2016 Highlights & Review

Here are some highlights from 2016 and my New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s interesting looking at to what this blog evolved to. It started with stories and then turned into this journal of trying to keep myself on track with goals and habits. I’m proud of keeping up my habit. Missed a few days but kept to it almost every day this year. Here’s the favorite posts from the year. There’s more of course, but I can’t pick all of them!

Proud of all the hard work I put in this year, but still got a lot to get done. I looked through the original resolutions I had for 2016 to see what I had accomplished and pivoted.

  1. Animation Shorts: Make some shorts to advance my portfolio.
    • Pivoted this one into learning better animation skills from School of Motion. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in animating with After Effects. I feel more confident in where I want to go career-wise as a result.
    • Created some GIFs and worked on a couple larger animations. Some are not finished but I hope to finish them in January.
  2. Stories: Learn how to tell better ones
    • Changed this to learning through watching and analyzing short animations. I wrote a few stories through the year, but I changed focus to learning stories for animation and film.
  3. Minimalism: Start getting rid of things that don’t add value to my life.
    • I never made a full commitment to this one so…It did save me many times during the year when I did want to buy objects. A good reminder to check if I actually needed it or if I just wanted it. Still need to clean out and donate many things, though.
  4. A career job: Get a career job in graphic design.
    • Got one at the beginning of the year, but after that, I kind of dwindled. I lost a lot of confidence after I had to turn down a freelance project for the first time. November’s Startup Weekend really helped bring back that confidence. I think I will be able to focus better and apply for many things out of my comfort zone now.
  5. Read more.
    • I’m def going to make a habit of reading a minimum of 15 pages a night. I read some books but I’m disappointed in the amount of reading I actually did.
  6. Start a Youtube channel.
    • ACCOMPLISHED. I didn’t post much after the Booktube-a-thon but I started and that was the whole goal. I will hopefully post more in 2017 and find my footing there. I’m still camera awkward, but the more I practice the better it’ll be.

I’m happy with what I’ve done this year, a little annoyed at some parts of the work ethic, but excited to change these bad habits. Can’t wait to see what I make of 2017! I’ll admit 2016 was difficult with all the deaths and the sad moments, but we’re still here pushing forward. I’m just so excited to be out with the old and in with the new. I’m excited to work and make all the new goals real!

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’re celebrating and looking forward to making 2017 amazing! I’ll have a post with my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow! Have a great party and stay safe!

~Kendall

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Refocus

Made so much progress on a lettering for the Startup Weekend post, but it’s not quite done. It’s outlined and mostly inked, but still has some finishing touches I want to do tomorrow. I’m getting sleepy which leads to mistakes. Would rather sleep and finish in the morning then press on and end up with wobbles.

I realize I abandoned the 30 Days of Productivity challenge I started. I have to decide if I want to bring it back, but I can’t say that I’ve been super lazy recently. I do need to refocus efforts on the job search. I’m going out tomorrow with a bunch of resumes to hunt for seasonal positions. Not excited, but I’ve been saying I need to get one for months now…so need to suck it up. Gah, reading back over that just makes me realize how whiny I’ve been this entire year. I revisit that idea at least once a month. Really need to stop complaining.

I’m having one of those moments where I reflect upon on the ‘fails’ of this year…the year isn’t even over. Realizing there’s only one month left and I haven’t accomplished all these goals I set out on. I’ve done a lot, but I’ve also wasted a lot of time and opportunities. Trying not to regret anything. Just trying to figure out what I can get done before the year ends and what I need to do to accomplish these goals.

With one full month of the year left I want to make a couple focused goals for myself. I’ve gone through a lot of different mindsets and ideas over this year, so the goals I made in January have changed a bit.

  1. Make one more animation. Either a general Holiday animation or a specific Christmas Present for a family member. I want to challenge myself to make a narrative piece.
  2. Proposal for the Adobe Creative Residency drafted. I think I’ve neglected to say that I am applying for the residency, but I am. I want to make some really fun animations and work with people from Adobe. I’ve spent a large portion of the year thinking about this and feel that I would thrive in that environment. I’m not positive on what my project is going to be about, but I have a couple projects I want to test out this month.
  3. Apply for a few more jobs and internships in case I don’t get the residency. If it doesn’t work out I want to make sure that I’m still learning.

