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It’s that time of year again.  A number of my fellow artist bloggers, such as Lori Landis & Wendy Edsall-Kerwin,  are reviewing what was accomplished in 2011 and what they plan to do in 2012.  I find myself in the same place; reflecting on 2011, thinking about 2012.  This has been a difficult post for me to write.  In part, I think, because it requires self-evaluation.

At the end of 2010, I wrote a post about my thoughts and feelings as 2011 drew near.  What is it about a new year?  The anticipation of what lies ahead?  A clean slate?  A chance to improve?  I think there are many answers.

Now 2011 draws to a close and I find myself reflecting on the events that took place this year.  In 2011, my plan was to be fully engaged in all aspects of my life.  That was my personal mantra whenever I needed that extra push.  This concept of a personal word or phrase is something Christine Kane introduced in her blog, which I started following several years ago.

For 2012, I have chosen adaptability as my personal word.  I selected the word, adaptability, because this year taught me that being fully engaged may not be the best course…at least not for me.  I found I took on too many things and as a result, some of the joy I find in what I do got lost.  At times, I started to feel a bit robotic; I was just going through the motions.  Time blurred.  Summer was gone and I don’t remember enjoying it.  Connections felt lost or distant.  Life was passing by and I was missing out on too many things.  Going forward, I knew things had to change.

This year taught me many valuable lessons.  In that learning process, I found I needed to change how I was juggling all my tasks.  I think it is important to adapt and make changes to pursue what works.  Recognize what doesn’t work and let go of it.  The ability to respond effectively to the inevitability of change is both desirable and necessary.  Adaptability helps to ensure our happiness and well-being.

When I think about evolution, the importance of being adaptable to ones surroundings is paramount.  The alternative can be extinction.  I see adaptation as one way to avoid being stagnant.

I am thankful for all the learning experiences I had this year.  I gained so much from them.  From the shows, I found a new gallery and several holiday markets.  I gained insight and understanding about where I want to take my business in the coming year.

So how does this apply to my work?  That’s easy!

  • I’ve begun a new series that I call Treescapes.  I feel I’ve just touched the tip of the iceburg with this one.
  • I have more ideas for the evolution of my Arts & Crafts Impression series.
  • I’ve already started to adapt and modify my business plan for 2012.  A few more galleries, a few less shows.

You see, the ability to adapt leads to necessary changes and growth for me.

As part of that new mantra, I’ve just redesigned my website.  A new look, for a new year and a new vision.

What word or phrase do you feel will help you in 2012?  I hope you will share your thoughts.

May 2012 bring adaptability, light and love to all of us.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

2010 was a very good year.  I grew as an artist & a person.  I discovered things about myself, my work, my life.  So many blessings, so many wonderful friends, so much to be grateful for.

As 2011 approaches, I know that I am being challenged.  That’s a great thing.  Lexi & I share a Quest; it’s a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.  Together we are exploring Finding Water by Julia Cameron.  Lexi has taught The Artist’s Way Course and she will be my guide in the process of Finding Water.  We started this week and will continue through the chapters each week or so.  This will be a great way to explore and find new pathways.

Another book that will be part of my artistic journey is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Lexi recommended this one and has told me it will be a great companion to the reading and morning pages I do in conjunction with Finding Water. This is very exciting for me.

I haven’t started to read Simple Abundance yet, that will begin tomorrow, January 1, 2011.  However, I think it will help me in the pursuit of my goals to create new work that causes me to stretch and grow as an artist, along with my own personal growth.

In conjunction with these two books, I’ve started to read another one that was a Christmas gift.  This is The Making of Avatar, which describes James Cameron’s artistic journey while waiting for the technology that would allow him to create the movie Avatar.

For those of you who don’t know, James Cameron and Julia Cameron are brother and sister.  Reading these books, Finding Water and The Making of Avatar, made me realize that the works of these two Camerons, Julia and James, speak to me in different ways.  The book I got for Christmas about the Making of Avatar, goes into his initial concept and how long he had to wait for the technology to make that movie.  It discusses his artistic journey; James Cameron had so many ideas and was always being creative, whether it was in the days before making movies when he was an artist and then the subsequent creative paths he took with movies, from Alien to Titanic to documentaries to Avatar.  Julia has her journey as a writer.  Reading these two very different books has shown me that people who are creative, constantly strive to find ways to achieve their creative goals.  You just keep working and producing work that gets you to that next step.  I find a connection or maybe its an admiration for their determination to pursue their artistic goals.

That leads me to my next point in this post, which is a concept I used last year thanks to Christine Kane who writes another blog I follow.  Her recommendation is that we have our personal word of the year which inspires us in our endeavors.  Last year, my word was Aspire.  This year I had to use two words that help me connect….and those are Fully Engaged.

In my heart, I know I must be Fully Engaged in everything I do. Yes, that may be exhausting and I may need to pull back a bit. However, the point of being Fully Engaged in anything I do is that will help me to be focused in the moment. Too many times I find myself working on something and thinking about something else. Loss of focus. Not being Fully Engaged. In order to channel creativity effectively, I need to be Fully Engaged. In the zone. Living in the present moment. Put all other thoughts and distractions aside, and just become immersed in what I am doing. This is why those two words resonate with me.

So as 2011 approaches, my wish for all of you is that you are able to achieve your dreams and goals.  May this coming year by joyous and prosperous for each of you.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.  Know that in 2011, I will be Fully Engaged in all of my pursuits.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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