Do you do a “word of the year” where you choose a word that you hope will be the guide for your coming year?
Last year I chose minimize – I wanted to minimize my life and do more of less. I did start posting monthly updates but then fell off the wagon with that but, I didn’t fall of the minimize path. I carried on with it all year and made a lot of progress. In fact, I plan to keep going with it through 2017 and I’ll talk more about that later (I also, oddly enough, think it’s helped my creativity!)
I thought a lot about what I wanted my word for 2017 to be. To be honest, 2017 frightens me a bit. The world as a whole feels full of unrest and instability at the moment. And I really am very worried about our neighbours to the south with their new president coming into office this month. The world seems pretty gloomy.
I actually got the beginnings of my word for 2017 a few months ago while having coffee with a friend in a JJ Bean downtown. I have a bright red winter coat that I wear and while I waited for him to bring our drinks, I looked around at all the people sitting on the top floor with me and realized that all of them, every single one, was dressed in some shade of black, white, grey or beige – except me. It was already a gloomy Vancouver winter day outside so that only added another boring shade of grey to the scene.
It depressed me. It depressed me that everyone looked so blah. It depressed me that I was the only one wearing anything remotely colourful. It depressed me that the whole world around me looked grey, gloomy and lifeless.
I wanted to stand up and shout at them that life is lived in technicolour, not black and white!
So for 2017, I felt like I want to do something to make the world a more joyful place. I wanted to do things that make people smile and come to life. Maybe forget about their troubles for a few minutes.
As an artist, the only thing I could think of was to create things. And bright, bold colours have always drawn me in. So maybe I could create more artwork that’s all about colour. But then I started wondering how I could take it further than just creating.
Maybe I could project colour other places. Like with my clothes, or my surroundings. When everyone else is wearing grey, I’ll be wearing red. When all the umbrellas in the rain are black, mine will be yellow. When everyone else is decorating with neutrals, I’ll be splashing colour wherever I can. I can create photos that are a riot of colour and push them out into the world.
So that’s what I’ll be doing for 2017, my year of colour. I’m embracing colour everywhere I can – not just in my artwork. And I’m hoping that by doing so and sharing it, I’ll convince others to embrace more colour in their lives. Instead of being the only yellow umbrella in a sea of black ones, there’ll be a red and a green and blue and pink polka dotted one!
And maybe, just maybe, we can make the world a little bit brighter and happier one colourful step at a time!
So tell me, how do you embrace colour in your life?