2017 achievements & 2018 goals
As I sit here writing this, 2018 has already started out less than ideal. After a brilliant Christmas and new year celebrations with my boyfriend’s family, we were due to fly back from Austria on the 1st January. Heavy foggy weather dictated that Austria was not ready to let go of our presence and our flight was cancelled. The next available flight we can get on is the 4th so for now, we have an extended holiday in the mountains. It’s not all bad!
My mind has always been awful at looking past the frustration when a specific plan is set and things don’t pan out. It’s such a bittersweet start to the year as it feels like this is my first lesson to be more accepting when life doesn’t go the way you expect it to. So I’m currently curled up on a furry forest green sofa with a view of snow flurries pattering onto already frosted pines outside. I’m thinking about everything that I’ve achieved in 2017 and what I hope to achieve for this year. I’ve achieved one of the greatest milestones of my life so far which has left me optimistic and ready to see where life takes me next.
- I have a degree in Computer Science
I can’t believe that four years of hard work have finally come to an end. My overall degree experience wasn’t one I particularly cherish but I am eternally grateful for the opportunities it has given me and what it has taught me about myself and my ability to persevere even when it gets tough. I graduated with a First class which I honestly did not think could ever happen (especially after finishing second year on the boundary of a 2:1). I’m just really really proud of myself.
- Started my full time job in my dream industry
Ever since I was young, I knew that one day I wanted to work in the film industry and I would do whatever it took to get into it. 2017 is the year my dream was fulfilled and I am now part of a globally renowned Oscar winning visual effects company who have worked with Marvel, Disney & Warner Brothers. Positively star struck, its surreal this is my life now.
- Tried something new
When describing myself with words, I would always add the word ‘shy’ in there but this year I feel I can shed that tag. I have gained confidence in so many ways and one of those ways is challenging myself to do something new; pole fitness. With such a taboo revolving around the art, I felt like I would never be able to do something like that. However, I was surrounded by a bunch of wonderful, supportive people and exercised without even realising it because it was so much fun. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in stepping out of their comfort zone.
- Improved my health & fitness
What started as an attempt to lose weight transitioned into an entire lifestyle change and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I completely changed my diet to make it a lot more plant based and less processed. Not only did I do pole for the first half of the year, I successfully went to the gym for 9 consecutive weeks and I actually enjoyed it.
- Traveled to new places
This is a yearly recurring goal for me and I’m happy I managed to achieve it once again. I was able to expand my European explorations where I visited Split in Croatia with some friends, went on a summer road trip through Austria and went on a mini weekend break to Madrid. Now I know how easy weekend trips are, I’ll definitely be planning more.
- Reached 10k
I firmly believe it isn’t always about the numbers but I am honestly admitting that it made me so happy to see my following on Instagram reach this level, especially reading all the kind comments I receive. It warms my heart that people are interested in what I have to say through my art.
- Learnt how to snowboard
So we went snowboarding for four days and I went from zero to sixty pretty quickly. I’m not great yet but finally being able to step onto a board after years of wanting to is achievement enough for me. Bye bye skiing, hello snowboarding.
- Finally finding my art style
I think any artist has the eternal dilemma of trying to find their spot on the spectrum of ‘style’. What makes you stand out? What makes someone know its your work? While saying that I’ve found my style is a very bold statement, I feel positive in where I have landed myself, loving using lots of colour and line detail.
- Started reading again
Reading is literally TV in your head and I’ve forgotten how amazing it is. This will come as a surprising statement but my daily tube commute has become enjoyable because I can bury my head in a great book and lose track of time. Now I’m eager to devour anything and everything.
- Went to my first music festival
Its taken me 22 years to go to a music festival and boy did it not disappoint. I went to Download festival with a bunch of friends and it was insane. The rock community is the most unique and nice people there are.
- Buy better sourced clothes
It was super easy for me to stop eating meat yet its so much more difficult for me to resist buying a cute top from a high street store. The problem is, fast fashion is nearly as much of a polluter as the meat industry, with such high environmental and ethical implications (highlighted in Lucy Siegle’s book To Die For). We buy too much at too fast a rate which is taking its toll on the planet. I don’t want to be part of this excessive consumption anymore so I aim to buy from more independent brands and put my money into quality products that will last me years.
- Reduce plastic consumption and general waste
We’re faced daily with articles saying how we’re polluting the planet but they always seem to be brushed aside as white noise. It saddens me that no one seems to care at all when everyone has it in their power to make change just from their day to day consumption. I’ve decided to take it in my own power to do something about it.
- Work on digital creativity skills
Now that my formal education is over, I’m ready to pour my motivation into building my digital creative skills from improving my illustration to photography editing, motion graphics, animation & 3D design. Whew! A lot of aims here but I’m so excited.
- Utilise the blog & interact more with the community
Tying in with the point above, I want to make use of this blog for documenting my learning and the projects I’m pursuing. Also, there is a community filled with like-minded people so I want to be better at reaching out and getting to know new people.
- Improve strength & flexibility
I never thought I would say this but I’ve started to enjoy going to the gym (despite the 6am starts). Its been a very lax few weeks but I want to get back into a routine ASAP and improve both my strength and also flexibility by incorporating more yoga. I really want to be able to do a headstand by the end of the year.
- Learn some Japanese & improve languages
My ultimate dream of going to Japan is coming true this year! I am so unbelievably excited and as preparation I’m going to learn a bit of Japanese…easier said than done! At least this is the best excuse to binge anime. Also, I’ve been saying it for years but I want to get better at French and German. I have strong family ties to both countries so it is a pretty necessary skill for me.
- Practice presence, mindfulness & positivity
“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” – Eckhart Tolle
Such powerful words which I’m really going to try and take to heart.
- Keep learning through film, books, documentaries & series
To me, watching films and series is an awesome way of learning. I just love studying the cinematography and editing style of each piece of entertainment like the true art form it is and last year I was quite slack on getting through my film watch list.
- Make time for friends & building relationships
My degree took over my life and it caused me to neglect my relationships. I was stressed, unhappy and as a result, I pushed people away. Now I’m feeling more like myself than ever, I’m going to fix these bridges and also build up new ones.
- Go ‘professional’ with my work
I’ve always been a hobbyist and pretty secretive with my illustration but this year I want to push myself to the next level. I want to try and do collaborations, bigger projects and maybe even get some client work.
Happy new year everyone!