Reaching a new level

2019 is drawing to a close, and now it is probably a good time to take a look back to it and evaluate what kind of a year it actually was. Did I do what I planned and achieve what I wanted? Did I even know what I wanted to do or achieve?

In some ways 2019 has been an excellent year. It has most certainly been a year of continuous study and development. I did the Sketchbook Revival Challenge in spring, Ignite video challenge and Fine Art Summit now in November and I’m finishing the last weeks of the Small Works challenge as we speak. All these challenges taught me different things – both about artistic techniques and about myself. I understood that although I can do it, I do not enormously enjoy painting canvases. I discovered that I’m able to get over my self-consciousness and do video. And that I do like doing abstract warm-up exercises in my sketchbook, but even there i feel somewhat of a fake doing them. Abstract in my case seems to come from the surface and not from the depth.

I couldn’t speak about 2019 without mentioning that it was the year when I discovered Domestika. Domestika is an online education platform with courses by well-established creatives, and it’s in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, but I don’t even care. As long as they have the automated subtitles it works for me, and I daresay it’s the best art education I’ve ever had. Many of the ‘specialties’ that I’m interested in like watercolor and portraits are simply not available here in Athens on the level that I’m interested in. So, a big up for online education!

In other ways this year has been a bit strange, as for perhaps the last 6 months I’ve felt stuck. Stuck in a sense as if I was just about to finish a level in a video game and I had just stopped in front of the last puzzle and solving that puzzle would take me to the next level. And that puzzle turned out to be HARD. All the challenges and education this year was part of the process of solving this puzzle – how to continue? What kind of artist am I? What kind of work do I really want to do?

And last Saturday, the last day of November, I solved it. The synthesis came to a close, the process came to a completion and I solved the puzzle. I know now where I’m going and I’m looking forward to the new year and the new level.