Past Year, Next Year, Reflect, Envision, Work, Grow, Repeat

Andrew Conti Artist Path Forward

Remembering is essential. I try to focus on this fact  once in a while. It’s very easy for me to get lost in all the things I want to do and accomplish–zeroing in and imagining potential projects and tomorrows. On the one hand, I see this as a net positive. It’s forward looking, idea filled, and generally hopeful. But when my energy runs low, and my hopefulness isn’t so, I tend to overlook all the things that I have in fact accomplished.

So I give myself a seasonal reminder. Each Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter, I set aside some time to really reflect on what I have accomplished, built, or progressed. And of course, the end of the year is the perfect time to do this.

2014 has in fact been a pretty successful year for me. I finished 23 paintings including my 14-part Viriditas series as well as I finished a bunch of drawings. I also maintained this blog and completed 62 posts throughout the year. I participated in a show for the 1st time in a few years. Completed a small online storefront to sell some prints, and  a myriad of other projects as well. Some completed fully, some abandoned with clarity (a good thing really!), and others advanced enough to be in a considerably different space then they where even a few months ago.

This blog of course remains a work in progress. I was pleasantly surprised with the traffic I was able to generate this year, and I hope to keep building on it in the new year. Aside from showing my paintings, I am still not sure I have entirely found my ‘voice’ here, and I’m still honing in on more clarity.

My top 5 posts of the past year included:

1.    Art Inspiration – The Zentraedi Fleet
2.    Inspiration – Tezuka Osamu Backgrounds
3.    Bluescape and explorations
4.    Viriditas 07.14
5.    The Pursuit of Great Tools

It is simply, just a start.

Of course, my mind does flow to this coming year quite easily, and already I have a ton of plans lined up and ready to go. Last year, I visualized a lot of my projects just sprouting from the seed, and now this year, I will be focusing on helping them grow. I laid out a kind of foundation for things, and now I want to secure that foundation and start building upon it.

There are new paintings to come soon, new series, stand alone pieces, and just a ton of work that I will be getting out. Part of that will be pushing them out into the world as well. Finding places to show them, and have them seen by folks is a major priority for 2015.

I have a new series of blue-orange paintings that I am knee-deep in.  You can see some images of them in progress over on my Instagram feed as well. And I will hopefully be showing them, as well as my Viriditas series, later this year.

Stay tuned for that.

A new online project starts in the new year as well. This is Tankempitsu, my new daily drawing blog on Tumblr. In a way this is as much about reflection for me, as it is about looking forward. I will be using Tankempitsu as a daily repository for thoughts in drawing. I will be pulling from my daily sketches, and other places to present a kind of ongoing journal of ideas. I have been watching a lot of Tumblr blogs for a while as well, so it seems far past time to just jump in.

On a personal level, 2014 was a pretty good year. I think the past year can truly be pointed to as the year my wife and I truly arrived in the US. Of course we have now been here just shy of 6 years, but I don’t think we ever felt like we were truly living here. There was the first stage of transition. Then simply finding a way to survive, then new baby, followed by new house. So, I think this is the 1st year where we have looked around and realized we are simply living here now. We are past simply surviving, and all our projects are getting moved to the front burners of our days. We are settled, I suppose.

I made new friends, strengthened ties with old friends. Saw my family a lot, and even just got a way from things with no agenda or plan for what seemed like the first time in a long time.

And of course, I found the time to get back into a regular schedule of art-making, and then kept my head down and kept working. With that, advancement was made and that is why I’m here writing. Pushing things forward.

Much more could be said indeed. But sayings mean little compared to doings. And I have a lot of those to get to. So that is precisely what I am going to do.

So, now I will take some time to remember and forget 2014, and get on to toasting a Happy New Year.

And then I will be ready to get up early and get back to painting!

That’s my year. If you’ve stopped by to read this, I would love to hear about yours. Let me know below.