I started writing this post on Christmas evening, and finished it today, a few hours before NYE. As many people do this time of the year, I spent the week reviewing projects to continue, abandon, and start in 2019. During this time, I kept remembering the two quotes above, so appropriate to when you are about to start a new journey.
There is something potentially embarrassing about thinking in public, especially about your plans at the beginning of the year, but I felt excited to share my goals for 2019. This will be a special year for me: I will turn 40 in March and there is a lot of reflecting that comes with that. The main thing that has been on my mind is this idea that we overestimate what can be done in a week (or short period of time), and we underestimate what can be done in a year (or longer). Also, I’ve been reading about the concept of kaizen, implementing continuous, small improvements over time, and how that approach yields incredible results. This idea is echoed in a Navy SEAL saying I really like: "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast". My objective this year is to implement these ideas in personal and work projects.
So, here is an overview of the main projects I’ll be working on.
In 2019 my band, the Blue Dot Ensemble, will put together an ambitious theatrical show involving world music, dance and visual arts, inspired by folklore stories from different cultures, exploring the connecting elements among them through the lens of the hero’s journey. I had this idea earlier this year, and we got a fantastic cast of dancers, musicians and visual artists to make this happen. We’ll also record our first album this year, and I’m very excited about that.
On Dec 26, 2018, together with my wife, dancer Iana Komarnytska, we launched the online store My Inner Dancer, a fashion and lifestyle brand inspired by belly dance featuring our original designs and curated products. Iana wanted a venue to explore her creativity by designing products that would bring her love for belly dance into everyday life, and I wanted to head a business that could use my content creation skills outside of the service industries I’m involved in.
This year I started a podcast interviewing a variety of creative people, from top Marvel comic book artists to ethnomusicologists. It has been released less consistently than I originally intended, but I figured out a schedule that will work out nicely for 2019. Most importantly, I found this project to be very satisfying and I want to further explore possibilities for next year, including a video version for some episodes as well as solo episodes with my thoughts on different subjects.
Along with my fine art limited edition prints launched last year, I have always wanted to create more affordable products for people who are inspired by my work but that not necessarily have the funds to afford high end prints. I decided to create posters and postcards featuring some of my work, and these will be available May 2019. I’m currently choosing companies to print quality posters and postcards, as well as fulfilment options.
Still in the fine art world, I started three new series which will be continued next year. One of them involves a series of portraits of musicians from a variety of traditions who live in Canada. I am considering using an audience support platform such as Patreon to fund my work, as well as create content directly to people who enjoy my photography and choose to support my practice.
Over the last 4 months I’ve been recreating my advertising portfolio and reaching out to new agencies and potential clients in fashion, jewelry and beauty. I decided to look into getting an agent to represent my commercial work. One of the most time consuming tasks as a photographer is finding clients, and I want to experiment with outsourcing that activity to experts so I can focus on the creative part of the business.
STUDY & TRAVEL
Along with travels to Brazil and Ukraine in January and February, I’m applying for grants to study and create music, video and photography content in Greece, Turkey and Egypt. Iana and I became permanent residents of Canada this year, and we are now eligible to receive study and travel grants as working artists. If we get them, we’ll have an unique opportunity to learn and create some inspiring new content.
These are the main plans for 2019 and beyond. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and strategies on implementing your goals. If you are interested in collaborating in any of these projects, feel free to send me a message on the link below.