2019 will be the year of…

Happy New Year!

I love the beginning of the year. You’re still stuffed with Christmas trifle, long, blue-skied summer days stretch out before you, and everything’s green and growing.

And, you get to wave adieu to last year and start the year afresh. For me, there’s one thing I’ll be ecstatic to say goodbye to. It turns out that fatigue and creativity do not play well together. Gritty-eyed tension headaches, lack of energy, not being able to think straight, upset appetite – it all just smothers any spark of creativity and inspiration packs its bags and heads out the door.

So, my shiny, new year is going to be about regeneration. I’m totally ready to get back to being all bohemian artist and dancing, painting, sculpting and writing wherever my imagination takes me!

With that in mind, here are my big 3 goals for 2019:

1. Look after my health and wellbeing

Not feeling well and having no energy makes for a truly effective artist block. And it doesn’t seem to be something you can just push through. So along with diet and exercise, I want to keep experimenting with all sorts of hippy ideas: essential oils, mindfulness, walking meditation, tinctures from the local naturopath (that unfortunately taste like swamp water, ugh), and filling my week with happy makers and experiments.

The basil seedling happily growing in my new herb garden.
So far, I’ve put in a new herb garden and all the hopeful little seedlings look how I feel right now!

It’s about having more energy and a better headspace so I can get on with my next goal…

2. Make lots of art

Which is sorta the point of being an artist, right?! I want to spend my Friday art days creating with purpose, challenging myself, having adventures, and spending hours in flow.

© 2018, Ailene Cuthbertson, Sparkling. Digital painting, 25 cm x 30 cm.
© 2018, Ailene Cuthbertson, Sparkling. Digital painting, 25 cm x 30 cm.

I’m also drooling over some new art-making equipment – a professional, mirrorless, full frame, #allthebellsandwhistles camera, as well as a massive 32” artist tablet where you draw straight on the surface. Of course, both come with professional grade price tags (so, if you’ve ever bought a print from me, or buy one this year, this is what you’re helping to fund!) Both would help solve all those times where what I want to do isn’t actually technically possible with the gear that I have. And of course, both would make my creative endeavours just so much easier and quicker all around.

Which leads me to my next goal…

3. Being more efficient with my time

That whole ‘tasks will fill up the time available’ thing is so true. So I nerded and designed myself a planner where I can plan out and track my art projects and other tasks.

The planner I designed in its snazzy binder.
Sticky notes? Check. Binder? Check. Lots of space for writing notes and ideas? Check.

I’d love my art days to be all free-spirit-follow-my-fancy, but I just don’t get anything accomplished! I’m going to block in time for that sort of thing, for sure – a walk up to the back paddock is one of the best problem solvers I’ve found. But I’m also going to block in studio hours so I actually create. And marketing hours so writing my blog and social media posts aren’t such a last minute rush job. And admin hours for all the exhibition applications and sending prints all over the country.

It’s about having the time and space to do what I want to do – look after my health and wellbeing, and make lots of art!

I won’t go on. I have more goals and things I’d like to accomplish but you’ll find out about them soon!

What about you? Do you set goals for the new year? I’d love to hear about it.

Keep on shining bright,



  1. I don’t now like goals, especially when there are too many to put in place…on f/b post I have explained I like to chose a “word” and let that work it’s magic…it means that any goals are open-ended.

    This year, I have a big opportunity to just be “me” – there are nothing in place to deal with other than try to turn up on Wednesdays at a Stitch/Knit group in Auckland City – nothing in concrete, do nothing or do something with others…in the midst of Queens Arcade adj to a fabric/yarn shop…

If you'd like to leave me a message too, I'd love to hear from you! I've turned off comments on this post because it's older than a couple of weeks, but you can email me at ailene@oldmountainart.com