A Year in Art

#MondayWithAimée 

Lovely Monday, sweethearts!

Last week of 2020, the last article of the year from me. I decided to continue my look back on the year and at the same time, mix it with some suggestions for you all during the rest of the Christmas break. I remember last year doing a list of all the art I’ve been in touch with. It was the year I went to the most shows and plays or movie nights at the cinema. It was a great artistic year on that field for me. I’m a big homebody and going out has always been an effort for me, but art has always given back to me. It has always made it worth it. This year, without surprise, things have been different. I had a few shows I was really excited about and I didn’t get to see them, but I got to read more than I ever did in a year. So for this week, I would love to do a little tour of my artistic year with you. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas to fulfil your 2021 like it helped my 2020 be brighter and lighter.

Shows

This year I haven’t consumed as much TV or music as I did in the past. In March, I started a rewatch of the Grey’s Anatomy series, I had stopped at season 10 but I started from the beginning again.

2020 being the year where one of my favourite shows, Supernatural, ended, I had to rewatch a few old episodes. I remembered why I loved these brothers and this universe so much. It made me realize that even if I’m an introvert, I wasn’t meant to be a loner. I always loved great duos, from Sam and Dean Winchester to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson or Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, I have a great desire to find a bond as strong as duos like these.

Of course, I revisited a few old shows and movies like I do every year, they are part of my yearly must-dos.

I remember telling you about a show I was most excited for, having read the book in 2019 and having my favourite actor playing the lead role in it. Well, I can tell you I loved the series! Defending Jacob is a story of a parent trying to protect their son and finding where they stand on the line between justice and protecting the ones you love at all costs. It is a dark, morose show, but I deeply loved Andy Barber, Chris Evans’ character. I don’t say it just because he’s my favourite actor. I mean it because the character development touched me and took me to the core. I loved this short series, only 8 episodes, and I think it did justice to the book.

I also greatly enjoyed Lucifer (which is something I never thought I’d say like that…) The first part of season five came out in August and I devoured it. The main character is just an amazing balance of sarcastic, dark and dumb humour and it gets me everything.

Music

Since I barely did commuting for the first two months and a half, I listened to a lot less music this year. Usually, I would listen to music on the bus, on my way to University and back. This year, the music I listened to was a lot more instrumental to accompany me during my schoolwork or my reading. I discovered a lot of great jazz playlists and ambience rooms that helped me focus. Here are a few of my favourites:

Christmas Jazz for Dinner – Holiday Jazz Christmas Saxophone Music for Lounge – YouTube

Winter Night Jazz Music – Stress relief – Relaxing Cafe Jazz Music For Sleep, Work, Study – YouTube

Cozy Fall Coffee Shop Ambience: Relaxing Jazz Music & Rain Sounds for Studying, Relaxation, & Sleep – YouTube

Men in Kilts | Sam & Graham Yule Log | STARZ – YouTube (this one is amazing because of Sam Heughan!)

A song that will forever remind me of Spring 2020 is La photo by Louis-Jean Cormier. My mom and I listened to it non stop and now, when I listen to it, it brings me back to that time, which was peaceful for the most part for me.

During the summer, my car rides were filled with the Hamilton soundtrack. If you’re curious, my favourite song is probably Non-Stop.

Youtube

Maybe a reason why I watched less Netflix was because I was on Youtube a lot. I listened to jazz playlists, yes, but I enjoyed studying vlogs a lot to motivate me to get work done as well. Romanticizing the school work helps me get it done, as weirdly as it sounds. I also enjoyed Read With Me videos, which are just about hourly long videos of someone reading with background music. Somehow, it helped me feel less alone. I discovered a lot of great YouTubers this year. I really got into the bookish side of youtube and it helped me get more recommendation but also loving reading and the community of readers a lot more. My two favourite Youtubers this year really blossomed since last year. Morgan Long (Morgan Long – YouTube) is the softest. She is genuine and calm and she brightens my day and lifts up my mood. She makes very peaceful videos that really calm me and ground me. Noelle Gallagher (Noelle Gallagher – YouTube) talks about books and she makes an amazing recommendation and oh lord is she funny. Whenever these two posts, my day is immediately better. Whether I watched college vlogs, reading vlogs, routines videos, I tried to watch videos that inspired me to get better, either by being calmer or by helping me get a routine and motivation for school. 

Books

And now for the best section of the article in my opinion: books! As I’m writing this article, I am reading my 100th book of the year and that is insanely grand. This year was a great reading year for me, so I tried to find my top ones or the most worthy mentions.

During the fall I discovered, to my surprise, audiobooks. I had tried in the past but I never really found something that worked for me. This year I listened to a few books and it really changed my life, as weird as it sounds. I usually listen to them on my walks and well, it made me enjoy walking a lot. I also love cooking, doing puzzles or cleaning while listening and then it feels way more productive. I am also looking forward to taking the bus more when school starts again in person and listening to a good book. Driving is also fun with a book, but I like to alternate between that and jamming and singing my lunges out to music. I listened to Sherlock Holmes being read by Benedict Cumberbatch and was delighted. A good voice actor really makes the book. I also listened to a book that had made it to my top list last year, Du Bon usage des étoiles by Dominique Fortier, and sobbed again. I read love letters, short stories, romance, but by far my favourite audiobook this year was Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish. They are two characters in one of my favorite shows, Outlander, and they have written a book about their journey through their homeland, Scotland. The book is great and funny on it’s own, but the audiobook is amazing. Narrated by the two writers, it feels like you’re bantering with close friends and enjoying their conversation. I laughed out loud so many times. Plus I got to listen to Sam and his great voice and accent talk in my ears for hours. I count it as a win in my book.

I also discovered graphic novels. My favourite series definitely being Heartstopper. They are light and read fast, but it’s a great way to add art and a lot of style to a story. Honorable mention to one of my favorite novels, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, being made into one as well. I love the story, I think I read the book about five times, and the drawings really made me gush even more over the main love interest, Levi (insert heart eyes here!).

I read a lot of great books, from romances like The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler or The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, to mind-blowing thrillers like The Guest List by Lucy Folley, my favorite has been The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. I cannot begin to tell you how much this book means to me. It is a warm hug. I put so many post-it notes and underlined so many words. You fall deeply in love with the characters and wish you were living with them too. It is a deeply moving and touching book and I cannot recommend it enough.

This year didn’t bring me shows, concerts and plays as I expected it, but it sure did bring me art and found a way to surprise me and comfort me through the months, but also made me learn new things and push my boundaries. I hope you have found great artistic company as well and maybe a few recommendations in my list. If you’d like, we would love to know what has accompanied you through the year.

Stay soft and stay kind, and take care of yourself.

Pillowy kisses and tea hugs,

Aimée.

Photo by Samson Katt

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