15th Annual Art-Life Review*

I’m always designing logos for my imaginary self

Amid a variety of real-world disruptions, outdoor interests, and a modest social life, I persisted. A review of my journal gives me these highlights:

In 2018, I allowed myself to chase every interest, voraciously learning from books and videos. Every day brought new excitement. Frustration ignited problem-solving mode and often veered me off on a new path.


  • Polished and published my compact memoir HEADLONG: OVER THE EDGE IN PAKISTAN & CHINA
  • Organized, reorganized, and researched my antique/ethnic bead collection, intending to write lovely popular essays, but I was overwhelmed by the task.
  • Re-opened my NELLIE novel project, but bogged down. Before putting it away I added big photos of the artwork referenced and considered illustrating it with minimalist drawings (which set me off learning to do minimalist drawings).
  • Allowed my website Mad in Pursuit to languish. No writing, no readers encouraging me, except for my family history pages. Maybe a fresh Wine Poured blog will fire up a new audience.

Visual Arts

  • Got up to my elbows in polymer clay. Studied faces, engineered armatures, explored color and surface finishes. Gained lots of skill, but had no vision, no greater purpose, so my passion waned. No doubt, I’ll circle back to it.
  • Sparked by a random Creative Live video, I re-opened my fabric design project, snoozing since 2014. My files full of graphics and my skills in Photoshop/Illustrator made this a perfect way to converge my interests and possibly gain a new audience through my shop at Spoonflower. Inspired by other active learners, I committed to do a design a week as my learning path. The challenges were formidable, but since August, I posted 16 designs (including their variations). No sales, but starting to get noticed.
  • Wanting to develop my fabric design beyond novelty patterns, decided to “eat my own dog food”: bought a dress form, dusted off my sewing machine, bought sewing and pattern-making books, and have geared up to make some garments this year. Stay tuned…

I turned 70 in November. Over the summer I spent a lot of time worrying about how to “age in place” and how to get personal assistant services. But by the time my birthday finally came, I felt healthy and energized. Screw aging — I’m ready for the next 30 years. Wine poured!

*When I retired from the rat race to the art-life at age 55, I promised to hold myself publicly accountable for my time. You will find my 14 previous reviews at Mad in Pursuit, on December 31 of every year.

4 Replies to “15th Annual Art-Life Review*”

  1. At this rate, Susan, you’ll HAVE to live another 30 years…. just to get everything done to your liking! All your pursuits are making me look more forward to retirement. Which I’ve discovered I’m not quite ready for yet.


  2. I hope you won’t stop posting on FB because I love to see how your creative spirit has pulled you in various directions. Not needing or wanting to keep up with you, I just love to see where your brain is leading you any particular day! I yearn for your energy….

    Liked by 1 person

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