Well Christmas was as crummy as I expected it to be in a house full of boredom, depression and short tempers. For once I'm not talking about myself! I've decided to put a bit of money away each week by hook or by crook and go somewhere - anywhere - else next Christmas. I don't care if it's just the hotel on the other side of town!
With the mood miraculously lightening as soon as the decorations came down, I really needed a break to get over the holiday stress. So I wrote off last week as a warm-up session to get back into gear. Some decluttering to make the most of the extra Christmas recycling collections (always a foolproof way of getting into a good frame of mind) and a bit of light creative work.
Fun with patterns...
...cack-handed attempts at bead-sewing...
...and helping my friends over at Colin's Chicks redesign their forum.
If, like me, you're a massive fan of ITV1 show Dancing On Ice, this is a fun and friendly website dedicated to the 2011 runner-up professional skater Colin Ratushniak. As he's had to miss this year due to other commitments, the Chicks are working on keeping his fans informed of the projects he's working on these days, as well as letting the Powers That Be know that there's a big demand for him to come back in the next series.
Also over the new year, I learned a brilliant new verb.
Used in a sentence:
RESOLVE to stop fiddle-farting around on the Internet or with the TV remote control and start dedicating myself 100% to my life’s work.Taken from the list of 12 artists' resolutions posted on ArtBizBlog, the website of art business coach Alyson Stanfield. Feel free to study the list for yourself and download the poster. Plenty of food for thought on it, whether you're an artist or not.
Which of us is never guilty of fiddle-farting at least a couple of times a day? It's very likely you got alerted to this blog post during a fiddle-farting session. In fact you probably only clicked on the link because it had the word "farting" in it!
For someone like me, working from home, it's an occupational hazard. There's no start and end time, no one to tell me what to do. Home life and work life get blurred into one. I can work whenever I feel inspired and take downtime whenever I feel tired.
My business depends on a bit of constructive fiddle-farting. If I'm not on Twitter I might miss a link to a really useful website. If I don't check Facebook I could lose the chance to leave useful advice for a fellow freelancer who would then, in turn, give me feedback on my own work. Doodling my pencils over a colouring pattern is an exercise in creative problem solving and colour experimentation. It isn't just me desperately avoiding growing up, honest! In fact, let's be brutal, I write this blog not because I'm obsessed with sharing my innermost thoughts but because I hope someone takes pity on me and buys a T shirt.
So when you're your own boss, success or failure hangs on knowing when to be disciplined and when to indulge in a few minutes' fiddle-farting.
Time to take my own advice then and get prepared for a brand new year. What have I got planned? Well getting the ideas is always the easy part! I'm working on improvements to the online shops which will make it much easier for you to buy my art from me, so look out for some surprises on that front very soon. I'm also going to put together some previews of all the projects I want to work on over the year and hopefully this will help me with fundraising. There's also the big challenge of trying to branch out into getting clients from local printers and small businesses (that's really scary when you're pretty much housebound and out of practice in dealing with actual real human beings!)
The rest of the time can be spent sniffing around for new networking opportunities, showcases for my work and any other chance to flex my creative muscles. All of which, you might guess, will come from a productive session of fiddle-farting.