My #1 resolution of 2008: Create! It even rhymes.
I've been unhappy with my work for years now. I have practical skills—for example, I'm really good at production work because I worked as the only in-house creative at a nonprofit for a lot of years and clean files were really important. Creative and interesting files were not so much a priority.
I tried freelancing on the side, but while I'm good at producing what clients want, what they want is not necessarily what I want. Some designers seem to be good at convincing clients of what they want, but that's obviously not my forte.
I've come to realize that if I want to do interesting design—interesting art, especially—I'm going to have to do it for myself. I entered 2007 thinking that I wanted to improve my design work so that I could get a better job and make more money. That would be nice, but I left 2007 thinking that none of that really matters. I need to make a living, but honestly, if I can stop with my oh-so-American unnecessary overspending habits (Resolution #2) I can make a living continuing as I am now.
Basically, I just want to create work that I like, even if no one else ever even sees it and it never brings me a dime. It's not so much to ask, it's just going to take a lot of work and self-discipline. The year has started well. I'm currently working on a tattoo for my boyfriend's birthday and a little cartoon that popped into my head the other day (something I've never done before). I plan to document my progress here, and post any helpful hints I learn along the way.
One applicable article that I just ran across is "Ten Habits of Successful Artists" on the Chicago Artist's Resource site. A lot of it was already familiar, in theory if not yet in practice, but it's nice to be reminded.
A friend tweeted yesterday about a fun little site called Joe's Goals that I'm using to keep track of my resolution progress. A very simple concept, it's kind of the 2.0 version of the Seinfeld Productivity Calendar. It even has an iGoogle widget.
I also came across the blog Tiny Buildings (via John Nack on Adobe) as I was catching up on my Feeds earlier today. This is the kind of thing that I love. It amazes me that someone looked at a card or some food packaging and thought "Hey, I think I'll make a tiny building out of this!" and then (perhaps more importantly) actually did it. And keeps doing it, and then shares it with the world. You can also see (and contribute) to her Flickr posts by using the tinybuildings.com tag.
Ahh! I love technology, and I love creativity, and I vow to put them both to better use this year. May your 2008 inspire you to create as well!