The 2016 Review

On the first day of 2016, I set out to achieve a few things in the new year. As I’ve done every year since 2012, I spelt them out here. This time they were:

– Start making wristbands again
– Start writing fiction again and blogging more frequently
– Properly develop my website and move my blog there
– Get my instagram activity back up and kick off certain projects
– Write the exam for a digital marketing course I took in 2015
– And somehow, still travel. A lot.

I reported during my mid-year review how well I was doing – poorly – in the hopes that it would help me hard reset and get my year on a productive track – it didn’t.

  • I haven’t made a single wristband since 2011.
  • I wrote fewer times on my blog than I did last year
  • I managed to move my blog to olatoxic.com but I didn’t develop the rest of the site like I planned
  • My activity on Instagram is pretty much at par with what I managed last year.
  • I neither studied nor took that exam. I’ve kissed the opportunity to earn that certificate I’ll probably never need goodbye.
  • I managed to travel a lot, but not much to the places I hoped – new places.

2016 was beautiful to me. I see people talk about how rough it was for them and talk about how it should come and be going but while I feel bad for them, I’m content with everything this year brought my way.

Of course, having set goals and failing to achieve the majority of them is mildly depressing… however, I’m glad that, erratic human being that I am, I managed to achieve a few other things that I didn’t set out to at the beginning of the year:

Most notably, I painted the mural below, my first ever, and somehow beat the deadline I spontaneously set for myself to do it. I’d dreamed of doing something along the lines after seeing the tons of dope large-format work international and local artists were putting out. And with some ass kicking from friends, I finally made some progress with it.

Another really notable thing I managed to do this year was to conceptualize, shoot and edit a (really) short film I titled Diversity. This came about as the culmination of everything I’d learnt on a visual diplomacy course I took in May.

I was also able to kick off the #30DaysPurposeful project. Every year, throughout January, I host folk in a guest blogging series (just like this one) where we share our hopes, aspirations and dreams for the year. However, I’d never figured out how to help these people (and myself) actually achieve the things they hoped to. Sometime during the 2016 iteration, I finally figured it out – we would host everyone again for a mid-year review session where we all get a chance to review our progress and reconfigure if necessary. That worked out great, I believe, as you’ve seen and read from those who went on to review how 2016 turned out for them here on stories.ng

At work, I managed to put out two issues of Crossroads magazine within a time frame in which ideally, I should have put out three. But that’s something that my predecessor never managed to do, so I’m just going to bask in the euphoria of having done such a good job on those two issues (if I do say so myself) and not beat myself up too much over unavoidable circumstances.

My finances are in better shape that they’ve ever been in my entire life. Truth is, sometimes, I take a closer look and feel I could have done so much better. But then I step back and remember that I moved to a different city last year and had to set up a new apartment. Also, I took on new responsibilities and I’ve been blessed enough to be in a position to give loans and assist financially in ways I couldn’t before. I’m not going to wish I’d said no to friends and family when I had the privilege to say yes. So I’m grateful for that.

All in all, I’ve chosen to not be too hard on myself for how 2016 turned out. Yeah, I made plans I didn’t eventually actualize, but the year still somehow managed to be one of several firsts and for that I’m terribly grateful. I’ll just make a better attempt at making 2017 a more fulfilling one.

Join us as we try to make 2017 more productive by spelling out the things we hope to achieve.

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30 Days Hopeful ’17

Make it plain. Write it down.

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We’ve been doing this for four years now. We gather here and share our hopes, convictions, goals, expectations, aspirations, fears and/or dreams for the new year.

We’ll do this again in 2017, making it the 5th consecutive year… and in this year, there’s a slight rebranding – #30DaysOfHope becomes #30DaysHopeful, because the latter is a hashtag unique to this project while the former has many other unrelated tweets attached to it, and it only makes sense to not share that space with other unrelated subjects.

If you’re a regular here, there’s a high likelihood that you already know what this project is about, but if you somehow don’t, please see here for a more indepth explanation.

That said, as always, daily between January 1 and 30, not more than three people will tell us what they’re hopeful for in 2017. The spots below are for the taking. Which would you like?

