What a year! I’ve honestly never had this sensation before, but it feels like I’ve lived a million lifetimes in 2015. Just writing this post, I found myself constantly asking, “Was that really this year?” so much has happened. Here’s some of the highs and lows of 2015. The year I like to call, ‘Transformation Time.’
- Personally spoke with one of my favourite artists, Duncan Gutteridge
- Got a hug from another of my favourite artists, DestinyBlue
- Saw Zhang Xiao Bai ‘s artwork for the first time
- Had my art on display in my first Art Exhibition
- Got invited to the Plymouth Hoe Art Fair
- Met some amazing artists, like Dave Crocker
- My art was accepted into a Gallery
- Won a competition with one of Sophie’s photos
- Achieved a Grade A in English GCSE
- Awarded Plymouth Adult & Community Learning Learner of the year 2015
- Experienced the joy of painting and adding colour to my art
- Started a new day job
- Moved home twice
- Found out who and what is really important to me
- Lost and refound my way
Just some of the highs and lows. My ultimate high of the year was achieving a grade A in English, thanks to my English teacher Jemma. I focused so much on that course, I gave it everything I had, even sacrificing art time. That A made it all worth it.
In terms of art related highs, Comic Con 2015 is where the magic happened. I faced my fears and managed to speak to two of the artists in my Inspirational section. Duncan Gutteridge and DestinyBlue. I had to walk around the conference a few times to psych myself up, but my awkward self pulled it off! I even got a hug from DestinyBlue :) Plus I got to see the art of Zhang Xiao Bai for the first time.
Having my art on display in an art exhibition was very powerful, but it was the day Dave Crocker entered the gallery, looking for me, that sticks in my mind. He wanted to invite me to the Plymouth Hoe Art Fair. The look in Dave’s eyes when I said yes will live with me till the day I die. I saw tears forming in his eyes. It touched me deeply.
The Art fair was so much fun. The atmosphere so positive. The people so inspiring. I look back at those summer months with nothing but happiness. Without Dave Crocker I wouldn’t have got my art into a gallery, met all these wonderful people or experienced any of the positive things I did during the summer. Maybe this opportunity came about a few years too soon, but I gave it a go and learnt so much from my time there. I hope to return in 2016. Everything positive this year has come about thanks to taking risks. I need to remember this, and continue to push myself in 2016.
MY OVERALL GOALS FOR 2015 WHEN I STARTED WERE
- Start adding colour to my Artwork (SUCCESS)
- Continue studying Figure Drawing (SUCCESS)
- Dedicated Sophie time for photos once a month (TOO MUCH OF A SUCCESS)
- Start entering Art Competitions (NOT SUCCESSFUL)
I achieved two of my goals, I dedicated myself to studying colour for large parts of the year. I studied colour theory and produced a colour segment drawing every day for over two months. I joined a new art class with Katie and started painting, I even started using colour at my life drawing classes. I had glimpses this year of what it’s going to be like painting in the future. It felt good!
Figure drawing continued, I was doing daily gesture drawings every day this year until September time when some big family issues hit, but the daily gesture drawings resumed a few weeks ago, and I continued to attend life drawing classes all year despite the chaos. I even signed up to a second life drawing class :)
Dedicated time for taking photos was my main stumbling block in 2015. I lost my way this year and started focusing too much on taking photos at the expense of my art. I’m going to be kind on myself, 34 years of hiding being Transgender away, to finally set myself free … I guess I needed more time than I expected to express myself, but I can’t let it continue this way. I didn’t have the self discipline this year to stay focused on my art. During November I spent large amounts of time in the local library reading the book ‘Self-Discipline: How to get it and how to keep it, by Dr Windy Dryden’
The advice in that book has helped me greatly, I highly recommend it, very thought provoking, and the strategies he talks about makes sense. It uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, which, looking back now is kind of awesome. The first few months of the year I tackled my social anxiety via CBT, with my CBT therapist Sophia … It’s kind of funny how the year ended using these same techniques for a totally different area of my life. Another reason why I love the universe, everything slots into place!
I didn’t enter any art competitions, I need to fix that in 2016. I did however enter a competition with one of my photos. Amazingly, I was a runner up and won a goody bag of goodness lol So I did enter a competition this year, just not the way I originally planned.
Quote of the year goes to my gender therapist, who said the most important thing to me –
“SOPHIE’S TIME WILL COME”
– My Gender Therapist
This one quote changed everything. It was what I needed to hear, at just the right time and allowed me to start getting myself back on the right path. Looking back, I achieved so much in 2015. I had forgotten about half of it.
MY CURRENT GOALS FOR 2016
In a nutshell, I have one goal which appears so simple on the surface, but I would argue is the hardest thing of all. In 2016, I want to stay focused. Focused on my art. I believe I have everything required to do this, I have a plan, but the Universe likes throwing curve balls into the mix, so I will make sure to stay on guard and adapt when necessary :)
Aside from staying focused, my art goals for 2016 are
- Attend Plymouth College of Art 10 week Life Drawing course
- Enter Art competitions
- Start studying and producing paintings at home
- Launch the KevsArt Newsletter
- Commit to daily sketching, daily studying and daily gesture drawings … daily :)
I want to start painting at home. I have all the equipment: brushes, paper, canvases, paints and even a table top easel my Sister bought me … but it’s time to get them out and start using them, even if just for fun. I’ve had the idea for a KevsArt Newsletter for some time, and one of my goals for 2016 is to launch it.
I went down a path that was taking me in the wrong direction this year. I had to backtrack. Fortunately, the scenery was pretty, so I’m not too bothered. I even had time to pick up some nice flowers along the way lol My art is so important…without art I would never have accepted myself. I’d still be stuck in my old job. Playing videogames all day with no dreams, Sophie locked away, living in fear.
I will walk down every path and get lost a thousand times if it means I no longer have to live in fear.
It really has been a year of transformation on the inside. I understand myself better than I ever have before. Robert Greene was so right when he said, “The first move toward mastery is always inward – learning who you really are and reconnecting with that innate force.” – Robert Greene
2015 was a year of proving to myself that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything. A year of trying different things, things that were out of my comfort zone. Seeing what things were for me, and what things weren’t. A year of experimentation. SophieLawson.com has helped me so much. It’s been the perfect place to go inward and find myself. Without this site it’s debatable if my ship would still be sailing.
The site is so much more than a site to me now. My Diary Posts have helped with my gender journey. I’ve made so much sense of who I am via those ramblings, if it wasn’t for the site I’d never have wrote them. Every part of me is on this site, all my faults, all my desires, all my dreams. This site isn’t just a website anymore, it’s a part of me. A part I intend to take to the next level in 2016.