2017 RING-IN: 2016 Resolved!

by Til Will

The results are in; the people have spoken. Thanks to you, we’ve been injected with our dose of adrenaline to keep digging, to keep that pickaxe swinging. There’s gold out there. 

I am fascinated by the origins of ideas, especially half-finished or unfulfilled ideas. As part of our New Year’s Ring-In, we put out a call for submissions to our readers. We prompted folks to think of a photo that they took as a reference for an art idea in 2016. This could be a snapshot of an interesting texture that might look good in a painting, or a sketch, or just a snapshot of something that they thought would kickstart an idea. Maybe this is an idea that was abandoned completely.

With so many great submissions, we couldn’t narrow it down to 5 as we said we would. So here’s our top 6.

Colleen RJC Bratton. She’s a fabric artist that lives in Seattle. She recently moved from Brooklyn. 

Kelsey S Brewer. She is a filmmaker living in Brooklyn. 
Ella Ordona. She is an installation artist and photographer living in Bellingham, WA
Jen Frost Smith. She’s an installation & video artist living in Texas. 
Caity Cunningham. She’s a photographer living in Seattle. 
Madeline Mcmurtry. She is an art student living in Bellingham, WA.


We also sent out a poll to our readers to see how they fared in the studio in 2016. The results were astonishing.

Part 1: Space & Time

  1. Worked from home studio or studio studio?



2. Average hours per week in your studio?


3. Planning how to quit your day job to make art full time in 2017?



4. Made more artwork than ever in 2016?




5. Exhibited in 2016?


6. Sold artwork in 2016?


7. Bought artwork in 2016?


8. Went to art school in 2016?




9. Had someone tell you “this is the best thing you’ve ever made” in 2016?


10. Seen a friend quit making art in 2016?



11. Seen a friend start making art in 2016?


12. Learned more on youtube than anywhere else in 2016?




13. Have had to use the statement “I don’t really follow (said sport)”?


14. Quit social media altogether in 2016?


15. Ruined a relationship because of your art practice in 2016?

ruined-relationship16. Compromised for someone else in 2016?


17. Got a job without an interview in 2016?



18. Had existential crisis in 2016?


19. Oil or Acrylic?


20. In 2017, it is possible to reach a point where others reactions to my work won’t affect the work.

work-unaffected-by-others-reactions21. Considered quitting art making to become an activist in 2016?

quit-art-become-activist22. Made excuses in 2016?


Data Analysis:

  1. It’s clear that the majority of the data pool spent 2016 making excuses. Room for improvement here.
  2. (refer to question 19) 40 percent agreed that ‘paint is irrelevant.’ This could mean two things. 1) The approval rating of painting is down, corresponding with the hypothesis. 2) The response ‘paint is irrelevant’ was interpreted by participants to mean ‘the type of paint doesn’t matter when it comes to painting.’  Noted as an error in the questionnaire. Talk to Editor. Because the data shows that more prefer acrylics, one of two conclusions can be drawn. 1) There aren’t enough ‘hard-core’ painters reading our blog. 2) Acrylics truly are better. Further research required.
  3. (refer to question 15) We are surprised to find that almost 30 percent of the data pool claimed ‘my art practice is not to blame’ for an ended relationship in 2016. Conclusions: We can assume that all who answered as aforementioned participated in a breakup of some kind in 2016. Whether or not the participant chose to question if the art practice was to blame remains in question. 1) Participant may have chose this answer knowing that the art practice had nothing to do with the breakup.  2) Participant chose this answer after deliberating with themselves on whether or not the art practice was the cause. Indeterminable; further research required. Even still, 12 percent of the data pool claimed that the art practice is to blame. Therefore, we can assume that there is some kind of conflict at play between art practice and relationships.
  4. The data pool favors social media. 10 percent dropout is probable cause for further investigation.
  5. Over 50 percent of participants were awarded jobs without interviews in 2016. From this we can conclude that the majority of participants make great first impressions.
  6. (refer to question 18) We were astonished to find that 92.5 percent of the data pool claimed to have ‘had an existential crisis in 2016.’ ‘Existential crisis’ left undefined, was meant as a questioning of one’s own existence: a moment where one cannot do anything until one proves that they are authentic. We interpreted this statistic a number of ways. 1) There is an overwhelming amount of uncertainty in the idea of free will within the data pool. 2) Having asked themselves what it means to exist in 2016, most participants may have been distracted or even completely derailed from decision making in their art practice at some point. 3) Most participants existed in an environment that failed to validate their existence and/or authenticity at some point in 2016. 4) Most participants have endured stress in 2016. 5) It is clear that there is a high level of awareness among the data pool.
  7. (refer to question 2,4,5) As the majority claim to have an art practice greater than 1o hours a week, we find that the overwhelming presence of existential crisis had little effect on the consistency of art practice in the data pool. Clearly, the majority of participants maintained an art practice in the same year they became uncertain of their own authenticity. The majority even exhibited. From this we inferred a strong presence of bravery.
  8.  (refer to question 6,7) Seeing as 63 percent of participants sold artwork in 2o16, and 70 percent bought, we observe a strong art economy within our data pool.
  9.  (refer to question 8) Notes: engagement with academia is low, could be improved.
2017 RING-IN: 2016 Resolved!

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