Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for December, 2010

2011–Can’t Wait.

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

It’s going to be a great year. A great one! Let’s get started!

2011 from Jolie Guillebeau on Vimeo.

Can’t see the video? Here’s a summary:

  • Why I chose video for my goals and my word for the year.
  • A visual reminder– a treasure map.
  • A month by month sketch of the year
  • Goals for each of my Roles (that rhymes!)

2010 in review

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

“Ever since happiness heard your name,  he’s been running through the streets trying to find you.”– Hafiz

Squam by the Sea print

Chronologically: The RETURN OF COFFEE!  Acceptance in to the Buckman Show, a few sales early in the year, Family visits, the discovery of Kale chips, winning the jacket that I wanted from Bike Gallery, Thrift Store Adventures with Kris, JD and Tiffany, a painting commission, making my first successful souffle, Road trip to Western Oregon University, celebrating one full year in Portland at Voodoo Doughnuts, beginning 100 paintings in 100 days, confidence returning, My sister winning America’s Funniest Home Videos, a new bookshelf for my studio, visits from SoulSisters, a whirlwind weekend at the Buckman Show and Sell, Kiana visits, Trip to the coast, the Brownie Print project, birthday, Tulip festival, mini-break with Chris, quick trip to Seattle, website redesign, Summer Sunshine Series, small existential crisis, Tutorials, June-uary in Portland, Visit to Canada, Play-what-you-will, Painting videos, BOOK LAUNCH, trip to NYC, Teaching at Portland Parks and Recreation, the crazy book tour, SQUAM BY THE SEA, learning to carve a pumpkin, reevaluating everything, Happy Knits, a magic Thanksgiving, driving to Seattle for the final stops of the US book tour, Chris’s name on the marquis at Powell’s, Annual Review Vacation, and a marvelous anniversary.

Just a few of my 100 paintings

Books Read (a partial list): I didn’t do such a great job keeping track this year, so these are the ones I remember most. I’ve also switched to reading on the Kindle App on my iPod Touch. I love rereading old favorites there– and I really love that they’re free! I’m debating an actual Kindle–what do you think?

Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Linchpin by Seth Godin, Generosity by Richard Powers, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond, Rework by Jason Fried, The Scarlet Letter, Anna Karenina, All of Jane Austen’s work (again), The Anne of Green Gables series (again), War and Peace, Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun, Art/Work by Heather Darcy Bhandari, The Ballad of the Whisky Robber by Julian Rubenstein, Little Women (again), Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, Prosperity Pie by SARK, Women Food and God by Geneen Roth, The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Than, Surviving Paradise by Peter Rudiak-Gold, All of Mary Oliver’s work, The End of Overeating by Richard Kessler, The Case for God by Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong,  A History of God by Karen Armstrong, and then there was this little book called The Art of Non-Conformity by some guy named Chris.

photo by Arabella Crawford

What Went Well: Daily Paintings, Renewed Confidence in my work, participating in a few shows, meaningful connections with fun people, Teaching both with Portland Parks and Private lessons (love this!), Supporting Chris through the book tour, productive year, big shifts in thinking and perspective, and best of all the indescribable magic of Squam by the Sea.

photo by the amazing Jen Lee

What didn’t: I still haven’t finished the Artist’s Way, lost momentum on regular exercise there for a while, I let a few crazy circumstances really shake me up a couple of times, still getting stumped by a few seemingly small things.

A visual to remind me to Stretch

The word for 2010 was Stretch– and I did. I needed a gentler word after the disaster of Self-Discipline in 2009, and Stretch was perfect. It pushed me beyond my comfort zone without overwhelming me.

Tomorrow: my hopes for 2011. Have I mentioned that it’s going to be a great year? It is.

Guillebeau Annual Review (Jolie Version)

Monday, December 27th, 2010

A few people have asked about my process for the Annual Review, and I thought I’d chime in since this is the practice that has made the biggest difference in how I structure my life.

First, a bit of history. Chris and I started the annual review together, at a time when our lives were completely open to anything. We were coming back from Africa, and knew we could move anywhere or do anything, so we spent a bit of time crafting an image of our ideal life.

We started with a few questions from an ideal day exercise similar to this one that I shared with Magpie Girl last year. The we spent time making goals and plans that propelled us toward what we were dreaming about.

We’ve been doing this for five years now, and it’s the scariest and most significant part of each December. But by now we’ve developed our own process and plan for this– and they’re remarkably different. Here’s mine.

So, I start with two questions:

How did this year go? (What went well, what could’ve gone better?)

What excites me about next year? (What am I hoping for?)

So I freewrite a paragraph or two about the year generally. Then I think about each area of my life– my roles (I’m revising these a bit this year, but this is what I’ve used for the past three years).

Mine are: Artist, Wife, Creative Learner(what am I learning, what am I creating…), Health Nut (exercise, diet, emotional health), Friend, Family Member, World Citizen (community, civics), and Businesswoman (money).

Then I answer those two questions specifically to each role. For example, what did I accomplish as an artist this year? What still needs work? Where do I want to take my art in 2011? I’ll write a paragraph or two about each of them.

