My Creative Bucket List: Art I Want to Make Before I Die

A lot of people have lists of things they’d like to do before they die; I have a list of things I’d like to make.

As part of my annual review process this year (2016), for personal accountability that I’m actually working towards my creative goals, I’m publishing my creative bucket list with status updates. I’ll plan to come back and update this post in the future, at least annually.

My creative bucket list includes writing and illustration, my current creative foci. In my day job as a graphic designer, I need to ship my work regularly. Many of my creative goals involve shipping projects, not just completing them. To me, sharing the work is an essential aspect of completing it. In 2016, I selected three guiding philosophies for myself: sharing was one of them. I’m sharing this list in that spirit. I understand that the final step of getting a novel published or selling a short story is out of my control — but I can write the best novel or short story I’m capable of to improve my odds.

What’s on your creative bucket list?

WRITING BUCKET LIST

Publish a novel.

Status

12/2016: Completed first draft of “The Second Rebellion” in summer 2016. Now working on a chapter-by-chapter update to prepare the draft for beta readers.

Next milestone

Complete revision of “The Second Rebellion” so I can let beta readers read the draft.

Sell a short story.

Status

12/2016: I’ve been submitting short stories to professional markets for the past two years without success. I took two one-day Clarion West creative writing classes, and participated in the Fairwood Writer’s Workshop, that made me realize some of the troubles my stories are having. I need to level up to be able to sell.

Next milestone

Revise “Title Fight” short story using feedback and ideas from Fairwood Writer’s Workshop and the writing classes.

COMBINED WRITING & ILLUSTRATION BUCKET LIST

Write and illustrate a graphic novel.

Status

12/2016: Wrote 3/4 of zero draft of “The Mermaid and the MP” during NaNoWriMo 2016.

Next milestone

Complete zero draft of “The Mermaid and the MP.”

Illustrate (and write?) a children’s book using ‘flat’ illustration style in Adobe Illustrator.

Status

4/2017: Attended a picture book writing ‘workshop’ at Norwescon 2017.

1/2017: Realized that a character idea that I’ve been sitting on for six months because I don’t have a story to suit would be a perfect fit for a children’s story, instead of an adult story, which would probably need to be sad.

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Develop story concept for children’s book using character idea.

ILLUSTRATION BUCKET LIST

Letterpress print a poster or art print.

Status

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Decide what to illustrate.

Illustrate a t-shirt and sell it.

Status

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Decide what to illustrate.

Create a set of wildlife / ecosystem prints.

Status

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Decide what to illustrate.

Paint a mural.

Status

1/2017: Ideas for a mural:

  • oversized floral pattern on two-story wall of my living room;
  • stylized mountains in orange and red on wall of new living room we hope to remodel this year, with “bullseye” style circles overlaid at random in multi colors;
  • flock of crows, extending onto the ceiling, possibly accompanying mountains in monotone blue or tan or green fading in tint as they recede into the distance, also in new living room.

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Choose a concept and location.

Design and illustrate a book (that I’ve written?).

Status

12/2016: Have illustrated two short stories for Liminal Stories, and plan to continue doing an illustration for each issue.

Next milestone

Finish writing a book.

Collaborate on an art or design project.

Status

4/2017: Attended a panel on collaboration at Norwescon 2017.

12/2016: n/a

Next milestone

Find a collaborator.

Last updated April 2017

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

About Tracy Durnell

Seattle-area graphic designer and SFF writer inspired by the Pacific Northwest, crafting a sustainable and intentional life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *