year in review, grades
I offer here a self assessment of the last year.
straight up numbers: 330/365 = 90%
weakest month: October and July – October I couldn’t get a rhythm, and I wasn’t pushing the ideas hard enough. It wasn’t til I relaxed and let each one come that I calmed down, but the results still were not fabulous, with one or two exceptions. July I had two good ideas and then it was a looong time until the month ended. Two were beautiful, one heartfelt, the rest were filler. I expected to have more fun, and more ideas, for faces in September, but that felt like it dragged as well. I did well with the theme I finally settled on for August (sunflowers) but I could have chosen a better theme.
strongest months: November and December – I never expected to get so much out of chasing a color I wasn’t fond of, and I think the work in November is the strongest of the year. December has some strong stuff in it as well – I am doing well with abstracts, and with simple interpretations of real things. I had a lot of fun with the holes in June, but I don’t think the resulting work is strong, it mostly looks like I was having fun. Not there is anything wrong with that, sometimes. March was educational in part because I finally had to address myself to learning Photoshop and getting gmore from my camera. January was a fine start, but I definitely got better as the year wore on (which I was hoping for but didn’t really expect). April had a couple of inspired (if I do say so) money images, but overall was slow.
Overall: A- for fulfilling the letter of the law, a daily postcard. Selected postcards were completely awesome and deserve A+ for design and execution.
best part: having done it, I think. Going into my room on a daily basis and making something is very very good for me, mentally and creatively. I had more ideas than time, and I didn’t run out (which is reassuring, as those who make stuff up will tell you). I am going to do something every day again in 2008, but I think I need to make fewer, bigger things as well. Philip Pullman says that he doesn’t wait for his muse – he goes and sits down at his table and starts writing. Things show up. I certainly found that to be true. In fact, I had a harder time restarting the process after a vacation than I did maintaining momentum in the middle of the year.
Do it again? yup. Watch me go!
straight-up numbers: so far 10 of 12, = 83%, if I finish December it’ll be 91%
overall grade: solid B – some extra credit for trying to cram so much into such small spaces, still a solid B. Hand in the last month and we can revist your grade.
worst parts: I am certainly my own worst critic: let the images breathe! how about some colors beyond blue? I think I stressed too much over these because they were bigger (yikes!) and less frequent, and seemed to require more meaning. Once I stopped trying to make them quite so meaningful, I had more fun making them and I think the results were easier to “read”.
best parts: It is fun working at small sizes. After the postcards at 4×6”, a full page seemed enormous, but still extremely manageable to accomplish in a month. When I didn’t freak out.
other thoughts: I spent a year thinking hard about some part of my life on a monthly basis, and then making a quilt about it. I prefer the pages that are more opaque to the viewer, and have less me all over them. I think it might also be easier to look at pages that don’t need to be explained quite so thoroughly. While I will be making things monthly next year (SharonB’s Take it Further Challenge), I think I’d prefer not to focus so much on what is internal, but turn my gaze outward more to see what I can show others.
Do it again? eh – not the journaling so much, but the monthly object? definitely.
For today, New Years Day, I took the day off. The whole house slept late, we got more snow, the girls and I shovelled while Al snored, I walked around the block and we finished by going out for Chinese food. It is funny – I think we were all thinking Chinese New Year, even though it isn’t for another couple weeks. Just the conflation of our New Year and Chinese Food. It felt like good luck though. But then, dumplings always feel like good luck.
New Projects starting tomorrow.