Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

Image c. Red Generation
Well, 2012 is winding down, and I'm starting to hear the inevitable talk among my friends and loved ones about what we hope to see and accomplish in the coming year.  Unfortunately, too many people  I care about have expressed a desire for 2013 to treat them better than 2012 did, as they have had a difficult time of things this year.  I have to confess, I have the opposite concern.  My 2012 was so phenomenally amazing, I hope I can sustain it into 2013.

In January of 2012, I started Domythic Bliss on the encouragement of Theodora Goss.  Bryony Whistlecraft came up with the genius blog title, and since the blog began, I have received nothing but positive feedback and encouragement from all quarters.  I tentatively contacted some of the people who until then had seemed far beyond my reach, and instead of dismissal, I received even more encouragement, kindness, and inspiration.  I quickly realized that people like Charles de Lint and Mary Ann Harris, Charles Vess, Terri Windling, Toby and Sarah Froud, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman...are all kindred souls as well as respect-worthy creative minds.  They are genuine in their desire to see the Mythic Arts grow, stretch, and flourish.

In early October, I received a phone call from Kim Cross of Faerie Magazine, saying that she was very interested in having me work as an editor for her publication.  I agreed enthusiastically, and we set to work on the (forthcoming) issue 24, and brainstorming exciting directions for the magazine to travel.  In early November, I went to Faeriecon, an experience that was utterly transformational and life-changing.

Faeriecon really lit a fire in my head.  It solidified to me the importance of Domythic Bliss both as a blog and a concept: we don't just share pretty pictures here, we encourage the idea of living one's belief in magic and wonder, and the power of story to transform every aspect of our lives on a daily basis.  But talking to Delia, Ellen and Terri at Faeriecon and listening to their encouraging words in panels also gave me a strong desire to start creating for myself as well.  Toward that end, I have established three significant goals for the coming year in my creative life.

Goal #1: To write a 50,000+ word novel during March

Lisa Stock and I both have participated in NaNoWriMo in the past, but both of us were talking this past November about what horrible timing the month-long writing contest is for us.  We agreed that we should try to do NaNoWriMo again, but do it during a different month that was less hectic for us.  March was the month we chose.  So in March, I hope to write a novel I've had running through my brain for a few years now (a hint in the image above).  The ultimate purpose?  Well, I'm writing not necessarily to get anything's a very rough market out there at present.  But I DO want to work toward bettering my writing.  I want to find a way to express my own voice as a writer, and add something to the world of the mythic arts, no matter how big or how small.  Toward a similar end, that brings me to goal 2...

Goal #2: To create a handful of artworks (5 or more) throughout the year that successfully work toward establishing a recognizable personal style

After returning from Faeriecon, I realized that although I've been doing more art lately than I have in a very long time (I spent about 5 years or so not even picking up a pencil for anything more than costume doodles), I've nonetheless gotten lazy, and not pushed myself and my art abilities.  When I look at the artists I admire, I see a style that is instantly recognizable, not only because of the medium they use, but also the repeated subject matter, the tone and "feel" of the work, etc.  Look at art by Charles Vess, Terri Windling, Brian Froud, Kinuko Craft, and Virginia Lee.  Would you ever mistake one of their pieces for another person's work?  I want to work hard to push myself, better the quality of my work.  But I also want to push myself to find an identifiable style.

In early December, I created an artwork for my niece's Christmas present.  I've given her a different fairy tale artwork every year for Christmas since she was born.  But this year, I really pushed myself in creating it.  Every line and every shade in this piece, I had in my mind to really express my love of myth and wonder and not get lazy with the creation of it.  And the result is one of my favorite artworks I've done in recent years.  I feel it's a good first step toward the goal for this year.

