State of the Art: December 2019

I’ve been working through the “From Chaos to Creativity” book, and I’m getting to the section about setting goals. It asks you to set five-year, one-year, and one-month goals. HECK was that a process. I took the book’s advice and set it down to think for a while. I had no idea where to begin, particularly with the five-year goals. What am I capable of doing in five years? That’s such a huge block of time! So, I decided to reflect on what I’d accomplished creatively in the past five years, both negative and positive: 

I had started and given up on a webcomic.

I won NaNoWriMo!

I made my first, and to date, only, Skillshare art class.

I worked on a big, sprawling fantasy story with Aiden and we eventually ended up putting it on the backburner indefinitely.

I tried creating a blog and YouTube channel for my and Aiden’s creative endeavors, and it fizzled out after a while.

  • I made a portfolio website and became more active on arts social media!
  • I worked on a story-podcast with Aiden and we let it fall to the wayside.
  • I began working with a local theatre troupe to create posters for their shows!
  • I wrote a short story I was actually happy with!
  • I started a YouTube channel and promptly abandoned it after maybe five videos.
  • I completed the 100 Day Project!
  • I made a BOOK from my 100 Day Project!
  • I made and printed three mini-zines and one full-sized zine!
  • I tabled my comics and art at a few local events and conventions!
  • I applied to an art mentorship program and didn’t get in.
  • I started an Etsy store, a RedBubble store, and a Gumroad store and actually sold things!
  • I completed this year’s Inktober and had lots of fun doing it!
  • I started streaming art on Twitch!
  • I collaborated with my friend Alena to start an artists’ meetup group at our local comic shop, and it’s been great getting to know local artists!
  • I was invited to participate in the What’s Your Story event at The Freedom Cafe in Durham to talk about my book!
  • I started a Patreon and began receiving support!

I’m certain that I’m forgetting some things, but these are the moments that stand out most to me from the past five years. I was surprised to see just how much I had done! It was kind of encouraging, and I’m glad I did this exercise. Now to think on my future goals…what is it that I want to do?

Well, I’m definitely going to be taking the next week to think more deeply about this, but I have settled on a few short-term goals for now:

  • Set specific and measurable goals regularly! Find an accountability partner to help stick to those goals!
  • Beef up that portfolio!
  • Finish the handful of comics and zine projects I’ve started!
  • Get in the habit of producing at least one illustration and one journal comic a week!
  • Make a real effort to be active on social media and to improve self-promotion skills!

Thanks for sticking with me. I truly appreciate you! I’m excited for what 2020 and the years to come have in store for me, and I’m going to do my best to keep learning and to keep growing. 

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Author: Katie McMahon

Katie is a comic artist and illustrator living in rural New Hampshire in a town mostly populated with elderly folks and roving gangs of sassy turkeys. She enjoys reading comics, playing board games and RPGs, drinking fair trade tea and coffee, discussing feminism and social justice, and cracking the best groan-worthy jokes the internet has to offer.

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