Day 1 – Lade
Day 2 – Toxic | Treasure
Day 3 – dk jonah
Day 4 – Jyte | Wande
Day 5 – Mayowa | Justin
Day 6 – Moyin
Day 7 – Nero | Chychy
Day 8 – Seye
Day 9 – Priiye
Day 10 – Chuma | Laji
Day 11 – Ope | Ehmie
Day 12 – Christopher
Day 13 – Atinuke
Day 14 – Toluwa
Day 15 – Anabagail | Temitoria
Day 16 – Shirlz
Day 17 – Elizabeth | Yinka
Day 18 – Tomboxe | Aminat Badara | Tamara
Day 19 – Meena
Day 20 – Juachi | Stanley | Ijeuru
Day 21 – Yevandy | Naphtali
Day 22 – Dami
Day 23 – hrhobj | Ogenna
Day 24 – Nimi | Meiko
Day 25 – Motunrayo | Dare | Denikhe
Day 26 – Bolanle | Demisola
Day 27 – Tee | Oyinkan | Tayo
Day 28 – Avril | Pelumi | Damilola
Day 29- Coco | Fifi | Nade
Day 30 – Victor | Pelumi

XXXII

Two years ago, to mark my 30th birthday, I embarked on the biggest art project I’ve ever managed till date.  You can still see it at olatoxic.com (for a short while)

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Following that was this period of depressing, abject nothingness. Sure there were tiny moments of artivity from time to time, but nothing really worth mentioning. A small blip showed up on the radar in May this year when the last edition of Crossroads magazine was released. Crossroads is the publication I’m charged with producing quarterly by my employers. While I was (still am) very proud of the work I did on that issue, it wasn’t my project.

It wasn’t an olatoxic

You see, a major issue I have with creating and putting out my art is that majority of the time, I can’t decide in what medium I should be working. At any given time, there’s a million ideas swirling around my head, each trying to be the one to pop out and find fulfillment. Due to this, I’m too often in a perpetual state of indecision on what to do. In the rare moment that I might pick up a pencil, or a pressure tablet, or a laptop, it’s that overwhelming sense of unsureness that gives me pause and causes me to yield nothing.

Somehow. Somehow… I’ve finally gotten my act together and done something. Jux a lirru something. A little big something.

This little something is big for several reasons. Because I procrastinated on starting it for so long. Because it took the separate but much appreciated motivation of Atim (aka Afrolems) and Captain Quest to get me off my butt and do something. Because it caused me to work in a medium I’ve always been uncomfortable working in. Because it’s quite literally big.

I painted a wall mural.

You might not understand how big a deal this is, so here, some context… I hate paint. I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but somehow, every time I found I had to work with paint, I hated the experience. So I embraced digital arts, and sculpture, and word-smithing and several other media, but always ran from paint. Then I stumbled on the art of mural painting on Instagram and I was mind-blown. Then my course mate from uni, Osa seven leaves the cocoon of paid employment to become a full-time graffiti artist… becoming an almost instant success at it and suddenly, my mind is seeing how I can extend my artistry to this medium. Then I move to this new apartment and all the walls are white. They’re all one long blank canvas just begging for scrawls and stains and strokes and… paint.

Yeah, paint again. Ugh.

I didn’t just hate paint, in particular, I hated the arduous task of applying paint to any surface with a brush. The mixing, the back and forth between palette and canvas. The messiness. UGH!

But then I came up with a compromise. These huge ass murals I constantly devour on my IG feed are often applied with just spray cans and a wide variety of spray caps. I also stumbled upon the magic that is acrylic markers. I’d use those instead. Except none of these can be found in our beloved Naija so yeah I’d have to order them online. However…

Recession. And as you know, time is money.

Once I figured I didn’t have enough of either to get quality spray paint, spray caps and acrylic markers in time to meet the deadline I’d set for myself to embark on this new journey, I decided “Screw it!” and went and bought brushes and wall paint and here we are.

I turn 32 today and the thing that brings me the most joy in celebrating another year of existence on this insane planet is the fulfillment that comes with (nearly) finishing my first mural in my own living room.

And there’ll be more. Many more.

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The sketch

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The gear

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Process

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The (almost) end result

 

Two more murals will go up shortly. I’ll be sure to update here as those come along.

Now let me go find some cake.