Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year Collaborative Paint Jam

-By Ron and Vanessa Lemen


Let's ring in the New Year by celebrating beginnings and endings!

If it's true what they say – that what you're doing on New Year's Eve is a precursor to what lies ahead in the following year, then doing art and having fun doing it seems like a good idea for a couple of artists' New Year's Eve plans. It's what we've done for many years now, and I don't think it will ever get old.

This year, we will be making art again, and we thought we'd share the experience with all of you on our last post on Muddy Colors for the year because it happens to fall on New Year's Eve! We put together a video (at the end of this post) of a collaborative painting we did together on New Year's Eve-Eve-Eve (in order to be able to post it on New Year's Eve). It's not necessarily a 'finished' painting – we painted for a few hours in one afternoon – but it's not about the finish. We wanted to test out some equipment and the function of the setup, and see how it goes. And really, it was about the experience and the enjoyment of painting together, and in this case actually working on a collaborative painting together(!)


We did have fun, and we did have some oops moments too (like every time I'd bump the stand with the boom for the camera. grrr!) Overall, it was a good time and we learned some new things from the experience as well. Our idea for the subject or theme of the painting was simple – we wanted to paint something upbeat and colorful, depicting people having a good time in a group environment - and all of this sort emerges from chaos. We didn't have too much of a plan other than that. We didn't necessarily want to focus too much on trying to get a finish done. We gave ourselves a pretty small window of time, and just wanted to enjoy the experience. Doing a collaborative painting is something that isn't unfamiliar, but it is relatively rare for the two of us, and we'd like to do more of it in the next year and years to follow. We've done a couple in the past, and thought that this would be a perfect time to do it – while ushering in the New Year! (The fur-kids helped out too).


We set up an area in our kitchen using our dining table, and the counter space for extra stuff. We used several extra studio lights at all angles to try to minimize cast shadows on the painting, and had a boom for the camera overhead. There was enough space around the table to work from all angles (but yes, I did bump the boom stand a few times..). We worked in acrylic, which isn't either one of our most frequently used media, especially on a 20x32” painting, but we wanted to allow for drying time within the limited time we knew we'd be working. The dining table was covered in freezer paper (palette paper), and by the way, a dining table-sized palette is a pretty nice thing. Also, this painting is laying flat on the table, and we both usually work with a painting at an easel, upright. Laying flat to do splatters is great, but I do prefer to paint at an easel.


I started the painting off by covering the white of the surface (illustration board with a couple coats of gloss medium/varnish) using various colors in varying consistencies, making abstract marks and texture to build the next layers onto. The painting evolved from abstract shapes of color into figures dancing in colored light. As far as completion goes, this would take a few more passes to resolve forms, color, details, and overall focus – it is definitely a WIP at the video's end.


The year 2016, for us, has had its highs and lows and craziness, as all the years before it have in some way or another, and we anticipate that the years to come will be similar in that way. This NYE, we wanted to focus on the celebration of beginnings and endings as we ring in 2017. Happy New Year, everybody! We hope you enjoy the video (below) – cheers to a New Year filled with things you enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Akata Witch & Warrior

by 
Greg Ruth
Unused original approach to AKATA WARRIOR, graphite on paper.
It was seen as too-spidery by all.
To continue with what is for me personally one of the most challenging and exciting exercises in book cover making, I was tasked with doing covers for the paperback version of Nnedi Okorafor's AKATA WITCH and the hard and softcover editions of AKATA WARRIOR. When I had initially tackled the Cross Cult translations of LAGOON, BOOK OF THE PHOENIX & WHO FEARS DEATH we had talked about just continuing their tradition of portraits of these powerful women whether they were to be used for a book or not simply of the art of it... but she managed to work some magic into tackling these latest with my pal and AD at Penguin, Jim Hoover and make these official.

