And so, here they are — the last graphics I made for THR‘s newsletter before I left. (I was going to say, “jumped ship,” but I think that’s the term when it’s more intentional than what actually occurred. I might be wrong, though.) As I write, there’s discussion about whether or not I might return to do more for the newsletter, which I assume would include more graphics, but nothing’s been finalized yet, so… we’ll see, I guess. For now, consider these the last ones I made — although there are others that I made around the same time that haven’t seen the light of day yet. (Well, one has, but not the rest.) Maybe they’ll show up here at some point in the future…? For now, say goodbye with these ones…
With the news that I’m no longer at THR out there now, it feels weird to be sharing images I created for the newsletter, but, well, the completist in me demands it, I guess.
All of these were created for the 100th newsletter last month, which was also the first newsletter we made after we found out I had been let go. It was a strange and somewhat sad experience to make all of these — six in one week, as well, which is a lot compared with the more traditional two or three — but I also felt a particular enjoyment with them all because I knew I wouldn’t get to do it much longer, if that makes sense…?
Let’s flash back for a brief second to the end of 2020 — well, really the middle of the end of the year. The first images below are from the final 2020 newsletter, which went out mid-December, and they’re followed by the two graphics (and two versions therein of each) that started off the 2021 newsletters. Remember back then? Remember each January?
Returning to the land of THR newsletter graphics after a couple of weeks off — because the newsletter itself took a couple of weeks off for the holidays — and I’m surprised by how completely I’ve forgotten creating any of these images. Apparently these things really don’t stick in my head very long. That, or the holiday period was more thought-provoking than I thought at the time.
So, after a year, I feel like I should have something profound to say about 2020 Vision, the self-directed project that had me posting 800×800 pixel images on here each weekday of the year. After a year, though, it’s become so second nature that profundity feels almost impossible.
The basic idea behind it was that, essentially, improvising a daily image — going in with no plan, no preparation, and no expectation most of all, and just seeing what happened — would become both an exercise in unlocking something in my head creatively and a discipline thing that would get me over the hump in my brain that has made me second-guess any image making intent I’ve had since art school two decades earlier. (They fuck you up, those higher education establishments, they may not mean to, but they do.)
I’m not entirely sure the plan worked out, to be honest. At multiple times, the image making felt more of an obligation than a creative exercise, and something that I resented, or something close to it. I never actually got to the point of disliking the project, but I certainly got close a few times, especially on days where my workload got so heavy that I was all too aware that I had far too many other things that I should be doing instead. Things that would, you know, actually help pay my bills.
Yet I kept going, in part because I said that I would and I didn’t want to back down, and in part because it became a habit through sheer repetition. That felt like a problem in its own right; surely there was something wrong with continuing purely because of momentum and the creative version of muscle memory…? Or perhaps not; this was something I went into purposefully without expectation, so maybe any outcome was the right one.
The end is in sight now; as of Friday, a new year begins and 2020 is done. The project will be over, and I’ll stop making daily images. The question I haven’t really answered for myself yet is, will I keep making and posting them on an irregular basis, just because?