2016 creative projects: what I did | Laura Kranz

2016 creative projects: what I did

2016 was a year of heavy preoccupation with the business I co-founded last year with Jeffrey Kranz. No complaints—it was a great year. But I didn’t think 2016 was too productive when it came to personal creative projects … that is, until I looked at the stats.

I actually got a pretty good amount done.

  • I completed 55 new art pieces (not including sketches)
  • I released one album—my very first.
  • I wrote and recorded 12 pieces of music outside of that album.
  • I beat last years’ site traffic by 300%, bringing in 150,000 views (most of them to my drawing idea generator)
  • I published 127 blog posts on this site.

Here’s the breakdown.

Art projects

One-off art pieces

I created 12 one-off art pieces—and by that, I mean works that are not part of a greater series. Many of them are surreal in nature, and a lot of them involve imaginary creatures.

Paintings and drawings include:

You can click on any image in the gallery below to enlarge it and cycle through.

Organic form drawings

The organic form drawings are a series of tiny art pieces made in fine detail with colored pencils. They’re an expression of the drawing style, automatism, a type of drawing where you rely on your subconscious to make decisions about what you make.

Drawings from the year include:

You can see all three in the gallery below. Click to enlarge.

Learn more about my Organic form drawings.

The Vein Patterns of Leaves

I started delving into more science-themed art in 2016, starting by exploring botany a bit. Looking more closely at the classifications of vein patterns in leaves was a fun way to begin. You can see all nine of them here.

I created an alternate version of each leaf vein pattern using Photoshop, which you can see below.  Learn more about The Vein Patterns of Leaves.

Proverbs 30 art series

I started a set of abstract/surreal stylized drawings at the beginning of 2015. All of them made with graphite on 5″ x 7″ paper, all of them, line by line, depicting a cryptic hunk of text in the book of Proverbs.

The cryptic text seemed to provide a good excuse to experiment with a cryptic style, so here we are. You can see more at the Proverbs 30 art series page.

These are all the drawings in the Proverbs 30 series that I created in 2016:

Art giveaways

I began ramping up carefully choosing and giving away selected art pieces. These giveaways are part of my efforts to get my art to more of the people who love it, and to ramp up production of new art pieces.

Among the art pieces I gave away are:

These are some of the art pieces I gave away in 2016:

Bible verse art

At the end of 2014, I began working through every book of the Bible and illustrating one verse from each.

Here’s the verse art I made in 2016.

This collection of Bible verse art is part of a suite of Bible-literacy resources at OverviewBible.

Music projects

The Marks It Makes

I finished producing my first album—a solo piano album—and released it in April of 2016. It was an exciting achievement for me. I learned a lot, and I’m proud of the end result. If you’re a Spotify user you can find it here.

Learn more

Copenhagenism (getting started)

After the experience of creating and releasing my first album, I began work on my next, which is more complex. Both conceptually, and in execution. I plan to release it in April of 2017.

Learn more

AnthemBible: the Psalms

I’m collaborating on a project to create a song for each of the 150 psalms in the book of Psalms. This year, we got through Psalm 8. I arranged and recorded each.

Learn more

Other highlights

Notable blog posts

How to tell if someone’s faking strategy. This post was fun to write—it’s basically a rant on things that frustrate me about corporate hierarchy. It got some traction via Quora and I still get a good amount of people reading it each day.

Is silence on social media an expression of privilege? I wrote this post as a way to process my own thoughts regarding white privilege and the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s the only post I’ve written that’s gone semi-viral, and I still see people tweeting about it every now and again. I still don’t know what I think about the subject. ;)

Drawing idea generatorMost of my site traffic comes from the idea generator I created this year. That’s by design: through research I learned that hundreds of thousands of people use Google to help them find ideas for drawings every month, and, by optimizing my site, now I rank #5 for “drawing ideas.”

Other cool things

New site design. I’ve restructured and redesigned my site several times this year, finally getting it to a more customizable place just in the last few weeks. You’ll start to see more custom-designed pages from me with more optimized functions.

Completed the NaNoWriMo challenge. I participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a novel in one month, finishing the challenge in just 3 weeks. It was grueling, and I wouldn’t do it again … but I feel more confident in my writing abilities now than before.

Co-wrote a nonfiction draft. I finished the first draft of nonfiction book on email marketing that I’m co-writing with Tyrel Tjoelker. We’re now working through the rewriting and editing process.

What’s next?

I’m hoping for another productive year in 2017! You can see what I’ve got lined up to work on here.

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