Goal #3: To create a new website for the Mythic Arts

This is the biggest one of my three goals.  As I talked to people at Faeriecon, I got very enthusiastic about my personal desire to encourage the future generations of the Mythic Arts.  I know there are some amazing website hubs out there in the mythic community: Cabinet des Fées, Goblin Fruit, Sur La Lune, Fae Nation, and Duirwaigh to name a few.  But I still feel like there would be a place for another.  This website would not only be a central location for sharing what I might post on Domythic Bliss and The Beautiful Necessity, but it could (emphasis on could... this is still very much in the brainstorming phase...heck I don't even have a name for it yet) include message boards, a goblin market for crafters of mythic items, a space to share fine art photographers who do mythic-inspired work, and even a quarterly e-zine / journal featuring both articles of fiction and non-fiction.  The ultimate goal here would be to create another way to support those creating phenomenal works in mythic fields, and to promote the writings and mythic musings of some brilliant minds who might not otherwise get a chance to share their voice via traditional mediums (i.e. print magazines or publishers)

This is where you come in.  I would love to hear some feedback and opinions on my goals, especially goal #3, since it will take many people to pull off if it is to succeed!  If you love the idea of a new website, please let me know!  If you would like to be involved, know someone who might be of assistance, or just want to say anything about it, please let me know in your comments below this post, or in our Domythic Bliss group on Facebook.

And most importantly, have a very Enchanted New Year!



  1. Grace, you have been one of the highlights of my year - discovering you and through you a whole galaxy of mythic and magical people. Thank you for that. I love your goals!

    1. I think this is eminently achievable, and I can't wait to read what you write! You certainly have a LOT to contribute to the mythic arts.

    2. I have a few thoughts on this goal, purely based on my own experience as a self-taught artist. In my opinion, a recognisable "style" is not something that one can sit down and "develop" consciously - it evolves by itself as one becomes more and more successful in expressing themselves in artistic form. What I'm trying to say is, I think if you focus on the *message* or what you're trying to convey through the art - and focus on trying to convey it as true to yourself as possible (which you have been doing anyway), the style will take care of itself, and you will find that it develops as a product of that journey. But the style is not the end in itself. I am saying this because a few years ago I thought I needed a "style" and I "chose" a style but it turned out to be limiting. Now however I am seeing a style of its own developing out of my art...

    3. I love love LOVE this idea. Anything that would allow more kindred spirits to find each-other and share the treasures of their minds and souls and add beauty and wonder to the world... Can I also say that I would REALLY like to be a part of it, help in the creation and running of/contribution to the site. "I know not what power within me lies" but for such a goal I would give my all.

    Have a Faerie Happy New Year!

  2. #1 - Woo Hoo!! It will be here before I know it.
    #2 - A VERY important step. Good for you. Every once in a while I look back at my work and take note of the style that has pushed itself to the forefront - whether I'm completely away of it or not. Sometimes you have to take inventory and you'll find what you're looking for there.
    #3 - Connie and I are doing this with filmmakers on: - perhaps our page would could be linked on this website somewhere?
    #4 - Happy New Year! 2013 will be very exciting!

  3. I'm sure you'll make great strides in the first two. #3 is AWESOME! I can't contribute creatively, but just seeing what you post gives me psychic energy to keep consciously incorporating what feeds my own domythic bliss in my surroundings.

  4. I think #3 is a great idea. I'm an artist and graphic designer myself, so if you need help with art or web design for the site, let me know. Or, I'll just be happy to participate in the website once it gets going.

  5. Lovely Grace, this all sounds utterly incredible! I can't wait to see the results, and if I can be of any help at all with goal number 3, let me know! Very excited to see all you create and achieve in 2013!

  6. Grace, I loved your blog the moment I found it and am so very pleased for your good luck in 2012. A new website sounds splendid! A most heartfelt thank you from myself for all the inspiration, and wonder which you have shared with us this year. Without people like you magic can seem just a dream. Minerva x

  7. Much love and good wishes to your clan from mine for 2013!

    I think all of your goals are excellent. I'm particularly excited for #3! If you need any help in any way I'm more than happy to volunteer :)

  8. I'd be interested in helping with #3. Tell me if you need a copy editor, proofreader, and/or fact-checker.

  9. If I can help in any way on #3, you can count on me! Splendid, inspired idea. I love it.

  10. A thousand times thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement!! Stay tuned for exciting things!