18th December 2015

Looking back on 2015

lt's a very mild and wet night here in lnverness as I stand having a sly cigarette on the last night of my current shift. It has just gone half past two in the morning and every bird is in full song. For a Friday the pace is surprisingly slow and so far, touch wood uneventful. Another year is coming to an end and it is tradition/habit to reflect and also think about what awaits. I have had a very good year, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and although I have recently slipped into a creative hibernation I am happy with what I have done this year. Perhaps not the direction I would have liked or predicted one year ago but as we all know direction/speed is unimportant when compared to the destination. What is the destination, ideally it would be for what I create to provide a second income but really I am, as always not that fussed. I think to be known, to be a successful artist you need a wide combination of skills and your fair share of luck. Another route which seems popular is to whore yourself out in a blaze of white noise and networking, fake it till you make it.

I am still engaged in a lusty relationship with ink and I am slowly expanded this into paper cutting and animation. I see animation as an important step before I return to programming to experiment with interaction. My intention is to join the local artists group to venture into other mediums next year. Photography once again has fallen away as it has done for several years, I am sure one day I will enjoy that medium again. I say that with a little tinge of sadness more than frustration.

This was also the year when I frequently left and then re-joined social sites, I freely admit I struggle with them. They were tainted for me some time ago and this year did little to change my opinion of them. It did cause a change in the way I use them, a far lighter touch and I rarely engage in conversation. I wish I had this knowledge a few years ago but better late than never. This also sparked the end of the blog here on the site. I am now more than ever convinced that a website is far more important than any social site, perhaps not for sales but definitely for my mental health.

I also ventured to Edinburgh and it confirmed that I am a starving Highlander. Edinburgh has something, a buzz, a constant creative movement that is evident everywhere. Even now, months later I struggle to explain it; it is no doubt down in no small part to my lack of travel. I really enjoyed Edinburgh and I had the pleasure of some fine company as Michelle Rummel visited the capital with her sister. Myself and Shell struck up a conversation many moons ago and since then we have become good friends and art-collaborators. It was interesting to hear her thoughts on Edinburgh, the people, art and a very different coastline to what she is used to although its effects were obvious as she looked for treasure at the village of Cramond. There were lots of places and things I just never had the time to see, it is a rich city indeed and one I need to return to.

I never walked as much as I have in previous years or for that matter how much I would have liked even I noticed that the seasons have changed. I have noticed this over the years and it is mostly down to photography. Examining the Exif data from photographs gives me a date range, when I can expect to see the first snowdrops, daffodils or crocuses for example. If previous years were out of sync then this year was nothing short of wonky. It was a very poor year for butterflies, dragonflies and so many species of insects that were complete no-shows. For the first year that I can remember I never saw a green hairstreak or common blue butterfly. Wood wasps were also missing, a common garden visitor from the forest every year when the garden hedge is trimmed. I could go on but it shows a change that sadly will no doubt continue, as I fear we are on a path that is gathering speed.

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