make 2017 your most creative year ever
It’s time to set resolutions for 2017 – but what’s the best way to achieve your crafty goals for the year ahead?
Whether you want to learn a new craft, develop existing skills or start a making business this year, typing up a to-do list isn’t the only way to think about your goals. Creative people often need to find a slightly unusual method of goal-planning, one which makes you feel fired up and inspired.
For example, you might be like screen-printer Rosha Nutt ( www.rosha.co.uk) and tend to think of everything visually. Instead of writing lists, Rosha makes a picture wall as a visual reminder of what she needs to accomplish, or imagines herself on the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz. “I picture myself stuck in the forest, with a party at the castle in the distance. Back in the forest, I need to start by choosing a subject, making the illustration, buying the paper, booking the studio, printing, uploading online, getting the word out – brick by brick, I build the path to the castle.”
If you’re a visual person, scrapbooking, pin-boarding or journaling your crafting resolutions to give them colour and form will instantly bring them to life. Write and illustrate your dreams in colourful Sharpies, go wild with stickers and sticky notes, and cover boring storage folders and boxes in beautiful papers to make organising your goals a creative project in itself.
BREAKING IT DOWN
For illustrator Sophy Henn ( www.sophyhenn.com), “big projects can seem intimidating, but by breaking them down and committing each step to a timetable, it becomes doable.” A mini-goal could be entering a competition (which got Sophy her first children’s book deal; her latest book, Edie, is out next month) or even launching a new ‘collection’ of your work each season to motivate you. Another, more structured, approach is to try the hugely popular trend for bullet journaling ( www.bulletjournal.com) or the brand new Dream Plan Do creative journal from The Design Trust ( www. dream-plan-do.com), which prompts you to list and accomplish goals month by month.
Developing your work into a collection built around a common theme can also help cement your ideas. Sonia Bownes of London Craft Club ( www.london craftclub.co.uk) took this concept further, working her recent craft projects around a single colour. She picked burgundy as a focus for five craft goals (mohair knitting, ceramics, making a new bag, Christmas poinsettias and sewing), all featuring the shade.
SHARE YOUR GOALS
Lifestyle blogger Stephanie Congdon Barnes ( www.3191milesapart.com) suggests making your intentions and achievements public to keep you motivated: “I recommend finding a friend or group to whom you have to be accountable and with whom you can share the experience.”
Sonia agrees; she announced her burgundy craft list in her newsletter, and says the peer support of social crafting groups and workshops like hers encourage members to practise their skills. If you’re on Etsy, joining one of their local teams will give you an understanding network to share ups and downs with. Social media is another valuable source of support. Share your projects on Pinterest and Instagram, and maximise exposure by using hashtags #craftsposure, #handmadewithlove and #molliemakers.
Of course, many creatives find setting goals counter-productive. Weaver Maryanne Moodie ( www. maryannemoodie.com), who’s just had her first book, On the Loom, published, says: “I don’t set myself concrete goals in craft, business or life. I find that by being present, rather than focusing on the future, I’m able to notice when opportunities come up and do what feels right at that very moment.”
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you work formally towards achievements or not; the only aim is to keep creating. Quilter Liza Prior Lucy, co-author of Bold Blooms with Ka e Fassett, advises: “Set a goal to observe the world around you. We’ve made quilts based on stacks of used shipping containers, displays of eye shadows, stacks of towels and seed catalogues. Go to a museum and look at the art. Window-shop in a city. Walk through a sculpture garden. Open your collection of books and magazines and be inspired. Our goal is always the same. It is simply to make stu ! ”