I always find that it helps to have a target or two: written down, printed out and taped somewhere conspicuous so that you cant escape it. I’ve been writing annual lists of Mosaic Resolutions for some time now, usually to mark the new school year, and sticking them up on a cork board over my studio table. As the year progresses, the board gets covered up with other things – postcards of mosaics, pages torn out of magazines, other people’s business cards and reminders about materials that I am running out of. But then, every so often, the Resolution list re-emerges beneath all the detritus and it reminds me where I am and where I’m going in terms of my artistic goals – sometimes in a good, affirmative way: ‘ah, yes, I wanted to do that, and I’ve done it,’ and sometimes in the sinking way you feel when you realise that you’ve forgotten to thank a dear old aunt for the packet of embroidered hankies she gave you for Christmas.
Here’s the board with last year’s list totally submerged:
For me, writing out my artistic goals helps keep my nose to the grindstone. This time last year my resolution list included taking on the task of redesigning and updating my website myself (as opposed to getting a professional web designer) and the knowledge that I intended to do it hung over me for almost the whole year. I kept putting it off and putting it off, not wanting to stop making mosaics in order to waste time fiddling around with technology, but then as the summer approached and I knew I was running out of time, I took a deep breath, sat down and did it. The point is that I only did it because I wrote it down so that I couldn’t escape it. Of course I could have just thrown the piece of paper in the bin but that would have been cheating. And if I hadn’t written it down, I would have either a) forgotten about it or b) thought of some excuse why it wasn’t so important after all and never got around to it.
Artistic goals: short, achievable and flexible.
Well, now it’s time for this year’s mosaic resolutions. Generally, I like to keep them short and achievable and also, when it comes to setting creative goals, a little bit flexible. I don’t want to tell myself I must make x or y and find myself dreading it – every project has to be approached with enthusiasm and new ideas and different avenues keep opening up so you don’t want to unintentionally block yourself in. I also find that if the list is too long, it just adds a layer of stress which is completely unnecessary. Keep it simple. Keep to the things you really, really want to be sure you’ve done (d.v) by this time next year amidst all the other things you’ll be doing.
1. Make two wedding mosaics: one for a dear friend in Greece who is getting married next month and another for my nephew who is getting married in 2014 in the UK. I’ve got ideas but I am not sure exactly what I want to do yet.
2. Make a kitchen splash back for a friend’s house in Normandy. This is something that I really have been thinking about for ages and we’ve discussed designs and sizing and materials and I’m all set to go, so I must get to work. It will be done on mesh so it’s easy to transport.
3.Sign up for this: http://liturgy-east-x-west.org/online-icon-course.html. I started making icons a year or so ago because for at least two months a year I am away from home and cant make mosaics and want to have something I can take with me wherever I go. I thought about taking up embroidery, and maybe I will, but meanwhile its icons. Here’s one I’m still working on in a class in Athens: