Happy New Year and Onward to 2021!

December 31, 2020

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the year past, the triumphs (and losses) of the year, and time to set goals for the year to come.

I know everyone will join me in saying this year was a raging dumpster fire, that was, literally, prefaced with the near-entire country of Australia catching fire and burning wildly out of control. Myself and a handful of artists were able to create a calendar of Australia and fire themed works that raised a few bucks for donation to WIRES. After Australia burned, well, clearly 2020 didn’t go much better…

Along with the whole of what has been going on in the world, of personal note: I lost a dear friend of mine, Tara Krehbiel, back in March to cancer. You may recall her name as she worked on the calendar with me in the past. She will be sorely missed; I think about her often. I am hoping to complete an oil painting of her, and gift it to her family if they would like to receive it.

Still in progress…

I also struggled a lot this year with many of my animals falling ill, from various ailments unrelated to one another, and staying ill. In July my dog fell gravely ill with last stage kidney disease (he is OK for now, don’t worry!). In September I lost one of my ducks to an unknown illness, and from there it’s been in and out of vet offices. With all of this, along with the stresses of lack of real meaningful social contact and change of scenery, it’s been a hard year, one of which I can see purely in the amount of work created during 2020.

Still, I stuck to my normal goal of at least one finished work per month as a minimum. I participated in some Draw This In Your Style challenges on social media, as well as two one week portrait challenges, and other smaller challenges in between.

Two portraits for One Week Portrait 2020
One Week Portrait works.

I spent a lot of time this year staring at screens, so I ended up doing more traditional work than I usually do. Oil paintings take a long time to complete, with drying time in the middle since I like to work thin, so creating faster, in this sense, is not always creating better. Quality over quantity.

There was also a plethora of mixed-media, where I often started traditionally and then digitally altered them…

I’m happy with what I created this year, and while I feel, every year, that I could’ve done more, I know I should not be unhappy with what I have made.

A contact sheet of a variety of works.
Just about all of the artworks I created during 2020.

On top of this, my co-author and I have been working on a weekly schedule to work on the first installment of our book, and I’m hopeful for its eventual completion (I know, I keep saying this, but hey, Queen’s Gambit had 9 rewrites and took 30 years to make, so again, quality over quantity).

Since my artistic goals for 2021 are just refinements of my 2020 goals, I’m not going to restate them. Instead, I want to set some other goals:

#1: Write and illustrate a children’s book

I have two ideas for this, and am hoping to go the watercolor route for one of them. I may just self-publish, but I think it could be a fun project — I miss creating comic books, and this is a nice, less in depth version of that, in my opinion.

#2: Draw more sci-fi

My love of sci-fi seems to be often overshadowed by my love of realistic, broody quasi-fantasy setting. I’d love to do more in the way of sci-fi, and started this year by drawing more robots.

They may not be in vast quantity, and they may be small, but I think these are obtainable goals and I want to shoot for them.

What goals do you have for yourself for 2021? Anything at all? Let me know in the comments!

Aimee Cozza is a freelance illustrator out of Southern New Hampshire. She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in illustration. Since then, she has been working in a variety of ways completing various illustrations for clients, friends, and for herself.

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