A modern day society pushes creators to be extra creative and extra productive for the holiday season. Every year, I see pushy advertisement for sellers on all e-commerce platforms to help prepare for the end-of-year holiday rush. Get the holiday hashtags ready, add gift wrapping options, adjust shipping times, and so on. In other words, SELL, SELL, SELL! I’m truly tired of this. Given the difficult year I had, I didn’t really create much. I planned to participate in the holiday race as usual, but then I realized that I don’t really have to. I said “no” to my usual Christmas fair, and do not plan on making specific items just for the season. As terrible as this year has been, it taught me an important lesson.

Oksana Ossipov, black and white portrait

I don’t want to create under a constant deadline of holiday shopping made up by marketers! I specifically chose this profession so that I would have the liberty to create when and what I want.

That’s exactly the freedom that the society is trying to take away from artists. I’m lucky enough that I don’t really have to conform to this. Forcing oneself to perform creative work will never yield a great result. Eventually, one would burn out and look for a different profession. At this moment, I am on a verge of doing so. Understanding the underlying problem is very important as it’s easy to get lost in all of these seasonal expectations. Instead, I want to do unexpected, but great things.

This is the reason I have been quiet on most of my social media. I’m trying to create and share at my own pace, and no algorithm or marketer will dictate my schedule. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but it’s something that I need to do in order to find myself once again. I have several projects in mind, but I kept saying “I’m not ready, I’m still brewing” for the longest time. I think it’s finally time to dazzle.

As usual, these projects are quite diverse. I have finally started working with oil paint, and while I’m not entirely comfortable with it, I’m at least getting to know it. I’m working really small, mostly on 5″ by 7″ panels, and I pick simple still life to practice on. I’m trying to work with values, composition, and just in general getting used to this interesting medium.

I feel like I’m done with jewelry, at least with simple miniature creations. However, I’m very tempted to create more complex pieces. I don’t dare to try it yet, but I want to! I truly need to make that step toward growing up, but it’s a scary one. The same goes for larger scale sculpture. I have created a number of whale sculptures, but I want to take it even further. First of all, I want to explore mold-making and casting. Making these sculptures by hand is quite time consuming, and I really want to make different styles of the same sculpture. It’s very much like playing dress-up with a doll! This is why I turned my attention to silicon and resin as new media for sculpting. Second, I want to create at least a foot-tall sculpture with lots of details. Both of these projects require a lot of research. Starting with the material and ending with technique, it’s all theoretical for now. The biggest challenge is the size. I have no idea how polymer clay will behave on a larger scale. For example, if it gets soft while curing in the oven, will it collapse under its own weight? Will it burn if it’s closer to the heating element? All these questions are like a brake pedal to me. I keep inventing excuses, but it’s time to just step over them and make magic happen.

Lastly, I really miss doing photography. Since it’s the fall season, the weather is great in Texas, and I might just take a few days and devote them solely to photography. All of these projects and plans require a lot of time and energy, and I must admit I’m running low on the latter. This is why running social media and my store are no longer a priority. It’s time to lay low and create!

Oksana Ossipov, fall portrait collage

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