01 January 2009

new year, new goals.

How did I spend my New Years?

Cuddling with the boyfriend in downtown Huntington Beach!
We sat on the steps that looked out into the ocean, but it was
strangely foggy that night so we couldn't really see anything LOL.
But I lover him -- Awesome way to start off the new year. (:

Looking back on this past year, 2008 has definitely been an important year for me. Not only did I graduate from college and struggle with the adjustment of post-college-life, but I also rekindled a few passions, grabbed at its opportunities, and hoped for it to be more than just a hobby and "things I did for fun."

It's funny that I feel like I've grown up just a wee bit, but I find myself turning back to the things and projects that made me happy when I was a child. Time seems to never stop, but some things just never change.

While it's nice to look back on 2008, it's even more exciting for me to look forward into 2009. I've never really been into new year resolutions, but it's a completely personal thing... considering how often I fail at them. I used to blame them on the goals themselves, thinking I set them too high, but I am starting to realize I really had to blame my confidence (or lack thereof). Oh, zee confidence... but I find it improving a bit with each new challenge I take on. And speaking of challenges, I'm hoping to break my streak of failed new year's resolutions, and take up a few of them for this upcoming year...

  • Find the next direction for Designs by Steppie. What it is, I'm not too sure at this point. But I think it's best for me to keep my options open right now. There are definitely directions I'm looking into and hoping to research more, but I think I really need to sit down and spend a little time with my thoughts to look at the bigger picture. What's the next direction for my business? Getting into boutiques? Going wholesale? Continuing with craft shows and flea markets? Maybe trying new venues? I feel like the possibilities are out there, I just need to find them. And find a way to get there.
  • Find the new challenge for Designs by Steppie. While people that know me and my work primarily see me as an acrylic painter, I don't want to fall into a niche just yet. Or, I really just want to explore new mediums. Sewing is a big one on my list... but who knows where else that might take me? I also have a fascination with furniture and the art of upcycling everyday objects and turning them into something fresh, functional, and, well, awesome. Maybe I'll keep exploring with the possibilities of wood (since I love the material so much), and find new ways to turn it into art. I also want to challenge myself by working with other artists. I've done a little of this in this past year with collaborations in creating plushies, necklace pendants, and even wedding invitation/poster designs... but I want to do more.
  • Create a healthy work-station. This is important one for me, but simply because it impacts the way I feel and how I work. I become very bipolar when it comes to staying organized. Sometimes I freak people out with how OCD I am, sometimes I get lazy and it's all a mess... and when my work-station is a mess, I feel like a mess. It's my goal to work with what I have at the moment--a bedroom in the parents' household (hopefully this doesn't last for too long lol)--and create an environment that is functional, but most importantly, inspiring. Two things are already preparing me to keep up with this goal for 2009:

First, a thoughtful gift from one of my closest friends, Jungle!

She recently made a trip to NY before the holidays and
was nice enough to think of me while she was there. Along with the
awesome art book Jungle had brought back for me, she also bought this
adorable and extremely inspiring framed art print by Erik Bergstrom,
an independent artist she met randomly in Union Square.

A closer look at the art piece:

The art piece is titled "Penelope and her Lucky Eyeball Balloon."
As described by Erik, "it has eyes for scoping out adventure
and noses for sniffing out trouble!" Jungle thought it was perfect for me,
with everything I have and will be experiencing with my art and business...
she couldn't be more right.

Secondly, something I should've done a long time ago...

Mixing business with pleasure.

I finally cleaned out my closet (it's embarrasing even
thinking about how messy and unorganized it was before this).
But not only did I organize my clothes into compartments:
dressy tops from the everyday tops (color-coded for kicks),
heavy jackets from everyday outerwear, to dresses, pantelones,
and accessories! Oh yes, it was worth a couple hours of work...

But I also created some room in the back of my closet
to create some functionality in my workspace. It's amazing to finally
see my canvases and other materials all organized and easy to
see and access!

Art canvases all stocked and ready for the new year.

Wood pieces (with one in progress!), and cards ready to be Steppified.

