My decision not to set any “physical” goals for 2016 stems from my belief that the most profound goals involve changing ourselves from the inside out. I’ve thought a lot about what gave me a sense of purpose this past year. I have been going through a lot of changes, and my skills as an artist have been evolving in so many different ways. Knowing that I still feel I haven’t found my true voice yet as an artist (as I have been busy learning new skills and new techniques)… I realized that I needed to return to my innocence in order to hone in on my true artistic style!
I have been giving my 2016 resolutions a lot of thinking the past few weeks. I am glad that 2015 witnessed my second attempt to detour from my corporate/musical career into what I really love: Art and illustration.
The process started with identifying and evaluating what I have done so far and where I was headed. I started by asking myself: Why was I so fed up with my career in PR and media (that also coincided with an alternative lifestyle as a singer-songwriter), and what was I hoping to achieve?!
True, lasting, meaningful, deep, beautiful, reassuring, and sustainable happiness… is what I am looking for. I believe that this is what most of us are trying to achieve, but for some reason we are given the wrong tools and clues, and the wrong idea about how we can achieve just that.
Redefining the meaning of success
I have climbed the corporate ladder from a junior reporter to a chief editor, I have also started out as a communications officer in the PR world and my last job was as a director of PR. I have achieved every single one of my goals, literally. In music I have achieved a couple of world music awards, and a bit of acclaim.
But as I have worked my self to exhaustion, I realized that by continuing to do what I always did ended up keeping me in the same place: Stressed, exhausted and basically unhappy! Money bought me things, but never a sense of contentment. My definition of success was like everybody else’s: Better pay, prestigious place to work at, awards, acclaim, connections, and a flashy title. But those things never made me happy, because I was never in tune with who I really was… and that made me basically miserable.
That’s why I started to search for true happiness, the kind of happiness that “tasted” happy! And in this search I found out amazing things about life, about who I am, and about why I was doing it all wrong the past few years.
On following the trends
The media is ever so resourceful in giving us the wrong clues about what could make us happy. Fashion magazines are expert spin-doctors who paint a fleeting illusion about how make-up and new trends can leave us all in a true state of happiness. Social media tricks us into believing that the more followers we have and the more we engage in posting about our lives the happier we will be.
But non of these fleeting moments of being someone we’re not is ever going to give us a true sense of happiness and joy. When we are following the trends, we are not truly the masters of our own unique voice. As artists, our own unique voice is the very soul of our work. And as people, our own unique self is the source of real happiness.
Facing the mirror
I’m not the master of my own unique voice (yet), and this I know for a fact. But I am aware of it now and I am trying to change that, and that’s a huge step in the right direction.
Leaving my job early this year (2015) after becoming head of the first PR company I joined several years ago as a mid-level manager, was a crucial decision that I had to make. As I said before, achieving status was such an empty pursuit, especially that deep down inside I hated the media and I was always at odds with PR.
The decision to leave has given me the chance to do what I love to do here at Yaansoon.
In 2015, I started an Etsy shop, and then a Society6 shop, and in between I learnt a lot of things about illustration, color theory and pattern and surface design. I have been going through a lot of changes as an artist; I have learnt new skills, I akso face-lifted Yaansoon’s brand identity a few times as my skills and interests have evolved from hand-making crafts and hand-printed textiles, into designing printables, wall art, and home decor accents. And now I am about to embark on more than just a facelift for Yaansoon – but I’ll keep this one under the wraps until it’s time for the big reveal :)
Returning to innocence
Today, it hit me that to create art with my own unique style I had to return to innocence. I had to shed all of those trends, all of that learning. I had to look deep within my heart for the answers.
Returning to innocence is so much more than just honing in on my true unique style, it’s about finding that organic, beautiful, and natural self that has been maimed by years of fake meetings, fake suits, and fake goals. Returning to innocence is about washing my self from all those fashion-magazine articles, PR tactics, and pop-culture knowledge that has stopped me from growing into the person I truly am.
For this reason my 2016 resolutions involve being mindful of what I consume visually, personally, and ideologically as a person. It also involves an attempt to find that Utopian place within myself that is pure and beautiful and child-like, and that is filled with a sense of wonder and discovery and an innocent appreciation for the beautiful things in life.
I wish you all a Happy New Year, and a journey into wonder… and possibly a conscious return to innocence!
Image Credits: The home decor products in this post can be found at my Society6 shop. You can also click on the images to check each item out.