Everyone relates to art in a unique way, so we started 2023 by sharing our staff’s (mostly artistic) goals for the year ahead. Read on to hear from folks at Art Toolkit as they reflect on the goals they met or the creative wins they’re celebrating this December.
Our team grew this year, so we invited our new staff to share a creative win from 2023, which you’ll find below.
I had hoped to carry a little sketchbook with me and practice value sketches in pencil, and to make at least three physical objects other people will see, use, or appreciate. I am happy to say that I carried a sketchbook nearly every day this year, and while I didn’t find myself drawn to making value studies, I did sketch many product and retail display ideas, and lots of little icon or type experiments, some of which will probably make their way into real-world objects. My most important art-related learning this year? A sketchbook carried is a sketchbook used.
I wanted to get my kiln running and my pottery studio functioning. This year, I got a bunch of things thrown and bisque fired! I just recently finished glazing everything, now we just need to do the last firing, which I’m excited about to see how things turned out.
This year, I challenged myself to paint and sketch the urban landscape because I typically stick with nature. I still haven’t found a pen that I love (goal for 2024?) but I’m pleased to have sketched a few buildings this year, including the Parliament building in Victoria, BC and a stone farmhouse I stayed at when I visited Italy in October!
I would say my goal was so achieved. I was inspired by games with friends and stories told together, and I made so much art this year. I completed over 20 portraits over the course of this year, and that’s not including some of the on-site painting I did, or the other art I worked on.
I found that portraits have become my comfort art—if I feel like I don’t know what to draw, I dive into a portrait. I’ve learned so much from it, too, my confidence with drawing faces has grown so much and I feel like I’m watching my art turn into something I enjoy more and more! Really excited to see where the next year will take me in art!
My goal as Shipping Coordinator continues to be tailoring the packaging of Art Toolkit products to the nature of the items, ensuring they are adequately cushioned and secured to prevent damage. By paying attention to the packaging materials, packing strategically, choosing the right shipping carrier, and providing tracking information, we expect each and every order to reach their destinations safely, efficiently, and in optimal condition.
I did move into my shed—a place I built to create and dream and write—and have spent hours writing, making art, and dreaming! I plan to host my first art gathering in it this month.
In January of 2023, I wrote that I’d like to get back into bookbinding. I love how sketchbooks are both functional and satisfying tools to create.
My art goals shifted over the year, and instead of binding sketchbooks, I developed a watercolor course! Watercolor Fundamentals is a project I’ve dreamed of for years, and I am proud of the time and energy I dedicated to it. The course included recording and editing 12 hours of video, designing more than 50 pages of written and illustrated content, and learning a new course platform. This project would not have been possible without the support of my team and everyone who joined my first course, sharing their enthusiasm and creativity.
A creative win for the year was applying my design studies to create a travel brochure for Fort Worden Hospitality. The people who hired me for the project were great, and I love working with local small businesses.
These are my eco prints! I’m excited by crafts that are inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us. Even better, this craft is a minimal investment! I love getting outside and foraging for what I want to print. With the help of rusty iron bits to pull out the yellow hue in these prints, I’m having a lot of fun documenting the flora around us as the seasons change. From homemade cards to year-long collections of specific plants, I am overwhelmed with creative ways to collect and share these prints.
We love the mashup of goal-setting and creative-win-celebrating from our staff, and may just have to do it again in the future! Best wishes for all of your artistic endeavors in 2024!