindful of what I’m doing and will help push me out of my comfort zone (a little bit, at least).

The motto for the year is: Just ask. Admittedly, this will probably be the hardest part for me. All too often, I’m content to sit back and let the universe propel me forward, taking a kind of “if it happens, it happens” attitude. But really, at some point I have to start making things happen for myself. Hence the motto. If I’m successful in applying it, I expect I will hear “No” quite a lot, but hopefully “Yes” at least a few times.

Drastically easier than sticking to my motto will be my only tangible, measurable goal: Keep good records. I am committed to making 2014 the first year that I diligently track all the money coming in and going out, and set up a good inventory system for my finished pieces. Tracking my time… well, that might wait until 2015…

My artistic goals (or perhaps more accurately: the areas I want to work on) stem from a growing awareness of my emerging style. Looking back at the work I have produced over the past 8 months or so, I’m starting to see some patterns or characteristics emerging. I find that I am developing a style that is quite calm and gentle, as well as being simple and stripped down. This doesn’t really surprise me, because it’s quite in line with my personality. I have also noticed that I have a bit of a ‘middling’ tendency – I tend to work within a narrow range of size and colour (if my mosaics were a statistical distribution, they’d be seriously clumped around the mean). Again, this reflects my personality and my tendency to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ at all costs. Finally, I know that I tend to privilege ‘line’ above all else. I like building lines and pathways, and that is reflected in the work I do.

collage of recent mosaics

What I’ve done since the Touchstone workshop. When you look at them all together, it’s easier to see commonalities and an emerging style.

So given my emergent style, I would like to work on finding ways to augment or complement my strengths / preferences. I don’t want to change them – they are, after all, the core of my artistic voice and what make me unique. But I think I can work on enhancing them and drawing them out so that they are more effective. This could include (but is not limited to) working on varying the size and spacing of the tesserae I use, or playing more with colour, negative space, texture, or reflectivity.

The last thing that I want to do this year is rekindle my appreciation for glass. I have fallen fast and hard out of love with glass – I’m all about the rocks these days (as you might have noticed). While I don’t have any aspirations of becoming a glass aficionado or anything of the like, I would like to be able to at least enjoy using glass when it makes sense to do so.

And that’s it! These are the goals that I hope will push me just a bit farther down my artistic path this year and I’m excited about this continuing journey.

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6 Responses to What I’m aiming for in 2014

  1. Aparna February 6, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    You’re my hero! I wish you the best in managing to stick to your resolutions!

    • jmsperling February 6, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

      Well, I don’t know about ‘hero’ but thanks! I managed to accomplish the majority of the ones I set out for myself last year, so here’s hoping that this year I can be just as diligent!

  2. Julia Herbst February 8, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    go go go! keep on making. I think they are calling to be Bigger…your work just doesn’t want to stay on a smallish substrate… such amazing work since May. cant wait to see more. Mine is still unfinished but I wouldn’t mind chopping some rock.

    • jmsperling February 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

      Thanks Julia! I’ve got a hankering to go bigger, but man, my work table is so small! I’m starting a new series soon (about climate change! so excited!) and the first piece is going to be the biggest I’ve done yet (although not huge by any stretch of the imagination).

  3. Glenda February 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Hi Julie. Looking forward to see what you create this year!

    • jmsperling February 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Thanks Glenda! I’m excited to see where this year takes me :-)

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