Saturday, December 28, 2013

Word and Bird

While I haven't been doing the KIOS Blog-a-thon (because of my general slackitude), I have been following along, seeing what the prompts are and what everybody's writing about.  Today's prompt was one that caught my eye, because it's something I've had on my mind for the past month or so: word of the year.

In the past, I've kind of balked at the idea of 'word of the year', because it's really a goal.  And I don't like goals...they seem so restricting and boring and other negative effort-requiring.  Ugh.  Effort.  Blah.

But for some reason, maybe because of the entire week off of work I've been enjoying...maybe because of my growing as a person...whatever reason...I've got the feeling I need to make a goal.  I like to think I'll try anything... Once.

And so, I've picked a word of the year for 2014:


Yep, that's it.  It's even in one of my art journals now, so it's pretty well concreted:

I'm really happy with the lettering and the inner coloring on this...I gotta fix the outside part...I just don't like it how it is.  It needs...more...I don't know...but it needs more something...

So anyways, condition:

  1. 1.
    the state of something, esp. with regard to its appearance, quality, or working order.
    "the wiring is in good condition"
  2. 2.
    the circumstances affecting the way in which people live or work, esp. with regard to their safety or well-being.
    "harsh working and living conditions"
    synonyms:circumstances, surroundingsenvironmentsituationsetupsetting,habitat More
  1. 1.
    have a significant influence on or determine (the manner or outcome of something).
    "national choices are conditioned by the international political economy"
  2. 2.
    bring (something) into the desired state for use.
    "a product for conditioning leather"

 That's kind of a funny word for someone who was just complaining about all things restricting/boring/requiring effort, right?  I know!  Crazy.  But it's one I really want to go stuck on my brain like glitter...stuck like glitter to anything that comes into contact with glitter...  

I like condition as my 2014 word because it has so many meanings jammed into just a few letters...and they can pretty much all be applied to what I hope 2014 will be like.  

As in:

 My current condition is not bad right now.  I've made a lot of  progress on a personal level.  Big changes have been happening in me.  And that's great, totally awesome, self-back pat worthy...BUT I've still got some things I need to work on.  

So, like a Kung Fu master, I need to condition (or discipline...) myself to keep making positive changes in order to become the best Sweets I can.  

I also want to condition (like shampoo and condition) myself so I become a little softer.  Relearn what it's like to be innocent and good-hearted and to let things go.  I used to be so good at that, and I don't know what changed exactly, but in the spirit of 'fake it til you make it', I'm going to be good at it again.  

So...yay for CONDITION!

I am always trying to progress in my art stuff in general, but for 2014 I have some specific art goals...and I'm going to condition myself into succeeding at them.  

One of my goals is to get better at lettering.  I'm sure I've mentioned wanting to practice lettering before, but I'm really serious this time.  NO LAUGHING!  (...cause we're being serious...)  I've always struggled with my penmanship (yes, mom, I admit it...I should have practiced when I was a were right...*eye roll*...hehehe), and it drives me crazy when I make a good page and go to letter it and have instant sad face because I know my handwriting skills are close to nonexistent.  I know there are ways around that, like stamping letters or cutting them from magazines and books or using alphabet stickers...there are actually a lot of cool and fun options for lettering...BUT, I really want to be able to be proud of my own personal lettering skills.  I'm not looking to be the next Joanne Sharpe or anything, but I do want to much!  I am thinking of having a devoted lettering journal...and of practicing A LOT on lined paper as well.  The key to getting better at anything is just practice...and practice...and practice.  (Nod to my sister, Marian, for her mantra.)  

The other art goal for 2014 is to get better at realistic drawing.  I go through waves where I want real and then I want cutsie and then I want something else...but I think getting better at drawing more realistically will help me get better at drawing in general.  I think 2014 will be the Year of the Illustrated Journal.  I am thinking my illustrated journal will be pen and ink mainly...maybe throw in some watercolor washes...but the point will be in the drawing itself, so we'll see how it goes...  (full disclosure: it's basically a fact that there will be watercolor washes happening...).  And it will be real life drawing, no cartoonish silliness in this much as I can achieve that...  

I think the difference between illustrated journals and art journals (for me anyway) isthat art journals are more color, texture, collage, mixed media...and more MORE (if that makes sense at all.).  Illustrated journals are about drawing ('s in the name!).  I think some people use illustrated journal and art journal interchangeably...and they are probably right...but in my brain, that's the difference. 

And look, I even made a page in one of my current journals to illustrate Illustrated Journaling (Illustrate...just wanted to see if I could say it one more time.  Ha!):

Bird ornament - Illustrated Journal style!  Look at that white space...glorious.  I love layers of color and texture just as much as the next art junkie, but there's something to be said for big swatches of white space too...

Here is the bird in real life...sorry for the awkward picture, it was hard to get him to sit still...he's very round and was rolling all over the place.

So, to sum up 2014 goals: Condition.  Lettering.  Illustrated Journal.  

What about you?  Do you have any ambitions for the new year?  Or are you like my usual self: go with the flow and what happens happens?


  1. I need to purge my arts and craps...... Supplies!

    1. That's a good goal for sure! I'm trying to use up some of what I have too...before I buy anything new (aside from the 'essentials' like gesso/matte medium/etc.). I am really guilty of buying stuff and waiting til the perfect time to use it...and we all know the 'perfect' time doesn't really exist (at least not for me) it ends up sitting on my shelf. That's crazy! Scrapbook paper is what I'm the worst about...I always end up with cute paper pads and never use them! The paper itself is pretty, I don't want to ruin it! :) Again, I'm crazy... Good luck with your purging!

  2. Oh was a glorious word to guide and inspire you through the year! And what wonderful goals. I'm so with you on wanting to improve my lettering skills, but I hadn't thought about a dedicated journal. But now that you mentioned it I can see there will be no escaping the brilliance of the idea - I'm off this very minute to hunt down a journal and begin.

    1. Thanks Deborah! Fingers crossed for sticking to our goals! I'm glad you like the dedicated lettering journal idea! I think it's a good idea because you can see how you progress and get better over time...that's one of the really good things about art journaling...all your pretties are right there for you to peek at when you need to remind yourself that you're moving forward!

  3. OMG I loooooooove your bird ornament illustration!!!! That's so beautiful! I could see that easily on the front of a postcard or greeting card for the holidays. I love it, Sweets!!

    1. Thanks Kara! The little bird makes me happy too. :) He would be a fun card...I will have to get on the ball! Thanks for the compliment! <3


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