Orion Lantern by Jason LachtaraOK…this is probably the 9,999th blog post you have read this month that is looking back on the year that was.  What can I say?  There is just something about the close of one year and the seemingly fresh start of the next that causes introspection in all of us.  That’s what New Year’s Resolutions are all about, right? 

But, this post doesn’t start with January 1, 2010.  Much of what I see reflected in this year really began December 23rd, 2006.  That was my last day as the Marketing/Education/Gallery Coordinator of The St. Petersburg Clay Company.  You see, by July 2006 we all knew what was getting ready to happen to the economy – the art market is really a canary in the coal mine, and art buying had already started to drop off pretty steadily.  So, I was laid off and spent the next couple of years feeling like I was pretty adrift.  Art jobs were drying up quickly, and it certainly wasn’t (economically) the time to be forging a path as a full-time potter.  What I really remember is a succession of New Years Eves (2007, 2008, and 2009) where I exclaimed out loud, “This coming year will be better.  I can feel it.”

Now, I will admit, 2010 hasn’t been all roses and rainbows (what year ever is?), but this year I finally got answers to questions that have been keeping me adrift for the last few years.  Not all of those questions were met with the answers that I wanted, but I am finally feeling more stable (or anchored, if we want to keep with the “adrift” imagery).  Armed with the answers I had been seeking, I was able to start making some educated decisions on the directions I was going to go personally and professionally.  In a way, I now feel like I have a course laid out ahead of me – a course of my choosing.

So, this New Year’s Eve I will not exclaim that next year will be better.  I recognize that this one was pretty darn good.  Maybe not in the way I expected this time last year, but good nonetheless, and the coming year will be good in its own way as well.  I am excited where this coming year is headed, and I hope you will all follow Jason and me through 2011 and beyond to see where the journey takes us.

Lanterns by Jason Lachtara, including the Orion Lantern pictured above, are available for purchase on the Lach Arts’ Etsy site.