2022: Year in Review

First, some numbers…

Number of posts this year: 21

Number of completed artworks: 19

Number of digital pieces: 17

Number of traditional pieces: 2

Number of incomplete artworks and/or tests: 5 (and no, I’m not sharing them)

Number of exhibits (virtual): 2

Number of exhibits (IRL): 0

Number of publications: 4

And now for some highlights…

Biggest, happiest Art Win this year: Being featured in the inaugural issue of “Women United Art Magazine”! To be honest, I am still pinching myself.

Most popular piece on Instagram: This fanart for “The English”. It doesn’t matter how old I am – I cannot get the urge to make fanart wholly out of my system, it seems.

Most popular piece on Instagram that ISN’T Fanart: This wip reel for “Stripes”. And for the record, I HATE reels, but it’s the only way to get eyeballs on Instagram these days.

My favourite piece: This digital portrait of my daughter…

©2022, Emma Pittson “Screentime”. Rebelle 5.

The most difficult piece to complete: This other portrait of my daughter…

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Backlit”. Rebelle 5.

My most successful piece (well, successful to me, anyways): My “Self-Portrait With Kerchief”. In my opinion, it’s one of the only pieces that looks like actual “art”, and not just a well-developed study.

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Self-Portrait with Kerchief”. Photoshop.

Piece that made more of a splash than I anticipated: My “Vintage Cleveland” piece – my second attempt at painting a colour portrait from a black & white vintage photograph. In fact, it was picked up and shared by “Photo Trouvee” magazine, which was kinda nice.

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Vintage Cleveland”. Photoshop.

Piece that went nowhere and, frankly, that fact disappoints me: To be honest, I wish that everything that I’d published this year had met with greater enthusiasm, but clearly, I don’t know how to play Instagram’s game.

Putting it all in perspective…

Ok, so… some highs, but also some lows.

My goal for 2022 was to produce a large volume of work so that I could finally break out of my eternal “studies syndrome” and make actual ART. And for a while, it was working. I think I cranked out about 5 pieces in January alone – 4 that I completed, and one that I abandoned (which was fine as it was more of a stylistic exercise anyways).

I also took the plunge and applied to have my work included in art publications and online exhibitions. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Still, no one was more shocked than I was that the very first publication I applied to actually accepted my digital painting.

After that, there was no stopping me! Sure, I had my fair share of rejections, but overall, it was a pretty successful year in terms of having my art selected for magazines and exhibits. In particular, the team at “Women United” art magazine really believed in me – more than I believed in myself, to be honest – and to see not just one, but several, of my artworks in print is the most incredible feeling.

But here’s the thing: for someone who was supposed to spend the year in creative experimentation and risk-taking, it feels like I missed that mark by a pretty wide margin. There’s no denying it: my portfolio is very safe and very tame. Even more disappointing is the fact that I had really hoped to be able to detect some connecting threads between the pieces and to be able to say “A-ha! I can see that I should drop so-and-so and concentrate on such-and-such instead…!”. But… I haven’t hit that eureka! moment yet.

Still, considering where I was at the end of 2021, I can acknowledge that I have made enormous progress, not least because I committed to increasing my output. I also took risks by putting my work out there even though I didn’t feel like it – or I – was ready. If anything, that is what I want to take with me into 2023: “Jump, and the net will appear”.

On that self-congratulatory note, I wish everyone a fabulous Holiday Season, and I’ll see you again in 2023! 🙂

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