UPDATE: 2022 ➝ 2023 New Year Reflections + Goals

UPDATE: 2022 ➝ 2023 New Year Reflections + Goals


Happy New Year to everyone! I know I’m a week late, and most people have already written their own New Years reflections by now, but I waited until after the holiday rush to collect my thoughts. Also I was sick for a few days — just with a cold though, thankfully.

I originally intended to write an update that only pertained to DEITIES Project — to mirror the update I did last year on the DEITIES website. However, with the amount of tasks I accomplished in 2022 (both inside and outside the project) — and the amount that I’d like to continue in 2023 — I figured it’d be better to reflect on everything within the same post, this time using the blog feature on my OC’ Portfolio.

With this in mind, here’s a retrospective for my past year, and an idea of what I hope to accomplish in the new year…


2022 Reflection — Artwork & DEITIES

  • I participated in the OC Gala 2022 to complete my first art of the year, as well as one of the first hashtag challenges I’ve done in some time. My entry remains as one of my favorite (and most indulgent) art pieces overall, and was around the time I was trying to take extra care in my lining process that I carried into the remainder of the year.

TUMBLR POST

  • Participated in my first ArtFight competition, as a part of Team Bloom after my friends convinced me to join with them. Artfight was probably one of the more rewarding achievements I had all year alongside everyone else. Creating for others and drawing their OCs was a great motivation, and a good opportunity to get to know my mutual peers a bit better, so I’m truly grateful to have been a part of it.

    Since Artfight may not be visible to non-members (it requires an account login to see anyone’s profile), here’s a glimpse of my results — a big thanks again to everyone who drew my characters! Credits are captioned in the gallery images, as well as the respective posts and Artists’ Credits page below.

My Attacks [for Others’ Characters]

My Defenses [AKA Attacks from Other Artists]

ALL ARTISTS’ CREDITS PAGE

ART FIGHT ACCOUNT (Requires Login)

  • The lingering buzz from Artfight and exchanging ideas with others gave the boost I needed to prepare my next big milestone with DEITIES Project — which was completing a full line up of the main and side roster in time for OC_Tober. This was a relatively spontaneous endeavor that still took a bit of planning, but the end result and encouragement from my friends and my audience made it well worth the effort.

Full DEITIES Character Lineup

All DEITIES Character Profiles

ALL DEITIES CHARACTERS (DEITIES Website)

  • I completed a revamp/redux of an older prompt alongside other friends for our Birdcage Operative characters (see Other Progress and Achievements, below) — featuring my character Tanja (aka “Starling”). It felt good to revisit this character with a refreshed design and with my more improved style since the last time I drew her years ago.
  • Aside from Artfight, I completed a few other gifts for friends — as well as an art trade and a secret santa for the first time in several years.

    For any other personal art, there were a few of them that I indulged in outside of project work and challenges. What I managed to get was pretty fun — including a couple of new character designs for Shuili and Huojin (who are still in need of profiles, watch this space).

Giftart & Art Trades

All the above characters belong to Whotisitart, oiiChyo, divinesdea, Jinkzdraws, and Tarubunart (@ Twitter) respectively — thank you all for letting me draw your lovely OCs!!

Other Personal & Project Art

CARRD PROFILE (All Media Accounts)


2022 Other Progress & Achievements

  • This isn’t art-related, but on the solemn side of things, I’d be remiss not to mention needing to say goodbye to my dog Jetta — very early into 2022, and just a week prior to her 16th birthday. It was a difficult time for me and my family, but we were all happy for the time we had with her.
  • A little prior to Art Fight, I finally completed my migration and updates to the FAQs page for the DEITIES Project website. This wasn’t really announced at the time, as it was in minor preparation for an Askbox session that I was still debating on, and that would come later during OC_tober.
  • In between my other tasks this past year, I’ve made a few more improvements to my webpages and character profiles — on both my OC ‘Folio and DEITIES site. These included some visual adjustments with CSS that had bothered me for some time; optimizing the search box function and appearance; and a few other changes to the website layouts. There are still areas that need attention, but I’m happy with the progress thus far.
  • In addition to smaller visual updates to my website, I’ve made similar minor updates to my respective Spotify accounts, particularly the covers for my character playlists.

    This is a little more noticeable for the DEITIES account, which was using some outdated covers from my 8tracks days. All the icons are more uniform now, and a few tracks have also been updated — a small mid-year recap for these updated tracks can be found on the DEITIES blog.
  • I ended up reconnecting with a lot of friends over the past year! In some cases, it felt like solidifying friendships with others I knew of for years, but hadn’t interacted with as often as I’d have liked. A big part of this was also aided by participating in Arfight and OC_tober, and reconnecting with other mutual friends through Discord. Overall, it felt like a great motivation to interact with others — and it helped knowing we all have our own characters and creative projects we’re passionate about, too.
  • I was able to visit some of my extended family in Antigua for the first time in years since the onset of the pandemic. Along the way, my friend Jinkzdraws was able to join us in person, and I really had a great time with her and my family during the vacation.
  • For the holidays, I decided to purchase an e-ink tablet to try a more tactile method of jotting down notes, tasks, and reminders — with some digital benefits like reducing paper waste, and syncing notes between devices.

    The model I ultimately decides on was the Ratta Supernote AX6 (no this isn’t sponsored or affiliated, haha). I’m still getting accustomed to it, but after using it for a few weeks, it’s been well-worth the investment — both for writing notes and managing my daily/weekly tasks, and even for a bit of drawing on the side. I’ll muse on what to do with sharing my Supernote sketches another time…

2023+ Plans and Stretch Goals

While I’m not one to really make resolutions, having some time to reflect on the past and upcoming year is a helpful tradition — both for myself to review my approach and make necessary adjustments, and for those who have been following and supporting my creative endeavors.