About this time, a theme begins to emerge. And I try to come up with a word that guides each goal… This year’s word was Stretch. So when I’m unsure of a decision, I can ask myself if it fits with my goals very easily. If I was hesitant about something this year, I reminded myself that I was supposed to stretch– and it helped me figure out what I should do.

Next is often the hardest part. I can get here pretty quickly, but going more specific starts to get scary…What if I fail? So I usually take a little while to give myself a pep talk before I start this next section.

Once I have my general idea for each of my 8 roles, then I make quantifiable goals. For example, if I say I want to be a productive growing artist, then I think about what is enough for that to happen. This year, it was 200 small paintings (check!), 40 watercolors (check!) and 3 commissioned larger pieces (check!). I put numbers on it, so I know exactly when I’ve met the goal.

Sometimes that backfires, though. For example, my goal with money this year was $2K per month by the end of the year. (What’s the opposite of check? Bah.) But at least I can look at numbers pretty specifically and see what I need to do next year for that to happen. Also, I made more money than ever before from paintings, and I think having that number as a goal helped that to happen.

Then I go deeper. I turn the goals in to projects. Example of one taken all the way through:

Role– Wife. I want to find a tangible way to pamper Chris a bit this year. He likes Pie– perhaps I’ll bake a few extra pies for him. Once a month? Twice a month? He travels a lot, so why not once a week when he’s home? That works out to 25 or so…

Goal: Make 25 or more pies for Chris this year.

Project: Find a way to frame it– perhaps work through the alphabet? 12 pies by June 1. Make a list of options, look for recipes. Take a pie class at Sur La Table. (This connects to creative learner.)

I put each project on an index card, and keep them on my desk. On the first of the month, I look over everything to make sure that I’m on track with each project.

Once I have my index cards with the projects, I roughly plan it out on a calendar, just so I can make sure I don’t run in to a problem and so I have an idea of what the year looks like…

And then I’m done. Except for the doing. :)

I’ll be back tomorrow with answers to the first question. Meanwhile, go get started on your own goals! 2011 is going to be awesome. I know it.

Day zero…

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Day zero…

100 days ago, I started this countdown. It was warm and sunny– the first week of September. Since then, so much has happened.

I really vacillated about what this final painting should be. The final painting of 2010? It’s a significant moment. Ultimately, I chose to go with what I value. Playfulness.

So I pulled out the encaustics and looked at the Christmas tree again. Because it’s fun.

Just like this year.

See you in 2011 with a year in review and even more adventure. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Wax on Masonite Block, 4×4. $85. Email for details.

1 day…

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

1 day.

I think it’s officially safe to say that the holidays are here. In fact, I’m already starting to think about 2011. And I thought these last three paintings would be the perfect place to talk about that.

I’m getting ready to go away for a few days next week, to plan my goals and dreams for the next year. It’s an annual tradition, and one of the hardest and best things I do each year. I’ll write more about it once I return, but you can read last year’s review here.

Reading through that, I see how much I’ve learned this year, and it makes me even more hopeful for 2011. What are you looking forward to next year?

14 days

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

14 days.

My Christmas tree is up– the holidays are getting really close here. Are you excited?

Putting the tree up, I wanted to retell every story that goes with each ornament. Our Christmas tree is covered in stories. I thought I’d tell a few of them this week.

When I was a kid, my mom decided she wanted a Christmas tree with only red and gold ornaments. I learned that if I wanted my handmade ornaments to appear on the tree, I needed to limit myself to red and gold glitter at school.

I think about that whenever I hang these red balls on the tree.

A fun sidenote: Can you see my self portrait in this painting? I snuck it to my own painting unexpectedly, because I didn’t notice until I’d stepped back when the painting was finished.

15 days

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

15 days.

My Christmas tree is up– the holidays are getting really close here. Are you excited?

Putting the tree up, I wanted to retell every story that goes with each ornament. Our Christmas tree is covered in stories. I thought I’d tell a few of them this week.

This is the oldest ornament on the tree. My friend Aimee made it for me years ago. It’s cinnamon and glue made in to a dough, shaped and dried. The recipe is here, if you’re interested.

I think this ornament is going to be retired this year, it’s starting to crumble and no longer smells like cinnamon. But I wanted to paint it before I said good-bye.

16 days

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

16 days.

My Christmas tree is up– the holidays are getting really close here. Are you excited?

Putting the tree up, I wanted to retell every story that goes with each ornament. Our Christmas tree is covered in stories. I thought I’d tell a few of them this week.

This is the biggest ornament on the tree. It represents a big event. For my 30th birthday, I made a list of 30 things to do while I was 30. One of them was to ride in a hot air balloon. When I made the list, I had no idea how or when, but I knew that I’d always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon, and 30 seemed like a great year to do it.

My father-in-law saw my list, and arranged a hot air balloon ride for the whole family that summer. We got up early and were in the air at sunrise. It was amazing. I still don’t think I’ve thanked him enough for making that happen. (Thanks again, Dad!)

Then my mother-in-law found a Christmas ornament to commemorate the event, and it makes me happy every time I hang it on the tree. (Thanks again, Mom!)