One of the most essential truths in art, at least by my reckoning, is that art in its noble and pure form is definitively un-racist. Not that it hasn't been or will not continued to be used to promote racial agendas both good and bad- I mean that the act of making art- the act of seeing is removed from the social judgements and cultural realities that come later. Art is objectification at it's most pure- it turns or sees people places and subjects as objects from an observational standpoint. So when you are tackling something racial or depicting  someone from another tribe be it a Maori warrior, a Swedish businessman, or an ancient Hun, leaning hard on this aspect of art-making can be a tremendous help as a starting point. It affords you to see and study the physical characteristics of the subject without importing your own b.s., from which is where you will either make a bold/progressive statement or do something dumb. So observe, study and analyze as if you were an alien visiting this subject. Try to see it all as new, make no presumptions or take anything for granted. Recognize the inherent narcissism we all delve in that causes us to make pictures of other humans look a bit like us, and keep it in check. Be conscious of your own corner-cutting, and submit to the the demands of research and study. They won't save you from every error, but they can steer you clear of most of the sharpest stones.

Final graphite drawing of AKATA WITCH
My origins and personal experiences with race, my nearly all white childhood and the reversal of that in NYC and coming into the adult world at a time where white cultural dominance was ebbing and we were seeing much more diverse and colorful faces in our culture, made this an interesting issue to take on. Much in the same way it was when I took on INDEH, the same questions arise: Should I be doing this? Should I not be? Why and why not? etc... From a purist art standpoint I find that the medium and practice of art is exactly the perfect place to take on what might be politically/socially controversial subjects because art is inherently neutral and objective in how it sees and envisions thew world. It's a place where we stuck on the earth can elevate our own predispositions towards each other and create circumstances for being changed in a backdoor way to how we interact and view our world. To me that's where art is its most valuable to the culture within which it exists and speaks to. So for me personally on this one I had to question my own inherent eyes and racial awareness, discard much of it and start again from a  new place in order to see it. Sunny made this easy because who she is as a character made it unavoidable: She is a light skinned albino Nigerian woman. This means learning that in her case, her race or cultural identity had literally nothing to do with her skin color. This means it has to be about her as a structure, and her as a character. It can't just be a picture of a woman, it has to BE Sunny. The most essential and primary testament is when the Nnedi looks at it and SEES Sunny there looking back. Once that's achieved, the rest is about design and making the cover function to its best ability in how it sells interest in the story behind it. So I operated from this goal first, crafting her in graphite and sharing the image with the author as well as my AD. Nnedi and I interact largely on the subject of making sure she's who she needs to be. This is more about not getting stuff wrong than it is about achieving anything at all. Jim Hoover, my AD on this, brings int he practicalities of it as a cover and what they need that cover to do- hit the right audience age and etc..., fulfill the advertising requirements a book cover has to meet, and satisfy the marketing and publicity ends of the publisher so we can threads through it all both a piece we respect like and want to look at, and also one that checks all the right boxes. Once this is achieved it's off to the color races and finalizing those and applying any remaining tweaks so we can put it to bed and do it again.

FINAL COVER for AKATA WITCH w/o text and title
We often in art mistake race for color, and what this taught me was a way to skip past those initial assumptions and get right to the heart of her structure rather than her tone. This meant a lot of research into what physical features are distinctively Nigerian, and bringing those to bear on this young woman. She had to, without leaning on skin color, be authentically Nigerian and herself as a true native of her culture in every bit as much the same way in which I might need to address and accomplish the same for a Cambodian scientist, or an Icelandic luthier. We all within our tribes carry specific physical marks that stem from our localized familial genetics. Folks of a Rwandan Tutsi heritage have different physical features even from Rwandan Hutu people due to the way we as people form our tribes via family and region. Whether or not my own self-aware whiteness drove me to paying especial attention to these subtle but significant differences, or whether it was just about cleaving close to that aforementioned ethic of art making to be its best and truly objective self, I can't say. But I do confess to feeling as someone coming from a  different cultural experience, I owe a lot to research as a means to be the best scribe for the cultural truths and realities of one that is not mine. That means, int he case of INDEH, years of research, tracking tribal origins, genetic traits and societal issues so that the Apaches look like Apaches, especially to actual real Apaches. If I had done this first as part of this ongoing series, I am not sure I would have been able to if I were being honest. I think I needed to do the other three to fully grok what it was this pair of images needed to have done. It was entirely essential to this potential hubris that Nnedi had been so excited about the previous three- and particularly to have been so spot on with them both culturally and inherent in her mind to the characters as she see saw them. Her words brought great comfort to me in times of doubt- (Thanks Nnedi!).

