Tu Ha An - Dreamlike & Multicultural Illustration

Hi 2023 & keep creating!

My new year started with a zombie head and a compote body…

But don’t worry, I’m happy. My 2022 year has been… normal. It’s the first time I’ve had a normal year, where I completely feel like I fit in, where there are not too low downs and reasonable ups.

As Link Po says in an episode of The Blue Expat podcast:

If you’re on the right track, somehow, everything flows easily for you, without strain. […] That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make any effort, and that you will reach your destination safely with a finger snap. Difficulties will always be present, but you will find the motivation and strength within you to reduce the obstacles. Even if the road is thorny, your feet will find momentum to move forward.

This article will be personal and succinct. I would like to share with you 3 lessons I learned during the shift between 2022 and 2023, along with some updates on the blog.   

I used to believe, now I know

All my life, I have never written that much in one month!

In December 2022, I released 5 blog posts for the special serie Illustrator: the profession.

Usually, I only write 2 articles per month, with no more than 3,500 words per article per language. But last month, 5 articles were published, with an average of 6,000 words each, per language. That’s 90,000 words, just for the month of December 2022. And all this, in parallel with my illustrator job.

Of course, the writing process was not a smooth one. There were technical problems, hindrances, delays behind the scenes, frustration, a lot of doubt and fear, and most of all, shots of coffee, ginger, magnesium and thermos of green tea… to keep me awake.

It was also during this project that, for the first time, I had to call upon another freelance contractor to support me, in addition to the volunteer involvement of my four friends/editors. And it was also in December that I made the emergency decision to bring the first official member into my boat, without whom I would sink like Titanic.

What allowed me to go through with it

I knew that this project would be a monumental undertaking. The reason I went to such a storm of insanity was because I believed deeply in the usefulness of this special serie.

But the reason why I managed to keep the promise until the end, with 5 (very long) articles, published on time, in the 3 languages, is… (well, I don’t know how to express myself so that it doesn’t sound so cheesy)… The reason was YOU and your feedback!

The day before the publication of one of the first articles, I had a breakdown on the carpet, angry at my slowness, nervous about the workload that awaited for me, and panicked about the technical problems.

The next day, I continued to cry like a child. But this time it was the tears of relief, reading the messages some of you sent me in the Giveaway form.

Before, I believed in the usefulness of this special series. Today, I KNOW that these articles have given you confidence, useful information and insights into the illustrator’s profession

And the icing on the cake was when someone close to me called me to say that she was no longer afraid for me. From now on, she believes 100% in my job.

Lesson number 1: The feeling of “knowing”, of having confirmation of what you believe in, is more powerful than 100 shots of coffee! And to “know”, you need to get feedback from the audience that you want to reach.

2022 resolution and the bonus

In the second part of the articles What to do so that your creative resolutions won’t fail this year published in January 2022, I revealed my one and only resolution for the year 2022:

In 2022, I would like to build a semi-monthly blog that follows the Q.V.C.A. criteria on the subject of creativity, with a new article in three languages ​​(French, Vietnamese, English) on the 5th and 15th of each month.

And as you can see, I did it! I even exceeded the goal, with the 5 articles in the special series.

This year… I haven’t set my resolutions yet. For one thing, it was because I was sick, and for another, it’s not something I would want to take lightly, as the resolution will be the direction for my entire year.

In 2022, it was, in part, because of the execution of the resolution, with keeping the timing on the blog, and maintaining the quality, that I was able to get the agreement from my guests for the special serie in December. And as we’ve seen a bit above, this project confirmed that I’ve chosen the right direction for my content creation.    

Lesson number 2: A well-defined resolution can bring us surprise bonuses.

If, like me, you haven’t set your resolution yet, we can reread the two articles from January last year together and let’s set a SMART resolution that keeps us on track for this year, shall we?

What to do so that your creative resolutions won’t fail this year (1/2): The reality behind creative resolution and how to define it in a smart way

What to do so that your creative resolutions won’t fail this year! (2/2): The big trap and the ultimate obstacle that prevent us from changing our life with our creative resolution

I only have one racehorse

Even though my 2022 year ended on a project that I cherish, and that brings me so much confidence and connection with you, I was completely exhausted after its completion.

Lesson 3: If we don’t give ourselves a break, our body will strike on its own, and it won’t necessarily happen at the most convenient time.

As Jeff Walker said in his book Launch :

If you own a million-dollar pure-bred horse, you will take good care of it. You feed it well, make sure it rests, supervise its training sessions, provide it with a clean and comfortable stable and take it to the vet for regular check-ups.

In your professional and personal life, your body is a million dollar horse. Don’t you deserve the same attention?

I want to make more high-value content for those who dream of following a creative profession. And I want to keep going for a long time. So, I’ve decided to give myself a break from blogging until February 15, 2023.

In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram tuhaan.art

By the way, I realized that… I didn’t even set an end date for the Giveaway for the first special series on the blog. So, let’s say that the Giveaway will end on January 22, 2023, Lunar New Year’s Day, shall we? (Until then, you can continue to participate by following this link: https://forms.gle/Zr1zUMSQZsxfgPKk7 )

I send emails from time to time to those who participate in the GIveaway. I will announce the winner by email and on Instagram. 😉

Happy new year, and…

Keep creating!

Tu Ha An

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