There are some areas in my professional, creative, and social life worth refiing and improving, and I’ll continue to work on them among my team and friends. This year is also crucial for a few milestones for myself and my family — most of which are welcome, but still require some attention and planning.

The following are a few general goals for the creative parts of my life that I would like to keep top of mind in the new year. They aren’t in any particular order of priority, but should give an idea of what I have in mind both online and offline.

General Creative Goals

  • I plan to participate in additional challenges and art prompts this year, ideally alongside my other creatives and friends, since that’s proven to be a great motivator to stick with them. Artfight 2023 is definitely on my radar as one of those challenges for this summer — though whether or not I’ll be able to chug out 15+ art pieces again remains to be seen.
  • I want to revisit and/or recreate a new central hub website, either using Carrd or another platform. My current one serves its main purpose as a links site, but feels a bit under-utilized, so it’s due for a refresh of some sort.
  • In a similar vein, I’ll need to carve out time to recreate a general + professional Art Portfolio site. This is made more important after I recently hid my content from ArtStation — which previously served as my portfolio site — due to their poor policy decisions with content on their platform.

    My main concern is that I’m usually picky about the layout and navigation of custom portfolio sites. Still, I know it can be done in a way that keeps my artwork within my control, given enough time to work with the available tools I can access.
  • I’d like to start adding more new character profiles to my OC Folio this year, as that was one area I didn’t touch in 2022. I have a few that are already in the works, and others that I would like to add in the months to come once I gather and create more material for them. FWIW, Shuili, Huojin, Eli, Ammo, Bridgett, and Skye are already on my short list to get to at minimum, though I have more in mind I’d like to get to as well.
  • I fell a little behind with recording some older RP-writing sessions and notes with friends over the past year (for our personal record-keeping, and for posterity). I have a personal goal to complete one last section for our group, and then a larger goal to teach my friends how to do the same, so it’s more feasible for us to keep up with moving forward.
  • I still need to work on either a designated Birdcage / Mafia AU section for my characters featured in that category, or a mini-central hub to act as a database — mainly for personal organization and fun, and to better collaborate with my friends in the same group. Carrd comes to mind as a feasible option, but creating a designated webpage on the OC ‘Folio might be the best long-term solution.

    As for any reference sheets of my characters as they appear in the Birdcage verse, I should be able to commit to completing something — though I’ll need more time to consider the best approach. For now, just watch this space.

Additional Goals for DEITIES

Admittedly, I was only able to get to a few of the goals that I shared from last year’s reflection for DEITIES. That said, working on the DEITIES Profiles during OC_tober made up for many of the goals I bypassed — since it was a major milestone that I didn’t initially plan for. Regardless, there are still plenty of items I’d like to get to for the project, so I’ll revisit some again with a few adjustments:

  • Complete most if not all of the remaining DEITIES profiles; even if it means [creating] some with placeholder content […].” Nothing really changes here, but since it’s been a while, I’ll probably need to pace myself and try doing a few profiles at a time, rather than aim to complete all 70+ of them in one go.
  • Work on more color tests […] hopefully working on updated color tests for the main cast as well.” This is less of a priority now that I’ve completed the 20 DEITIES profiles, but working on more visual references is still something I’d like to complete for a few more deities — including some WIPs I have for Wenut, Heqet, Wadjet and Nekhbet, among others.
  • Based on a recent askbox question I answered, I’ll need to migrate some of my older responses from CuriousCat to the DEITIES tumblr and/or website. Since there’s some interesting headcanons and worldbuilding lore from some of those responses, this may end up being my next priority to add them as drafts, and gradually re-share on the tumblr blog over time.
  • Replace the placeholder ‘Lorem ipsum’ areas in the project pages and notes […] mostly the caption areas, as well as some areas in the existing notes that need attention.” This task is still attainable, just a matter of sitting down to complete them. The Worldbuilding notes with images, and the Fun & Extra pages would need the most attention for this.
  • Update existing profiles with more content, particularly the “In Progress” areas“; and “World-building notes for certain divine creatures […] as well as other DEITIES lore.

    Both feel attainable, especially in tandem with the previous goal. If I can carve time to draw visual notes for the Amphisbaena, Akhekh, and Ahau fighters in particular, that’ll work as a minimum goal.
  • Much like last year, I have some other lofty goals for DEITIES that will remain SEALED and under review for the time being, until the conditions feel right to address them. For 2022, the DEITIES Profiles + OC_Tober run had accounted for my lofty goals as well as a major milestone for the project, so it remains to be seen if I’ll try for something similar for 2023…

Annnnd I think that’s about it! Unless there are any other goals or reflections worth mentioning that I missed; if I recall them later, I’ll update this post accordingly. Otherwise, this feels like a good area to wrap things up for this new year reflection.

While 2022 still felt like a quiet year for me overall, it was a great year for reconnecting with family and friends — and in some ways, this also helped me reconnect to my creative roots. I know I completed a lot more art and creative work this past year, compared to the previous ones — both for myself and for others, as well as for my DEITIES Project. Overall, I enjoyed my progress from this year, and I’m looking forward to the next in 2023!

CARRD PROFILE (All Media Accounts)

DEITIES PROJECT WEBSITE


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Teni

Hello everyone! I'm Teni / TeniCola, and I'm an illustrator and visual storyteller who recently completed her education as a visual designer and web developer. My WordPress.com presence is still in the works, but if you're looking for my other media accounts, you'll find them on my profile site -- https://tenicola.carrd.co

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