final graphite drawing for AKATA WARRIOR
So back to it- the first and foremost thing was herself as a person and a character different from the other three that preceded her. Sunny is a person and I need to find that person. So I just began by drawing her. Next up was making sure her features where both age appropriate, (she was originally drawn too old in my opinion), and tweak her later so that she read as unique. We all as artists tend towards the same faces, and more often than not I have found, towards faces that either resemble our own, or those we were familiar with growing up. I grew up surrounded by a lot of white faces, and as a child almost exclusively so. Being aware of that slant in how I see and draw people is essential to be able to then work around when depicting others is called for, and when it is not. For these, I had to go outside of my comfort zone and wheelhouse. (For my next book with Ethan, as an example, which takes place in Huntsville, Texas, its all about white folk given the area so much less so). So I had to check my own initial character depictions against research of her locale and country as if she were an actual real person from that place. That meant looking at noses, eyes, ears gait, hair and all the rest of the little details that makes her seem as real and possible to a Nigerian as not. The same work is required no matter the area or region, and often even race. I bring you back to the physiological differences within Rwandans whether Tutsi or Hutu or both. They are there and they do matter. Even if you are some fellow from Baltimore who has no idea of either, the work and research will come through and affirm your art even if much of its researched details only do so as a sub-rosa event. The work you do will show through always, so I encourage you as artists to do the work.

Final Cover for AKATA WARRIOR w/o text & title
And this is the whole point of it all in the end... we're all racial, we're all tribal. We come from different regions and different places and we see the world informed by those inherent locales. It is our job as artists to both be aware of that reality and to look beyond it when we can, not just when the job requires. It grows us from ourselves and makes of us better at what we do both as artists in our art and as people walking down the street. The great personal side benefit of this particularly racial last few years of mine, whether its doing some of the crazily controversial racial work that infuses Walter Mosely's terrifically poignant science fiction stories, all the thorns inherent to tackling INDEH or the immensely informed work that went into Nnedi's covers, is that I go into 2017 with a much wider vision of the world, my job and my own capabilities as an artist in the jobs yet to come. I have already tackled two new native based covers- concerning a Mohawk story for Abrams and one for Tor for a luminously dark novel involving traditional Fancy Dancers. I could not have done these without having become battered and steeped in the culture and inherent trickiness of those arenas, and I am a better artist for it. So I encourage you all as we march into an ever more closely connected racially diverse world that we (thankfully) live in, to get out there and draw outside of your boundaries and tribes and neighborhoods if for no other reason than how it will widen your own chops as an artist. Know you will get it wrong before you find out how to get it right. Know you may have to unlearn some ways in which you presumptively see. Know that at the end of the day, getting it wrong won't cost anyone their life, and it just means you need to get better at finding a new and innovative approach. You will have to discard a lot of hangups and social issues while working, advice and input from friends and colleagues as well. You alone must chart your best way towards seeing your subjects at their most essential and you alone have to get right with your own limited and prejudicial ways in which you see the world. Because you do, as we all do. It's how we grow up and learn to cope, but it's part of us and not to be made into an enemy. Just recognize it make it part of how you choose to make a mark and what for rather than revealing itself at inopportune times. And who knows? You might find it makes you racially more aware and broader in your ranger of how you see people and the world by accident. I know it has done this in droves for me, and part of what has allowed me as an artist to justify continuing in this path. I would be a lesser person and lesser artist if I didn't take these risks, and stayed within my own comfortable confines. It may be spooky and it may get you into trouble from time to time but I really believe if you pay attention, be artistically objectifying when needed... you'll come out the other side better for it, and your work will take you places you never expected. At the end of it all as we close out this intense 2016, this is the real goal. The individual pieces are all just bricks in the road. Evidence of the learning.

Hope everyone has a terrific holiday and an even better 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tattoos - Game of Mind

-By Donato

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     21" x 30"  Oil on Panel

This latest private commission was executed for a collector to illustrate a George R.R. Martin short story, The Glass Flower, originally published in 1987.  From the beginning of the concepting I knew I wanted to add tattoos to the human figure, but I was not sure of what theme and style they would take. The tattoos were floating about as forms to break the large mass of the flesh, much like the geometric mechanics and plating disrupt the flow upon the robots form.



The final decision on how to tackle the tattoos came as the painting was basically complete in its lighting/color and rendering. Assessing the relationship and emotional energy now established between the robot and the human, I was not sure if I wanted geometric or abstract shapes to dominate the tattoo structures.

