Get Messy is getting ready to launch its new website mid-January. We as a group are declaring 2016 the year of the art journal! We are setting our creative intentions for the coming year. I have consistently made and shared many art journal pages throughout the year in 2015 (actually, since 2012) and I will keep doing so.
In 2015, I also did two long term projects : first, I participated in the 100 day project. For 100 days I drew my Unfinished Spirits. I learned a lot about my drawing skills. Mainly that they are not as good as I’d like them to be and that I should keep going.

The second project was a year-long exploration of self through my 52 portraits. One self-portrait a week throughout the year. I learned so, so much from this project. Not only technical, big-camera stuff but also about myself and how I can communicate ideas and feelings through photography. 

My greatest takeaway from this project are my words. I started writing a paragraph for each portrait and I realized that I really, truly enjoyed writing like this. Also, I was often surprised by which portrait resonated with people. More often than not, it wasn’t the image that I thought would touch people that did.

The biggest gift I received from doing V’s 52 portraits is the chance to turn it into something more. There is a big announcement coming soon about that.

So, on to 2016. I was chatting with Julia a month or so ago about what she had cooking for the coming year. We talked about daily creating and setting goals. I feel like I do a lot already and don’t want my creative project to become something I have to do vs something I want to do. I enjoyed the weekly format that I had with my portraits. So as she and I were brainstorming, I had a light bulb moment : 52 weeks in a year, 52 cards in a deck….hence, V’s 52 pickup.

For 2016, I will be altering a set of oversized playing cards. I will be sharing one card a week. I am super excited about using this vintage set of cards. They are just under 4 x 6 inches.

I wanted to keep the aesthetic that I developed in my Season of Words altered book. I like the idea of illustrating a story and re-interpreting it. I began searching for a story that would fit the project. I am a huge fan of Stephen King and in particular of the Dark Tower series. King based that work on a poem called ‘Childe Roland to the Dark Tower’ came. The Tower reminds me of the tarot and its use of archetypes. So I’ll be integrating some of these notions on my deck. 
King often cites this quote ‘I will show you fear in a handful of dust’ which is from T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I have long wanted to get into that poem, so I bought this really awesome edition of it to use in my project.

Armed with these amazing sources of words and stories, I will incorporate vintage portraits into my altered deck. I have quite the collection of these old photographs. I love to imagine the lives of these people who are long gone.
I also plan on using other bits and pieces from my remnant pile (including some goodies Julia sent me), thread/sewing and of course paint too. I am so excited by this project.

I will be posting my card every Saturday, as I did for my 52 portraits. You are most welcome to follow along. If you are planning on taking on a creative project in 2016, let me know what it is in the comments please!