There are other goals, but I am prioritizing these three. Only one full month left of 2016. It’s time to focus and get shit done.

~Kendall

Milestone Checkin

Today I thought I’d do a bit of a check in on my goals for the 2016 year. We’re far enough in that I can see which ones I’m neglecting and which ones I’m carrying on with or need adjusting. If you don’t know the goals I have the short version below.

  1. 12 Animations, one per month to get better at animating
  2. Improve storytelling by doing 365 days of stories on a blog.
  3. Minimalism
  4. Find a design or mograph job.
  5. Read 52 books this year.
  6. More videos on Youtube.

Below are my quick thoughts I wrote down.

checkin

Animation wise I’ve decided to half my goal of 12 this year to 6. (Only if I get really far behind will I lower it to 4.) It’ll be a lot more manageable and it’ll give me the freedom to pad. I’ve been running into the issue of not knowing what I’m doing animation wise so it takes a little longer to learn and then perfect. I also feel a little guilty for not finishing the Snackadoodle one, but also wanting to double up efforts on my mental health idea. I would rather make these viable portfolio pieces and try to understand the mechanics of animation than just make for the sake of quantity.

So, my main goal, the Storytelling habit with this blog is going quite well. Aside from posting a bit late in the evening sometimes and that single day where my internet was being off kilter I’ve kept it up. Like I said in the illustration, I am running into the issue of getting a little off track. I think some solutions to that are to pick some running themes for the month or week and keep within them. It’ll help me organize topics all around. It has been helping that I have picked specific days for the animation goal updates.

I had another goal which was Minimalism. So far rather than reducing the number of items I have I’ve only gotten more, and many of them serve no purpose other than I like them. I’m tempted to try this again later in the year. I want to reduce some items so that if I move–which I’m sure I will in the near future–I don’t schelp along useless items. Also the idea of really being intentional is good practice. I think I need to get back to reading The Minimalists blog. It’ll help put me back on track a bit towards minimalism, and remind me to be more mindful of the items I keep and bring in.

Design job wise I have an amazing contract job with Food on a Truck! It’s been amazing so far working with them and I’m really enjoying it. Even though I love it, I know that I want to be working in the motion graphic industry sooner than later. So as the year progresses and I finish up School of Motion’s Animation Bootcamp I’m continuing my search for mograph & animation jobs and internships. I will make title credits for a living. I will.

So reading…I’ve been slacking on this one. Part of the reason I’m failing that minimalism goal is I keep buying more books. The problem is that instead of reading these books I’m just getting more. This is not helpful.  I’ve decided to start a daily habit of reading for 20 minutes every day. I’ve been in a bad reading slump, one that even Harry Potter hasn’t pulled me out of, so it’s time to start a daily routine. That’s always been the most helpful thing for me, so routine here I come!

And last, but not least, my Youtube goal. I’ve loosely decided that I want a minimum of 2 videos a month, if not more. Biweekly is a good goal considering that I have limited amount of time to film and edit. I’ve been doing reasonably well with the filming aspect for the goal, but finding time to edit has been a challenge. I have a backlog of tags I’ve started for booktube and footage created, but it’s all moot if I don’t post it. So, like the reading and storyteller habits, I’m going to start a routine. Every Tuesday is video day. I just need to upload a video to my channel. You’re welcome to watch my progress, but my videos are still improving. I’m still a bit iffy with the idea of talking to a camera, but that’s half the point of starting the channel. I want to get more comfortable with being on the screen and to stop hiding behind it. It’s weird ’cause I like my voice, but I tend to freeze up in front of the camera. Oh well, you have to start somewhere.

Feel free to keep up with my yearly progress on these goals. I’ll do these checkins every once in awhile to see where I am and what I need to alter. How’s everyone else’s goals going? Are you still keep up with your resolutions? Or did you get off track and need to start again? Let me know via a tweet or comment!

~Kendall