2019 was a mixed year for me. Fantastic ups, and melancholic lows; it really was the year of ups and downs, dips and peaks.
My 2019 started with an epic high! I graduated from the Birmingham School of Jewellery with my Masters degree with Distinction in Jewellery & Related Products.
In January, sadness hit the Henderson household when the best dog in the world voyaged over the rainbow bridge. Bailey you were the goodest boy and we miss you so much.
In March, we had a German adventure, and I achieved my first ever international exhibition! The Masters class of 2019 from the Birmingham School of Jewellery showed Oscillations Exhibition as part of Munich Jewellery Week 2019 and I was lucky enough to be able to screen my film The Chimera Artist to an international audience. I am so proud of this achievement, and while I have not pursued my Chimera work as much as I wanted this year, I am feeling re-invigorated by the new decade, and I am excited to put all the exciting plans that I have had stewing away in my mind for the past year into action… stay tuned…
The Chimera Artist also made an outing to the Out of the Blue Makers Marque later on in the year. It was here that more of the story was established, and The Filmmaker started to get active in his search for The Artist again… I think 2020 will see a lot more goopy blue infections…
I tabled at my first ever zine fair this year! and then did it again a month later! I am getting more and more into zine culture, and the DIY art of making and documenting ideas, so it was really nice to take my little zines out into the world and meet like-minded folks at the Solid Gone Zine Fair and the Duplicate Publishing Fair. I hope to immerse myself more into the little world of the zine-makers in 2020, and will hopefully make a bunch of new zines too!!
Poor mental health got in my way a lot this year, and it has only been towards the latter months of 2019 that I have started to actually try and deal with my own head instead of just ignoring things and muddling through life. I am plagued by both depression and anxiety, and when I look around at the state of our poor little planet, I feel it is only going to get worse… so, of course, I need to address my issues.
I think my biggest issue is the thing I have titled The Overwhelm. I am easily overwhelmed, and knowing that fact really irritates me. I don’t want to be one of those people that is scared of everything, and never does anything because they just can’t even. I let things get on top of me so much that I can’t move, and I get nothing done… and I hate it. Giving my issue a name, and recognising what it is is the first step in trying to battle The Overwhelm. I know it will never really go away, but I just need to figure out my best fighting moves to achieve enough maximum damage points to make it bugger off for long enough for me to actually make art!!
Saying all that, the art I did make this year, I am super proud of! I even managed to land a super fancy corporate commission for Leith Theatre, which was really great to work on. It’s hard to make it out there in the world as an artist, so little steps like this really are glorious achievements, and I need to make sure I don’t let the anxiety tell me otherwise. Here are some of my favourite illustrations from this year…
A new year. A new decade. What will 2020 bring?
The first move in my battle against The Overwhelm was to write out a list of Goals to achieve in my 2020…
Keep on top of my mental health enough to achieve my goals and make more art!
Seems simple enough when you add it to a list! but I think this will be the most tricky goal to achieve on my list. I am starting off my January with a positive mental attitude, and it is helping me to be productive… I can only hope that will continue throughout the year, and I can figure out strategies to conquer the dark spaces in my mind. Good vibes are appreciated!!!
Learn to Drive
You know that anxiety thing I mentioned earlier?! Umm… yeah… well driving gives me LOADS OF ANXIETY. I actually hate it so much. However, I realise the importance of it to achieving some of my other goals, and it is therefore high up on my list. I am learning to drive in an automatic vehicle, because I never want to own a car that is not electric.
Move into our own Home
In 2019, I moved back from Birmingham into my parent’s house with Stuart. We are attempting to establish ourselves with jobs in Edinburgh, and save up our wages, with the hopes to move into our own place in the not too distant future. I love my parents, and I am so grateful that they are letting us live here… but the two of us being couped up in my bedroom with all of our stuff is not overly conducive to art!
Achieve my first goal on Patreon
I am $83 (£63.39) away from hitting my first goal on Patreon, but more importantly than the money, I want to get my Patreon community move involved in my process and I want to try and achieve a greater sense of engagement with my audience. If you like this blog, and can spare a few pennies, become my Patron for even more art love from me, including behind the scenes, sneak peeks, early access, gifts, and more!
Participate in 3 Markets/Fairs/Cons/etc.
Pesky social anxiety stops me from getting out into the real world as often as I want to, but I really love attending events with my work. If you know of any cool art events coming up in the Edinburgh area (or I will happily travel a little further afield), please get in touch!
Get my work into an Exhibition
The struggle is real. It is hard to get lucky breaks in the art world if you are an unknown artist… but all I can do is keep applying! Every month in my Patreon updates I talk about what opportunities I have a applied to, as well as my progress with them, with you can check out for less than the price of a cuppa brew each month when you become a Patron!
Create 25 finished Illustrations
Ideally, I would like to create a lot more than that! but I have gone for a goal of two finished illustrations every month to give myself a fighting chance against The Overwhelm, but hopefully you will see a lot more doodling from me this year!
Make art everyday #ArtADay
I am starting 2020 by setting myself this creative challenge of making art everyday. From full-scale illustrations, to a sketchbook doodle, or a cut and paste collage, to a little poem, or an abstract painting, to a ring made from glitter… and everything in between!! I want to get into the good habit of daily art practice, even if it is just a tiny sketch. I often fall prey to the big bad feeling of The Overwhelm, and it stops me from making art completely… so, I hope this challenge will help me to beat The Overwhelm, and get back to my most creative self! It’s 2020!! I need to starting living my best art life!!! Instagram Stories are an ideal place for me to document this, so do pop over to Instagram and hit the follow button to keep up with my progress on this challenge!
Make 3 Zines
As I mentioned above, I am super excited by the zine world! and I want immerse myself more into zine culture… and the best way to do this is to make more zines!
Make Chimera film No.002
The Chimera Artist is coming. That is all. Stay tuned…
Create 25 new Jewellery Pieces
They may be Chimera pieces, they may be little pieces that I have had in my head for a while, they may be a collection, the may be one-offs… but I have not made nearly enough jewellery this past decade, and I am going to rectify that starting this year!! A year of making is very much on the agenda!!!
Achieve 5,000 Blog Views + 1,000 total followers on Instagram and Twitter + 50 total YouTube Subscribers
I try not to get too bothered my the social media numbers, but there are a few milestones I have really wanted to hit for a while, so I am going to make the push to get my numbers up this year! Help me out by following me on Instagram and Twitter and subscribing to my videos on YouTube, and if you haven’t already, please hit the follow button on the side of this blog to up my viewership here! All my love to you for this!!!
Make 25 YouTube Videos
If I manage to achieve my goal of 25 finished illustrations, then this goal should be easy! as all I have to do is film, edit, and post my doodles in timelapse form!!
Phew!!! That was a lot of reflecting, and a lot of looking into the future! Thank you if you read all of that, and got here! I reckon you deserve a cuppa… go and pop the kettle on! I have a lot to look forward to this coming year, and I am really excited to take this positive energy forward and getting making art! I hope you enjoying journeying on this art adventure with me, and I will leave you with a few of my festive photos from this Hollyday season as my final little reflection…
Much arty love, and a Happy New Year to you and yours 💙💙💙