Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Creative wish list for 2014

This is the last in my recent series of three very reflective, contemplative and slightly self-indulgent blog posts all about things that have been pinging round in the old grey meter of late. I've tried to put down in words some of my internal dialect, in the hope that others may relate and identify with the some of the things that I've been thinking....

You can read the other two blog posts here and here

OR to summarise, busy year, lots of things happening, work very busy, personal life very busy, not enough hours in the day, several selling events, weekends away from home, a looming exhibition and Christmas..... Mini-meltdown, considering giving up on creative dream and not feeling very happy at all.... Lots of thinking time, chatting to others, reading, having a break and coming to some conclusions.....

I'm attempting to redress the balance, changing what I can, and learning to adapt to the things I can't (the economy) in the hope that 2014 will be a fulfilling year, for mind, body and soul. And this is how I'm hoping to do it....

I'm going to spend some time visiting some of my creative friends, chatting to them about life, ideas, and why we do what we do, getting an insight into what makes them tick, and having a nosey into their creative lives. I might even do a couple of their workshops too.

I'm going to stop thinking of end goal when commencing new work, and start just creating for the sake of it, shifting my focus from end product and how well it will sell (commercial viability) and heading back to my creative roots, starting to examine what I'm truly inspired by, in the hope that I can find my way again, and start making some work that I can really connect with again.

I'm researching courses in new media, in the hope I can break away from intricate and detailed black and white and explore the land of messy colour for a while.

I've been researching creative sabbaticals, contacting other creatives who have stopped making for a while in order to refuel their creative engines, and I'm going on a new journey starting next week, with new ideas for work I'm interested in exploring. The sketchbooks are ready, the Pinterest boards are stocked with divine images to spark ideas and I will even be getting out the old sketchbooks from right back when I was on the foundation course and looking through them to see what I can find.

I'm determined to get out of the studio on my creative days and take my sketchbook with me. I need to book in a couple of sketching days with my sis. I'm going to rediscover the reasons I chose this route in the first place and enjoy it once more, rather than constantly feeling that my creative time is running out and trying to jam pack as much into it as possible, measuring the success of a day by the number of ticks on my to-do list.

I want to take my time, stop rushing from one task to the next and just immerse myself in my work, forgetting about results but concentrating on the process, I want to be more present, and to be more mindful and to make sure I enjoy ans savour my creative time, for I'm mighty lucky to have it.

As for my blog, it took on a life of its own in 2012 and 2013, but again in my period of negativity it was something that suffered. I felt I had nothing to say of any great consequence, and anything I did have to say would have come out as a whinge!! So as for blog plans, I'm just going to wait and see what happens. I will continue to blog about my creative journey, but maybe just not as often as I did in 2013. We will just have to wait and see.

My goal is to not put myself under any pressure to make everything perfect and sellable, or to get five blog posts a week published, but to just get back into drawing, painting, recording and looking. I'm taking a leaf from the book of Gillian Lee Smith and I'm going to start making art for ME.

So there you have it, in typical 'me'- style I've actually just written myself my resolution/wish list for 2014, without even realising it. I always like to kind of know what I'm going to do, but this year I'm conscious to make my plans looser and more fluid, to take the advice of my mother-in-law and to go with the flow..... Let's see how it goes shall we??

What are your creative wishes and plans for 2014? Having written mine down has actually made me feel like a weight has been lifted, I feel excited about the coming year and not filled with unease and restlessness, as I did a few weeks ago. 

It would be great to hear from you, please feel free to get your thoughts down in the comments section, and share your plans with us.... 


