to reflect is to move forward

I've been sipping my coffee this morning thinking about the potential of this new year. The foundation has been laid to make the next few months extremely busy, productive, and madly creative. But so far I haven't laid out any hard and fast goals for 2010 and I have yet to obsess over any of the lists I typically generate and dwell on this time of year.

Last January, I created a list of tangibles that I wanted to achieve. I even set deadlines. Today I'm laughing as I look at that list seeing that I didn't achieve ANY of them. In fact, I completely abandoned most of those ideas by the beginning of February. What happened was a much more organic and thoughtful process, with some synchronicity, good luck, and a few setbacks thrown in. I rather deliberately took a step back from shows or participating in large productions other than a few choice projects, and I didn't apply for any grants or residencies.

To put the future in perspective, I thought about what I DID do in 2009. It turned out to be a year not of major, ground-breaking accomplishment, but of quiet, small steps that I think have set me up to move forward much more boldly in 2010.

So here are nine things from 2009 that I feel will shape the direction of Tiger Food Press in the new year:

1. I stopped deliberating and made Tiger Food Press an official business registered with the State of Oregon. Which was a result of:

2. I stopped fretting over my press' identity and began to break my own 'rules'. I'd been extremely indecisive about whether to keep Tiger Food Press a private press that occasionally does job work, or if I wanted to be a small job shop that occasionally publishes small press projects. Some days the difference felt like a minor technicality and other days it seemed that I would never bridge the gap. I eventually concluded that I should set no limits on what I can or cannot do with my press, and I'm already moving into 2010 with a lusciously full plate with a wide variety of projects in progress.

3. Website! Up! Tiger Food Press went

online

in a bigger way in 2009. I finally (finally!) built a website and got it online. In the coming months I'll be refining and adding to it, but it is up and working well.

4. Tying into and playing a huge role in my finally designing my site is my new logo designed by

Precious Bugarin

. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Precious! With a new logo I felt like I had something to build my site around, and it also adds unification to my online presence. I felt able to revamp my Etsy store, too.

5. I began working as a Studio Manager at the Oregon College of Art & Craft. This job, which is the perfect amount of part-time hours, has been rewarding to me in so many ways, not the least of which is being around so many hard working artists. I can't help but be driven to work harder in my own studio when I'm surrounded by the process of art making so intensely.

6. And speaking of process, being a part of a collaboration, again with Precious Bugarin, on her

wedding line

has been a blast and also extremely rewarding.

7. I became the chairman of the board of

New Oregon Arts & Letters

, which is producing the

New Oregon Interview Series

, carrying into 2010 - with more related projects in the works!

8. I was lucky enough to participate in three really wonderful print exchanges and donations, which helped me break my block around creating new work and also introduced me to many amazing NW print artists. I was also able to participate in some awesome local events like the Portland Letterpress Printer's Fair,

Prints for Pica

, and the Publication Fair at the Ace Hotel this December with

Plazm

and

New Oregon Arts & Letters

.

9. And finally - the most important by far - are the truly wonderful connections I've made and friendships formed in 2009 with more totally inspiring and enormously talented people than I've ever met in my life. More people than I can name have either come into my life in the last year, or strengthened the friendships already formed. I can't thank my friends enough.