2024 Stationery and Art Intentions

It seems many people have intentions in 2024 that involve reduced buying or a paring down of items they own, and it looks like it's happening not only in stationery, but also in clothing, art, board games, etc. Pretty much anything that involves collecting something. Is it the same way for you too? Is it financially motivated? Or just because of already having too much?

To be honest, my intentions regarding my hobbies have always been this way. For the last 5-6 years, it's mostly because we've been intending to buy a house. The more I save, the more can go towards the downpayment - which is getting cancelled out by house price increases and rising interest rates, ah well.

2024 Stationery and Art Intentions

- Enjoy what I already have. When I was working on a DIY gift for the holidays. I noticed that some of my art supplies were going bad. The black watercolor tube paint had separated and hardened to the point where it had to be cut out of the tube with an x-acto knife. The interior had completely solidified. One acrylic paint tube had what was potentially mold inside (it was closed)! The sizing in my older watercolor paper has probably degraded by now and explains the splotchy absorption. My sister used stickers she hadn't touched in a long while. So long, the adhesive had turned yellow and was less sticky. 

I heavily dislike waste, so seeing this triggered a visceral reaction of mild fury at myself for neglecting to use my stuff. These are things that I actually wanted to use! I don't like throwing things away and donations often still lead to waste in the end. So, my top intention is a reminder to use up what I already have now. Before it goes bad. Most supplies are the cheaper, student grade versions and I'd like to discover my preferences and upgrade those eventually.

Luckily, items like fountain pens are generally tools that don't expire. They can usually be recovered with a little bit of care and maintenance. 

The dog phone stand I painted of Boomy as a gift.

- Maintain a consistent creative practice. This is one I've strived to attain... my entire life. Every year I feel like I get a tiny bit closer, but it's a struggle to restart after each extended break. Life happens and I know it's a matter of priority. So, I gotta figure out a way. Beth Pickens, in an interview with Austin Kleon, mentioned that artists suffer when they don't make their art. I most definitely get grumpy if I can't work on making something for more than a couple days. A creative practice is currently the lowest priority and I'd like to move that way up. Maybe to right under health. (Health #1 always!)

- Finish lagging projects. I have a massive list of half-finished mostly creative projects on my back burner (probably from the lack of a creative practice). Some I've only gotten as far as "get supplies." This means I have a lot of "reserved" material just sitting around waiting to reach their full potential while taking up precious limited space. These are everything from craft projects to unfinished paintings, journals, and sketchbooks. Finishing these will be the first priority during creative practice.

- No buying without a plan and time for said plan. If it's needed to finish a current project, that's okay. No buying because things are on sale, limited edition, or other impulse purchases. Remember: need physical space and time/mental bandwidth.

- Set up an inspiring creative workspace. I wish I were one of those people who can make stuff anytime anywhere, but alas, I've realized that I'm at my best when I have my own private space. Maybe it's the introverted nature. Stephen King was on to something when he said, "Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open" in "On Writing." 

I have a corner of the bedroom that I've been trying to make work for the last 4 years and I have no idea why I still dislike it. Nonetheless, it is the space I have (and in a rental) so I need to make it work. This will be the year! Right!? I think the first step will be a declutter, rearranging, if necessary, then organization. I want to clear the space physically and mentally. I'll start with 15 minutes a day. In fact, I've been doing so for a few days now and it's already starting to feel better. Not really looking to buy to redecorate, but rather to use what I have. 

To make my intentions actually happen, I think some organization and a plan is in order. First, a list of all ongoing projects (done!), gathering the necessary items to complete them and making sure none of that gets thrown out (working on it). Decluttering and organizing so I have a clear, dedicated space to work (progressing 15-minutes a day). And finally, scheduling in time, arguably the most critical element. The no-buy intention should easily take care of itself, since I'm not much of a big spender anyway - gotta save to buy the biggest expense of all, a friggin house.  


With Love,