Creativity, Life Adventures
Comments 6

How did 2016 go? A personal year review.


I have precisely three memory cells in my brain, so I keep a daily Moleskine planner for each year. Not for artistic endeavors (although I plan to try this in 2017), not for meaningful goal setting, but for pure and simple remembering what the heck went on that day.  I have a collection of filled diaries and I like to look back and see what we were up to on this day in years past or check what presents were bought or received for a birthday or Christmas. Because no, my three memory cells can’t hold it all in.  I don’t record each day minute by minute, some days I miss altogether, but I do manage a few words or a sentence or two most days.

So when I thought I little 2016 review post would be a good idea, the first thing I did was grab the Peanuts Moleskine from 2016.  I have immediately learnt that I need to be a little more specific in my diary entries – goal for 2017.

Here is what I got up to in 2016-

I joined Get Messy  at the end of 2015 and really had no idea what I was doing getting into this art journaling lark.  I made a few terrible pages at the beginning of 2016 then as the year progressed and I kept up with the art journaling habit (because I knew if I could just get the hang of it I was sure I would like it!).  Now we are at the end of the year and I am still art journaling and loving it.  Often not sure what I am doing, but doing it anyway!

As part of Get Messy I made a Facebook Live broadcast which was terrifying and a wonderful experience all at once.  I have never made any sort of video where I was making art and talking the viewer through it as I created. I loved the feedback and inspiration it gave me.

I managed to be creative every day, by drawing, painting or art journaling or all three.  I didn’t post what I made every day, but I made sure an art supply hit paper daily.

One of the main ways I achieved the create every day thing was using monthly challenges. So through the year, I did some sort of challenge every month.  January was Lisa Congdon’s Creative Bug draw a day, February was the ‘Sketchbook Magic’ drawing challenge from Ria Sharon on Skillshare, March was a Skillshare challenge off shoot from Elisa Choi Ang’s class ‘Sketch your Life’, April was a watercolor challenge hosted by Fox and Hazel,  from April to July I did The 100 Day project, July was Creative Bug and Pam Garrison’s draw a day, August was Creative Bug and Dawn DeVries Sokol’s Art Journal challenge, September was Creative Bug’s draw a day-Jennifer Orkin Lewis prompts,  October saw Inktober, in November I had no challenge to follow so I did my own thing, December is a little of my own ideas and another art journal challenge (Christmas/holiday specific) from Creative Bug and Dawn DeVries Sokol.   Phew!

I had one of my coloring pages published in The Coloring Studio issue 2 which was very exciting!  I have never been ‘published’ before.

Though the year I have kept up my yoga and pilates practice along with one or two cardio sessions a week. Got to keep everything moving!

As I read books,  I kept a record of what I read and what I started and didn’t finish. In all, I started 22 books and finished  12 (still reading the 12th). I will write a separate post about what I read and what I didn’t!

Now my hair is grey, I have worn it blue, purple and pink this year.  Colour lasts up to a couple of months on my grey and it washes out gradually so no nasty ‘grow-out’.

‘Pokemon Go’ was a thing for about 7 and a half minutes in the summer then the novelty wore off!

We holidayed in Cape Cod.

We got a new dog.

Everyone had a birthday with cake!

I met lots of new fabulous people via the interwebs and learned more than I could tell you.

Did you have a good year? I hope so, I know the world went a bit bonkers but hopefully in your haven it was a lovely year.

Do you write goals or resolutions for the New Year?  I have been using Susannah Conway‘s ‘Unravel your Year’ workbook for the past few years which is fun to fill out and look back on.

I just watched a video over at Skillshare by Ohn Mar Win all about goal setting and I wrote pages and pages after I watched it about all the things I want to do in the coming year and when I grow up.  Sometimes it is just good to write it all out don’t you think?

Happy Wednesday x


  1. Loved following all your art this year and had not realised you also started get messy when I did (you were more consistent and it shows in your pages. Goal for 2017). My plan is also to colour ,y hair fun colours when it goes grey (or at least mostly grey) as my hair is dark and I never dye it so don’t want to bleach it to add fun colour. Being patient… And yay for a new doggy!

    • Hi Deb! Get Messy has really helped with my creative endeavors this year. My hair is dark and I dyed it for years until a couple of years ago when enough was enough and I am now all natural!

  2. I have loved seeing your creative endeavours throughout the year, Clare! And well done for doing something creative everyday. And for reading! I don’t do resolutions as such because I’m never sure how disciplined I can be when life events inevitably intrude, but I do like to just have a think about some intentions for the new year.

  3. Hi Clare! I enjoyed this post and I look forward to the one about the books you read. I listen to audiobooks mostly, and I also read some books on Kindle. I used to document the books I read/listened to on goodreads, but I like your idea of Journaling and also of summarizing the month or the year. When I was 10 years old I started a daily diary, there were lots of blank pages, and as I grew I kept more diaries on and off and stopped at some point, mostly because I was digging into too many emotions and it wasn’t helpful anymore. I do like the idea of journaling in an “external memory” sort of way. My hair is also gray! Mostly black, and 20‰ gray id say. I dyed it purple but that was so messy, the color stained the shower floor and wouldn’t come off for weeks. So I’ll look into less runny colors. I agree with you about the growout! Anyhow your post inspired me to get chatty and look into your artwork and previous posts. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Keren! I started to document the books I read because as with everything else, I just didn’t remember what I had read! I also have diaries from my early teens and I can’t read them now, they are so awful!! Oh yes, the colour run off from ‘non natural’ dyes is a little dramatic. Thanks for stopping by x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s