I had a plan for last year. I spent a lot of 2019 developing new work and in 2020 I was going to get really serious about doing craft shows. Now, that plan didn't work out for obvious reasons, but also other reasons. I was becoming increasingly concerned with how long my work was taking to create, and if I managed to sell anything at said craft shows, I wouldn't be able to keep up inventory in a practical fashion.
I did a lot of experimenting, I finally decided on glazes, and was feeling really good about how these new animal pieces were turning out. When I rushed a super small batch in an empty kiln, the clay bloated and those few vases that were my first real pieces in a new line of work were ruined. This happens in ceramics; I'm not special to have a long arduous project go wrong in the kiln. But after my existing anxiety over production, combined with a few other failings around the same time, it was feeling like a sign. Even though I don't believe in signs, sometimes these things are hard to ignore. I decided to really take a long look at what other kinds of ceramic work I could be making that wouldn't take quite so long to make. At least in addition to my existing style of work.
But that wasn't my main focus. (I'd like to think I would have gotten back into the studio months ago if it had been). The real issue I needed to dig into was my myriad mental health problems. My experiences with therapy just kept getting worse and worse and I needed to really try and tackle this on my own in a much bigger way. It was nice that during a pandemic people accepted "I'm taking some time to work on mental health" without follow up questions.
Its hard to say how far I've come on the mental health. I think I've made some strides. The holidays really wrecked me though. Very busy (with my day job) for about a month followed by absolutely nothing for close to 2 weeks was a very bad combination for me and I'm trying to recover as quickly as I can manage. I'm still getting out of bed too late for comfort, but I'm starting to feel capable of doing anything.
I have nothing to show yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel that is getting back into the studio is in sight. I have a lot of new ideas and I'm about to get into the drawing phase. Once things are happening with clay, I hope to start posting more frequently about how things are developing, what's working and what's failing as I explore new territory. I am excited and terrified.