2013 was actually a fairly quiet year for me, in terms of my practice. It was a year of taking a step back, re-grouping, and learning. After my show at AGC was taken down, I was racking up the rejections (36+, until I stopped counting), and I was really busy with working a high-responsibility day job, and so I got really burnt out. So, I stopped counting rejections, quit my day job, and started working for a temp agency (which is not very stimulating, but it allows me to leave work at work, and focus on my real work- my practice). I miss that job a little, but it was the right decision. Soon after making the switch, I injured my foot- actually, my Achilles heel (there’s a reason the legend exists!) which laid me up and slowed me down for a while, forcing me to take some time out. I couldn’t walk or stand for any extended period of time, and then carried a cane for a while, so things such as going to openings and social events were near impossible. And the flood happened. (We were fine, but the poor city…. but I’ve never been prouder to be a Calgarian!) Oh, and I’m in the process of closing up the IMR, which means I need to figure out what comes next in terms of my artwork.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, I’m just pointing out that there were a lot of things going on this year, some of which directly affected my plans and my work. I was forced to slow down, re-couperate, and focus on what was important. I’ve focused on a few larger projects- preparing for my exhibition at Visual Arts Alberta, putting together my grad school applications, and I’ve been developing some new work (which I’m not quite ready to share). I’ve got a few things coming up, in particular two which will help develop my next body of work – the Puppet Intensive at the Banff Centre (leaving this week- eek!) and my second visit to the Gushul Studio Residency in the Crownest Pass. (Artists, I encourage you to apply for this- a self-directed residency in one of my favorite places in the world.) One more exhibition, at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, will likely be the end of the IMR, at least in that incarnation. (I do think I will possibly have a wind up event, such as an Adopt-A-Morphoid program, details in the works.) I think this project has been fun, but it’s run it’s course, and it’s time to move on. To what, I’m still figuring that out.
Anyway, let’s see how I did with my goals (directly from this post):
1. Get one more rejection letter in 2013, than I did in 2012. – Definitely achieved. I needed 22, I ended up with more than 36 when I stopped counting. I don’t think I will set this goal in this manner again, it was pretty tough watching the rejections pile up, especially with a concrete number.
2. Apply to grad school. Done! Applied to York, Guelph, Windsor, Waterloo, and Concordia, all for MFA programs. Now, I cross my fingers and wait.
3. Attend a minimum of 20 openings, not counting my own. Failed. Miserably. (See note about Achilles heel.) I made it to maybe 4 or 5, all year.
4. Send out 4 newsletters. Hmm…. well… I sent one. Fail.
5. Spend more time working on my arts practice than I spend at work. This was a possibility, and I was doing it for a while while I was working for ASA. I was able to determine my own schedule a lot of the time, and work from home, so there were a few months there where I did do it. After I started temping, though, I changed this for myself, to working on my practice at least a little, in some form, every day. For that, I would give myself a 85%, a passing grade, as there’s been times where it didn’t happen, but for the most part, I did pretty well. Temping, while it does take up a lot of my time, doesn’t take up as much of my energy, so it’s been a good fit.
6. Expose my work to more/different audiences. Umm… honestly, this one is a fail.
7. Quit working by 9:30PM every night. This one I adjusted again, with my new work schedule. I stopped working by 10 or 10:30 every night, so, Pass.
So, did I pass or fail? Does it matter? I did better than I would have done, had I not set any goals. Goals are just guidelines, to get (and keep) you moving in the right direction. And I’m going in the right direction.