Intuition guided my initial choices of mark and image making.

After letting the painting rest for a few days, I realized the figure was a vessel of life presented in contrast to the mechanics composing the rest of the image.  The representation of animals upon her body allowed her to become a banner carrier of all life, mammals, reptiles, insects, birds and fish, etc. Obviously only a few animals and phylum could be represented, but it was a great impulsive discovery.



As the various animal choices began to be added and arranged dictated by the space and mass of areas on her body, a theme of predator and prey began to evolve.  A secondary concept of ground to sky-dwelling animals allowed for a subtle ascending structure leading from the snake on her ankle to the owl on her back, and onto the celestial elements of the sun and moon on her shoulders, and finally into the planets and stars on her arms.

The initial dread and fear of what these tattoos needed to be gave way to the thrill and challenge of executing this newly realized theme in a harmonious way so the tattoos could sit convincingly upon her flesh.

Needless to say, I was excited with the resolution of the painting and am happy to share the results with you here today.

Thank you Patrick Robinson for providing the commission and opportunity to bring this painting to life!

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     Rough Drawings  8" x 11" each

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     Preliminary Drawing  18" x 24"

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     21" x 30"  Oil on Panel -  Acrylic Wash

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     21" x 30"  Oil on Panel  progress

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     21" x 30"  Oil on Panel  Progress

Game of Mind - The Glass Flower    Donato Giancola     21" x 30"  Oil on Panel  detail

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Years Resolution

-By Jesper Ejsing

One of the two paintings I liked from this year.

Now the year 2016 is almost done. The new year is coming straight at us.

I always look back at the paintings I have done this year and sort the good ones from the bad. Often I find only a couple that I actually am happy with. I try to analyse what is good about them and why they are a succes to me. Same deal with the bad ones. I stare straight at them and take note of what is badly exeuted and why, and what I can learn from the mistakes. Mostly I uset his opportunaty to make for myself an artistic New years resolution.

This year, for me, it is just basic drawing skills. I will use 2017 to improve my drawings.

I have traveled a lot this yera and have been exposed to a lot of young and fantastic talented artists. Many of them seemed way better than me at basic drawing. They drew better figures than I did, and worst of all, they seemed to do it without the hassle and hardship that I seem to have. I also think that I tend to draw the same kind of figures, faces and poses a lot. When meeting these people from artschools and workshops, they all had sketchbooks and did tests and studies. They did all the things that you are supposed to do. The "art school stuff". Now, I never did that. I never went to school or had a mentor. And I never tested stuff or practiced light or color or anything. Actually, to my horror, I think I havent done a single illustration for myself in 7 years. I always thought that as long as I did assignments I would train and teach myself. "No need to practice, Jesper", I told myself. "Do it while you work". This year I reached the conclusion that I am wrong. Finally.

The other of the two good paintings this year

So, My new years resolution will be to practice more. For no other reason than practice. I will do a drawing, painting or sketch each day. Something that is for no purpose or project or anything.

I think you should do it too. Make a couple of New Year's resolutions... The ordinary: more exercise, be a better husband, wife, farther, do more home cooking, get your finances in order and all the usual suspects. But also make an artistic resolution. Find just one of your weak spots and set your mind to fixing it. Together we will be better in 2017!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

An Introduction to Oil Painting


Here is a short but informative PDF created by Artists Network that goes over some basics about oil painting, including history, tools, techniques and terminology. Despite the PDF only being 13 pages long, is full of great information, really nice art, and is the perfect primer for those looking for a very simple introduction to oil painting basics.

You can download a copy of the PDF by clicking this link:
http://www.artistsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/ArtistsNetwork_OilPainting_2016.pdf

And be sure to visit the rest of the Artist Network website, which is full of free tutorials covering a wide variety of mediums: http://www.artistsnetwork.com There are some real gems strewn throughout the site.

Below is a short sampling of what is contained in the PDF...



The majority of the article sites the work and methods of Joshua LaRock, whose paintings are quite impressive and add some real clout to the technique portion. Joshua is a classically trained painter (having studied under Jacob Collins), and aside from his portraiture and fine arts, is also a teacher at the Grand Central Atelier in NYC.

