The yuletide goodies have been eaten, gifts have been exchanged, and we're approaching the end of another year and the start of a new one. Like I've done the last few years, I'm going to take a little look back at what (in the realm of creativity) I've been up to the last twelve months.
So here goes!
When going through my bookshelves I found and looked through a children's book I wrote and illustrated back in 2009, called "Trogloboben". It was actually better than I remembered it being, although there was a lot that needed revising and rewriting, and the illustrations needed a bit of an update. So I started slowly reworking the text, with plans to eventually again send it to a publisher in the future.
Another writing project I've been working on and off on is a small collection of Swedish poems (a chapbook), around the theme of comparing the countryside with the city.
During the last part of the year I've mostly been writing on a book on the theme of robots. It's a book in English, and I'm trying to work in a very structured way with this book. I'm trying to plan all stories and texts as best I can in Trello, and I'm using checklists and planning all the parts as smaller projects so I can see the progress and finish each piece separately.
I've worked a lot more with analog photography this year, shooting with both the Nikon F3, Canon Canonet QL17, and the Mamiya RB67. When my digital camera (Fuji X-T1) had to be sent in to Fuji for repair and was gone for about a month, I had little choice but to shoot film instead.
I planned and went on a photo excursion to a lime quarry by my self. It was only a short trip, and only took half the day, but I learned a lot about how to prepare for such excursions, what to pack, and what flaws I had in my equipment. As a consequence I've ordered a new tripod (that just arrived and I'm super happy about it thus far), bought an L-bracket (although the one I bought turned out to be of really poor quality) and bought a shutter release cable.
I've sold a bit of camera gear this year, but also added some new stuff. In the spring I bought a Canon Canonet QL17 rangefinder 35mm film camera. It's very compact and easy to bring along on walks. I've not quite become friends with the focusing on it though, but at the same time some of my favorite photos from this year were taken with this camera.
The Canon EOS 1n is the latest addition to my camera arsenal. When it was built, in the mid 90s, it was at the top of Canons professional range of cameras and cost a pretty penny. These days they are very affordable and you can get one in mint condition for a fraction of its original cost. I haven't shot any film with it yet, but I hope to do so early next year. Hopefully in snowy conditions.
This was the first year I've managed to complete all of Inktober, making one illustration every day of the month of October. I learned a lot doing it, both in technique and in how to plan and think about an illustration, and I hope to take part in Inktober again next year.
I feel like I got back into illustration this year, as I really didn't get any illustrating done back in 2016 (I don't even have a folder for illustrations on my computer for 2016 like I have for all other recent years).
This website has seen some changes this year. Behind the scenes I've made a number of big changes in the code, making the site easier to update and to add new pages and features. But I've also made a few changes to the design of the site, such as a redesign of the front page (which has some of my photos from the year, shot on film), and some minor tweaks overall like new fonts and layout adjustments.
At this point my self developed CMS (Content Management System) is almost completely separated from the site itself, making it close to being reusable for other sites. I still have a list of things to build and things to improve in my CMS though. Right now the blog doesn't have any social media connections; for example you can't comment on my blog posts, give them a thumbs up or quickly share them on social media platforms. I also don't have any hashtags for making the blog more searchable. So there's definitely things left to improve.
My bullet journal has been a steady companion throughout the year as a way of keeping track of tasks, habits and thoughts in my daily life. It helps me keep on top of things and to reduce stress. It can sometimes also be just a great place to jot down thoughts bouncing around in my head to make room for other things. When I first started using a bullet journal it was a bit of a chore, but now I can't really see going without one. And I'm still improving and changing the way I use my "bujo". For someone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen, disconnecting for a while with pen and paper feels like a healthy thing to do.
Looking forward to the new year I have a few goals I'm aiming towards:
- Finish my robot book - There's still a bit left to plan, and a lot left to write. Most likely I'll be self publishing this book through Amazon as an e-book and a print-on-demand softcover book.
- Finish my poetry chapbook - It'll be a pretty small book, so this is definitely a reachable goal.
- Complete a photo project - I'd like to finish a complete product/project with photos. At this point I don't know what that project will be though.
- Take part in Inktober again - Next October I'll be ready again with my inks!
I've got a feeling that 2018 is going to be a big year creatively for me. Lots of work, but also lots of progress.
Happy new (creative) year!