  1. Hi Sue, I'm really sorry to hear you've had a tough time lately. I wouldn't have known it from the work I've seen. I popped into your exhibition Prints Charming just before Christmas - fantastic work from all three of you. I enjoyed having a good look around.
    I think you're doing the right thing we all need new furrows to plough from time to time and I always start with old sketchbooks too, you can always find a starting point and take off in a new direction. The idea of exploring colour in your work sounds great, do it!
    Have you someone that can review your work objectively and who can tell you where you might have gone astray? We're too close sometimes and can't see it. I know I'm the worlds worst as reviewing my work.
    Good Luck, 2014 is going to be an exciting year for you and you're always welcome to come and visit me if you would like to.
    All the best and Happy New Year! :-)

    1. Thanks for your lovely words of encouragement Debbie. I'd love to come and see you, let's arrange for jan? X

  2. Sue I can't tell you how glad this makes me feel to read this!! I am REALLY excited about meeting up with you and I know we will have lots and lots to chat about. The last couple of months I have really changed the way I work and it is paying off in terms of the way I feel about what I am doing. So looking forward to our chat! x

  3. Sue - I discovered this tool for setting your intentions for the year and thought you might find it useful - I just did it and am excited for the new year - hope this link works - http://ua-freebies.s3.amazonaws.com/wordoftheyear/2012/WordoftheYear-2013-v4.pdf?inf_contact_key=160cfc5dcc7d4219718b2472297648dbd0a50253858b1ec793a1f303b1c77922 (sorry it's such a long link - it is a worksheet for discovering One Word for the Year rather than making lots of new years resolutions only to break them - one word to carry you through the year to make positive changes) x

    1. Thanks Gillian, can't wait to chat, thanks for this I'm going yo check it out

  4. Sue you had better come back! You are one of the most talented people I know and I have enjoyed all of your posts and blogs. I never did give the last print I bought off you away...I love it. As I do all of your work.

    I do however know what you are saying here. I have also found myself in a place where I now make commercial product as opposed to art. But I suppose I'm lucky as currently I'm loving it. I hope that never changes.

    I will still stalk you a little on twitter and be a dedicated reader of you blog....so don't disappear totally. x

    1. Niki, that's so lovely of you to say, I'm flattered!! I will be far from disappearing, I'm hoping to take some creative courses and workshops, reading inspiring books and sharing it all along the way, concentrating more on my creative processes rather than perfect end products, although I'm hoping to set up an online shop to keep the pennies coming in while I'm playing!! I might even get over to see you in your studio and share a cuppa and a chat. Hope to see you soon x

  5. Please do! I'm currently working on a range called Love Glass and am venturing into mirrors and more wall pieces, so its nice to make some new stuff...although it needs to be ready for Home at Top Draw in about 9 days....eek!
    My studio door is always open to you my dear.
    (all written whilst enjoying a cuppa from my Sue Bulmer mug) x

  6. Hi Sue,
    Lovely to meet you via my friend Cassandra. Thanks for leaving such nice comments on my blog - that got my year off to a lovely start . I am definitely not immune to the feelings you've described. I am slowly ( over and over ) learning to hold tight and not panic when they strike as I really do think they are part and parcel of the creative process. Look forward to following your blog from now on. Best wishes from Scotland,
    Rhiannon :)

  7. I always love reading your posts, they are the type of substantial posts that you can actually sit down and read compared to so many blogs (including mine!) that are just photos and a bit of text. Thank you for your continued honestly- it is so refreshing, and it's great to read about the everyday life and thoughts of a real artist. It really can be a difficult career choice but I believe it's the right one (it definitely is for you!) and have recently left my job to work fulltime as an artist which is terrifying but I know it will make me much happier as a result. I completely agree that it's best for your health and happiness to not think about the end goal and different markets and sales opportunities and to just really enjoy the piece as you're creating it. Best of luck with everything and I look forward to more of your posts x

  8. In my own way I can empathise with you - having graduated from Loughborough last year with a First in Fine Art and having received wonderful comments plus exhibiting my piece at Cromford Mills and again this April in Loughborough (also invited to exhibit at Wirksworth and China but couldn't owing to clashing of dates) I now find myself totally lacking inspiration or even direction. Wondering how I can come up with a piece equally as good is really inhibiting me. However reading your blog, lining up some inspirational books to read and galleries to visit has made me feel as if I have taken a small step. I have even got as far as opening a sketch book - now just have to make that first mark... Thanks for making me feel that I am not alone in feeling like this.


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