Last-Minute Art Task for the Closing of the Year

The new year is almost here, and to celebrate, I have a last-minute art task to help guide your reflections for the final day of 2023. I like to call this one the “Goodbye/Hello” drawing. Here’s how it goes:

Fold a sheet of paper in half to make a “door.” I prefer to do this task with the fold or “hinge” of the door aligned vertically on the left, but any orientation can work. The top flap of your door will represent the “Goodbye” side of your drawing, or that which you’d like to let go of or say goodbye to as we exit 2023. Use line, shape, color, text, and/or symbolism to represent the things that you’re ready to leave behind.

Let Your Art Speak

Take a breath and a moment to reflect, and then let the art materials do the talking. What’s coming up for you? Are there relationships or behaviors that no longer serve you? Self-limiting beliefs? Any losses that you’re ready to leave in the past after a period of grieving?

Once you’ve created the imagery for the “Goodbye” side of your door, then turn over the top flap, and inside the fold you’ll now create imagery to represent the “Hello” side. What would you’d like to invite into your new year? To whom or to what are we bidding “Hello?” A new practice, a new connection, a new vibe, a new path? What seeds are you planting for 2024?

Here’s What I Got

For the “Goodbye” side of my artwork, I chose darker colors to represent my intention to let go of my tendency to ruminate and doomscroll when the news is bad (which it often is). By contrast on the “Hello” side, I used brighter colors and the imagery of a sunrise to represent my intention to seek out any sources of hope, large or small, that change for the collective good is possible and to remember that I can help initiate the positive changes I’d like to see at any time.

It makes me think of the final lines from Amanda Gorman’s devastatingly beautiful poem, “The Hill We Climb:”

“The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

(Re-reading her piece gave me chills as I was working on writing this post just now.)

Final Thoughts on Timing, Accountability and Grace

One of the nice things about this task is that it can be used for any transition, any turning point at any time in your life. While the changeover from one year to the next feels like a natural transition, in truth we can make needed change at any time that we’re ready and willing.

And while we’re talking about change, I want to add that finding a balance between self-accountability and grace for when setbacks inevitably occur is as important as those baby steps forward…which leads me to one more quote I’d like to leave you with:

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

Thank you for reading and happy new year!