Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 New Years Resolutions!

After my somewhat grumbly post about photo books, I thought I would take a few minutes and do my annual rundown of my New Year's resolutions. The reason I make these public is that it's a way to keep myself accountable and also maybe inspire a few people to take on a project they have been wanting to accomplish. Unlike most folks, I work to make my resolutions as concrete and accomplishable as possible - more like a 12 month to-do list than a flailing grab toward enlightenment.

1) Go to a coffee shop once a week. This isn't because I'm lacking caffeine at home, but rather because my art situation has been growing in complexity and increasingly I get ensnared by menial office tasks and distractions if I'm at my computer. Finding ways and places to unplug is a big goal for the new year.

2) Go to more art shows. I honestly find going out and meandering random galleries in LA a bit of chore. I usually don't find stuff I like very much... Parking is hard... The art world snobs annoy me... I could be in my studio working. etc, etc, etc. They are all just excuses.

3) Cook my own beans. Odd, I know, but I'm a pretty avid home cook and I'm sick of using inevitably bland canned beans in my otherwise resplendent recipes. Time to buckle down and make my own. It's cheaper anyway, and the only tricky part is planning to turn on the stove a few hours ahead.

4) Shoot more of my Ren Faire garbage can images. Damn. I guess I'm going to have to go wander around and drink beer and watch the madness of the Faire unfold in the warm summer sun of California. Clearly the hardest of my resolutions this year.

5) Learn Illustrator and In Design better. I'm using these tools more and more for various reasons and all that's keeping from being comfortable is buying a couple books and spending a few afternoons of shame of being bad at it.

6) Get my art mailing list going. As the social media world fragments & mutates, it seems as though the trusty e-mail list has become the best way to make sure the people most interested in my art get a chance to hear about what I'm doing.

7) Move some of my record budget toward photo books. I love buying records, partially because it's a way I connect with many of my friends. But unfortunately on an artist's budget you have to make choices, and while photo books aren't as much of a shared interest they are critical to my understanding and growth of my art.

8) Redo my art website. As many of my long-term projects come to completion the need for this is getting worse and worse. Especially if I start seriously self-publishing photo books, I'll need a much nicer hub for that.

9) Learn Japanese cooking. A long ways back I found a weird but useful method to expand my cooking repertoire: Get a really awesome cookbook and make a pact with yourself that each week you'll open the book to a random page and make whatever you flip to. Doesn't matter if it's desert, a whole roast fish, a stock or whatever - you do it. A great way to make yourself interact with the fullness of a cuisine and not just cherry pick the comfortable stuff.

10) Play through my backlog of video games. I'm not one of those hoarders that have hundreds of games in their pile of shame, but I've got a solid dozen games, some of them quite manageable (like Stanley Parable) that get pushed aside in my manic rush to complete my League Of Legends art project.

11) Hit my deadlines better for Video Game Tourism. Pretty self explanatory. I don't actually have deadlines, but I've been aiming for one a month. It hasn't exactly ended up working out that way.

12) Try to get other people's art on my walls. I'm sick of seeing my own work in my living room. Want to trade? Let's talk!

13) Make wine vinegar. I've been meaning to learn how to do this because most commercial wine vinegar sucks and is massively overpriced. Also, I've been meaning to make more of my gifts to friends and this is a perfect thing to give out.

14) Create at least one proper book maquette. A big task, but one that I need to do.

15) Publish at least one book on Blurb. Possibly could do this in preparation for the proper maquette. I have tons of medium-sized projects that would work perfectly in this form.

16) Print and send out a cool mailer to galleries that have liked my work in the past. Maybe something like a mini-magazine of new work?

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