For those interested in discovering more about the paintings contained in the article, below is a brief video showcasing some of Joshua's work...

Monday, December 26, 2016

Basic Photoshop

-By Arnie Fenner

As I've mentioned in various posts in the past, it doesn't matter how a commercial artist chooses to create their work, but a basic understanding of the computer is essential for delivering jobs to clients and archiving art for a record (and possible secondary rights licensing).

Since its launch in 1990, Photoshop has become the de facto industry standard for "raster graphics" editing. Nathanial Dodson put together this very basic guide that should be useful to beginners as well as to experienced artists needing a clear-cut refresher. You can use the time-guide below to skip around to various tips as needed—and you can find many more Photoshop video tutorials at the Tutvid website.



00:55 Color Balance
01:48 Masking
02:44 Quick Selection Tool
04:03 Quick Mask Tool
05:03 Content-Aware Fill
05:31 Clone Stamp Tool
07:05 The Patch Tool
08:07 How to use Levels
09:12 The Pen Tool
10:31 Flames Filter
15:03 The Type Tool
15:41 TypeKit Fonts
17:42 Using & Working with Guides
18:38 Smart Objects
19:35 Field Blur
21:41 How to use Curves
23:20 The Eyedropper Tool
24:58 Import Color Themes with Adobe Color
25:49 BONUS: Gradient Maps
26:27 How to Create an Action
28:38 The Crop Tool
30:36 Colorize Live Shapes
31:23 Convert Objects to 3D/Working with 3D
34:24 Custom Workspaces
35:57 The Camera RAW Filter
37:18 Exporting Images and Graphics
38:46 BONUS: Changing the UI Background Color
39:29 Color Range
40:55 Select and Mask
45:38 Liquify
47:36 The Healing Brush
49:28 The Rotate View Tool

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Drawing the Figure From Imagination : Download Available Now


A downloadable copy of this Deccember's Live Event is now available for our Patreon supporters. If you're a supporter, be sure to check your email for a link to the file.

If you're not yet a supporter, you can get this download for a $10 donation. More info HERE.

This month's Live Event was "Drawing the Figure from Imagination', with Ron Lemen. The demo ran about 2.5 hours, and Ron covered an immense amount of territory. He showed how to anatomically break down a referenced figure, and then redraw that same figure from a different camera angle, under different lighting, completely from imagination.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hermann David Salomon Corrodi

by Howard Lyon

I love the landscapes of Hermann David Salomon Corrodi.  I love them for the color, the design and the insights that they give us into life in his time.  I am sure they idealized and editorialized, but like many painting they still offer a peek into the past.

Some of the files below are giant, and reveal some great brushwork and textures so be sure to open the images in their own tabs, or download them and take a closer look.

I love the beautiful gradient of the sky in the painting below.  Look at the great transition from background to foreground starting at the horizon and moving forward into the righthand foreground.  It is beautifully done.


I believe this is a sketch below.  Be sure to look at this larger, especially the tree.  I love the texture and simplicity in the way it was painted.


I was lucky enough to stand in the same spot that this was painted when I was in Rome last April. So cool to see how things have changed and what has stayed the same.  You can see the arch of Septimus Severus on the left and the temple of Saturn on the far right.


Here is a photosphere image taken from a similar spot I found on Google Maps.





This image below is HUGE!  Be sure to zoom in and look at the brushwork.





Sadly, the painting below is need of repair, but still beautiful.



Gorgeous play of color and light and showing the Corrodi's love of sky reflecting in water.  When you have a good thing going...


The study below is for a painting that I saw in as part of the Dahesh collection.


Here is the final painting.  You can see how close it is, but there are some important changes and I love the richness of color in the finals.  I love the transition of the water from the oranges and purples of in the reflection into the greens of the foreground.


I don't know why, but this little collection of clouds really intrigued me!


Thanks for giving the post a read and I hope you enjoyed seeing these Corrodi's as much as I did.

Howard

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Failing for the Right Reasons

By Lauren Panepinto

As I'm writing this post, it's the December Solstice—literally the darkest night of the year. Add to that the looming end of year, holiday stress, and all those 2016 resolutions that fell by the wayside. That adds up to a rocky road thru the end of December. This time of year is often introspective, and it's often the time of year we can be hardest on ourselves. We feel like we haven't gotten nearly as much done as we wanted to, as we thought we could have, should have achieved. I've had shades of this conversation with many people this week, so I thought I'd address it here...

