New Years Resolutions for 2016 / by Oliver Craddock

For one reason or another New Years resolutions are something I make each year and ultimately always stick to. In previous years I've promised I would learn to drive, go travelling, or improve on something work related, and each one Ive seen through without fail. Perhaps I see the start of a new year as a good time to review where I'd like to be in a years time, as it helps me positively shape the slump we all experience throughout January. If you struggle to stick to your resolutions I can only offer the following advice - only choose a few, and choose things that are realistic. If your resolution is to give up crisps or earn your first million, then it's not going to happen unless you barely eat crisps as it is or you're already part your way there to that first million. I also don't understand why anyone would focus on what they want to 'give up'. It's partly psychological, but if you want to give up junk food switch it round to say you want to eat better. Focus on something you want to achieve or start doing this year, its far more enjoyable. 

As for my resolutions, I always try to choose 3. So for the next year my resolutions are:

#1 To Learn Cinema 4D

My first Cinema 4D Render. This is actually a restaurant in Hong Kong, it translates as "Good fortune for your Mouth".

My first Cinema 4D Render. This is actually a restaurant in Hong Kong, it translates as "Good fortune for your Mouth".

Midway through 2013 I began to teach myself Autodesk Maya for 3D visualisation. Since then its served me well and I've taken on numerous new clients based on my 3D skills alone. Sadly however it seems the majority of clients in London are looking for Cinema 4D artists, or as one put it, "it's now the industry standard". Thankfully switching software is just a simple process of learning a new interface and new phrases, so this won't take me too long to do. I'll still use Maya for those who have no preference when it comes to visual effect.

#2 To Create a Product

They still make SNES games right?

They still make SNES games right?

Designers spend a lot of time working on, brainstorming, improving and in some cases adding to, other peoples ideas. It is after all the nature of the job and our creativity helps bring things to life. The odd paradox with all this, is that designers don't often focus on any ideas of their own. Last year I spent some time helping and encouraging my girlfriend to create some christmas cards. She's a talented illustrator, and her cards all but sold out. She's vowed to do more this year after the encouragement she got from sales, but it made me think maybe I should actually focus on bringing some of my own ideas to life too.

#3 To take a Creative Writing Course

Sadly this book title has already been taken.

Sadly this book title has already been taken.

I'm not really sure where this one came from? I haven't done any creative writing since my A-Levels! But recently I had a conversation about hobbies and interests and realised that all mine focus around art and design. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm a firm believer in taking on new challenges to inspire and re-energise you. I also quite like the idea of learning about narrative and character development, which could come in useful for resolution #2. 

So yes! These are my New Years Resolutions for 2016. Watch this space, that book deal is coming soon. Have you chosen any resolutions this year? Let me know on social media or in the comments below. Here's to a good 2016!