//2016 – A New Year’s Letter to You

2016 – A New Year’s Letter to You

By |2017-01-03T13:15:28+00:00January 3rd, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: |4 Comments

I have been debating for a week whether to write a New Year’s letter or not. I want to put something meaning out there into the world but that little voice of self-doubt always whispers: “Pfftth.. what do you have to say that is of any importance?” But I should not let that stop me. Self-doubt and fear are the enemies of creation, so I am going to write this letter and put it into the world. For you and for me, because we both have experiences, and from experiences we learn and obtain knowledge, which we then can share and connect, and maybe – just maybe, we will make a positive difference in one another’s life. I sincerely hope so.

Now it is January 2017. A clean slate, a new year with a future full of possibilities. What are you going to do with your life this year? How do you want your situation to be different by this time next year? New Year’s always gets me in a planning mode, now is the time to start planning and break it into small achievable goals that can build on one another. One drawing a day can turn into an art book in just 6 months! Your career is in your hands.

I find that it is important to remind ourselves that the person who can make the biggest difference in our lives is ourselves. So what are you going to do with your life this year? How are you going to better your inner self and your life this year?

A positive outlook can make a big difference. The world may upset, annoy and frustrate you, but if I learned anything from 2016 it was to approach my fellow human beings from a place of compassion. If someone lashes out, it’s often not about you, it’s about something in their lives that affects them one way or another. Try not to focus on things you cannot control, it so easily spirals you into despair and hopelessness. What you can control is how you react to your surroundings and whether you welcome the dawn of a new day or a new year with an open heart and mind.

Be compassionate.
Make it a great day.
Make it a great year.

Happy New Year!


About the Author:

Award-winning Illustrator, Artist, and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily share her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in the Kingdom of Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.


  1. Lori Hamilton January 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Kiri, thank you for writing! I used to get “the blues” in January because here in North Carolina it can be gray and rainy a lot and I love the sunshine. Now, however, I try to enjoy the beauty of the rain and cold, stay in and drink hot tea or coffee and paint. A goal that I’ve had – seems like forever – is to draw or paint every day. I’m still struggling with that – aging parents, first grandchild on the way, involvement in our local arts council and church activities all get in the way – but am determined to find a way to fit it all in! THANK YOU for being an inspiration and putting me onto things like the Painting-a-Day month. I’m so glad I “discovered” you. :))

    • Kiri February 7, 2017 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Lori, thank you for taking the time to engage and comment here so frequently, I really appreciate it! Also congratulations on the grandchild, that’s wonderful! I’m glad to hear you are getting more into painting again, just doing a little bit every day can really amount to a good stack of art over time! 😀

  2. Alexandra Rena January 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Happy new year! What a beautiful message, Kiri. <3 I hope your year brings you good tidings, good times, and much success! Your creations and your drive are very inspirational 🙂

    Last year was very transitional for me–in a good way! I had to spend a lot of my time focusing on planning our wedding and making my gown. Now that that's done, I am excited to have more time to focus on art.
    Outside of commissions, my goals are to expand my product line, launch a Patreon (after my website is finished–hopefully after first quarter), paint more, and design some figurines to print with a 3d printer!

    • Kiri February 7, 2017 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you Alexandra and to you as well! My new year had a rough beginning with some health issues but I’m hoping to be on the other side of that soon. Congratulations on your wedding! May you have a long and happy marriage 🙂 I have been considering doing a Patreon as well, but I’m always worried there won’t be enough traction.

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