And, of course, the oh-so important shelf full of packaging supplies!Now I need to maintain this in the rest of my room...
  • Explore. I've had recent conversations with a few of my closest friends, and something I really want to do this next year is explore. I've been itching to make a trip to New York for a while now, and as mentioned, with Jungle recently spending some time there... that itch is getting a bit harder to ignore. But in the meantime, I really want to find more whole-in-the-wall places and neighborhoods in the OC/LA area. I've lived here all my life, but something about living somewhere and thinking you've seen everything already... well, I'm definitely wrong there. Exploring Silverlake has opened a lot of doors for me, and I'll be visiting a new town in a couple days that will hopefully inspire me as well. It's a surprise date for my boyfriend, so I don't want to spoil any details... but I am beyond excited! I also want to re-visit San Francisco and experience everything there I haven't had the chance to yet... I just want to open my mind to where I think this can take me, and the only way to do that is to look around and find them.
  • Pamper myself. This is one of my last goal for 2009 (who knew I had so many?!), but one very important to me. This involves taking care of my body and my health (always a challenge), but moreso also involves spoiling myself externally a bit. All us independent artists and crafters trying to build our own businesses? Sometimes we work too hard, but forget to reap in the rewards and accomplishments. I want to take myself on shopping sprees, experiment with fashion, and all that fun stuff that really acts like therapy for me at times. I'm not a college kid anymore, and bummin' in my sweats and CADC t-shirt might not cut it like it used to (but it'll def be a fun guilty pleasure to retreat back to from time to time). I want to find a balance between being the dressy, sophisticated business woman and the funky, carefree artist/designer. I honestly believe that the way you dress can really impact the way you feel and the way you act. And if I'm inspired with what I'm wearing, perhaps that can translate into my work.
  • Lastly, I want to make it a goal for 2009 to constantly remind myself that no matter what I'm doing to make sure it's something that I enjoy. And if an opportunity arises where I get the luxury to mix business with pleasure? Grab at it. And if the opportunity isn't there? Then create my own opportunity and find ways to make it happen.

...And here's to 2009!

What are your goals/resolutions for the new year?
Any tips to help me reach mine?

10 xoxo's:

The Empty Envelope said...

Wonderful post!! I'm finding I have a lot of the same challenges as you with my shop and keeping up with things. And...where the heck do I go from here? LOL.

Happy New Year!

oh, hello friend. said...

love the work space!! lots of great goals for 09! have a lovely year friend! can't wait to meet you one of these days! ;)

Stacey said...

Just a blanket "here here!" for every bullet point. Especially the pampering yourself one. So many people forget that one. It's a necessity sometimes.

Oh, and the artwork I bought from you at GhettoGloss is still awaiting a frame, but I love looking at it propped up against the wall until then :)

Ann said...

Well, I'm always a big supporter of going somewhere new and experiencing an old place from a fresh perspective. As for resolutions I am going to dress better. I've been really slacking for the past 6 months or so and it's embarrassing. I'm going to take better care of my eyebrows and learn to shape them myself instead of going to a professional. I will get my haircut more regularly and wear it down more often. I am going to cook at home a LOT more than I used to. I am signing up for a writing course for fun. After college I took various courses for fun (Chinese and Photography) and now it's time for writing. I am going to continue on my never ending struggle with decluttering. I'm going to the gym 4x a week. I joined a book club. I'm going to take time for friends at least once a week. I'm not going to watch so much tv... which is easy since I don't have cable. I created a new website which I'm really exited about which is just a place for me to concentrate on various parts of the world, two weeks at a time. I am really excited about it. I'm learning so much already. I love it. And I'm going to drink more water.

Happy New Year, Steppie!!! I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2009.

Jacqueline said...

I hope 09 brings all of us lots of fun times, creative satisfaction and peace! n_n Happy 2009!

christina said...

:) i love you steppie! i'm excited for you!!! <3 i better see you sooooooon! :) tell me when your next show is and i'll try to make it out! :D love ya!

Melissa said...

just thought i'd let ya know your penguin cards are on the front page of etsy RIGHT NOW!!!

Christank said...

my dear steppie, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T YOU BEEN BLOGGING? but yes, dc... <3

Christank said...

my dear steppie, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T YOU BEEN BLOGGING? but yes, dc... <3

Christank said...

my dear steppie, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T YOU BEEN BLOGGING? but yes, dc... <3