I think it's time to talk about failure.

Before we begin, let me shout out Greg Manchess's great 10 Things About…Failure post from a few years ago. Greg called out some of my favorite "failure" quotes, especially from this guy:


I think Greg's post is fabulous, and really useful in telling us how to deal with failure. But I want to take it one step further. I don't think failure actually exists. It's all in our heads. And if it's all in our heads, then we get to control it. Success and failure are all about the stories we tell ourselves. Success and failure depend entirely on our point of view, and how we decide to judge ourselves.

Sounds crazy, right? We spend so much of our lives afraid of failing. That's all going to just…disappear? Follow me for a minute here, I have a thought exercise.

What is the definition of failure?


1. Failure is a lack of success. 

Ok, well who defines success? In everything that matters, it should be you. Not society, not your boss, not your teachers. Not your family. Not your significant other. Not your peers. You. You should be defining your goals. And, because you are a changing and evolving individual, your goals should be able to change and evolve too. And if your goals are evolving and changing...then you can't really fail at them. There's great quotes about there being no failing except giving up. To a degree that's true, but take it further. I think the only failing is not trying at all. As long as you're moving forward, no matter how altered the path, you can't fail.

You can take longer than you expected. You can move the goalposts. You can even change the goal altogether. But you can't fail. Because you, and only you, define what you consider success.


You also define what you consider the learning process. What's the difference between failure and just the process of learning? Every time you draw a hand, you get better at it. Does that make every hand you've ever drawn before that hand a failure? Of course not. You can get better and better at drawing hands ad infinitum. You can always draw a better hand. Does that mean every hand you will ever draw in the future is a failure? No, we know that's just part of learning. So as long as you are still learning, there's no failing.

2. Failure is the omission of expected or required action.

This is even easier to unpack. This part of the definition isn't about your goals, it's about goals given to you by external sources. And while, yes, we live in the world, and we have to fulfill certain expectations of us by our jobs, by people in our lives, by society, those are all goals that we choose to accept. I don't think the problem is failing…I think the problem is deadlines…(see below)



Failure vs. Deadlines

Really, the thing to be scared of isn't failure, it's deadlines. Because you can bite off more than you can chew in the amount of time you give yourself. You can overestimate what you can accomplish. You can get well onto the road to success, and realize it's a longer road than you expected when you set out. I am definitely guilty of having to alter deadlines often, because things come up and I need to reshuffle priorities…but I don't consider that failing. 

Often times the difference between failure and success is just where you draw the finish line.

Honestly what I often find is that I overestimate my ability to dedicate myself to that one original goal. Other things come up. Sometimes they're important, great, wonderful things, and you make room for them. Is it a failure to not learn to play the piano because you unexpectedly got the opportunity to apprentice with a violin master and decided to learn that instead (or just to put off learning the piano until later)? I don't consider that a failure. Your goal evolved as you set out to pursue it in the real world. And hopefully it changed into something better.



Motivation vs. Excuses

I've talked about this mindset of "no such thing as failure" with a few people, and the devil's advocate argument always comes up: if there's no such thing as failure, then how would you get anything done? I know that the fear of failure does motivate a lot of people, but in my experience, motivation by fear more often leads to freezes, blocks, and forced creativity instead of that golden enjoyable flow that just…works. I think the pressure of not failing is less fruitful than the freedom to choose your own path and pursue your goals without fear.

Of course there's no real way to quantify this and prove it in a widespread way. We can only prove or disprove it for ourselves. But if you've always been a person that feels the threat of failure looming over their shoulder…maybe it's time to try putting down that burden and seeing if you are just as productive without it. I think the extra energy of not carrying that weight will actually let you get further than you ever have before.

Maybe this year, when you're looking back at what you didn't achieve (yet), remember to take into account all the awesomeness you achieved without knowing it was a goal. Maybe look back and instead of naming an incomplete goal a failure you refine it into something better. If you missed a deadline, look back at what you learned about the project and know how to estimate time more accurately next time.

But most of all, be nicer to yourself. The fear and pressure you inflict on yourself might be the very thing holding you back from achieving that goal.