My depth year: planning my framework

my depth year going deeper not wider


Last week, I spoke about the idea of a depth year, and promised to share my depth year framework once it was ready. If you’re wondering what in heavens a depth year is, I suggest you read last week’s post first; I’ll wait!

Now that you’re in the know, here’s my framework. My aim is to go deep in a couple of areas that are important to me. One thing that I’ve decided to do slightly differently is this: I’m not necessarily equating a depth year with a no buy or low buy year. There are some areas where I have decided that a no buy/low buy year works for me, but in other areas, I may buy something if I feel it is needed to help me go deeper.

My depth year art plan

Of course, art had to be part of my depth year! Like any good creative, I’ve hoarded up on both art supplies and art courses. If I’m being honest, I really do not need to purchase another art course this year {maybe even next year} because I have more than enough unwatched courses, as well as courses on most areas that are of interest to me. For the areas where I don’t have a course, I have a book! So yes, I’m pretty much covered.

So, it stands to reason that as part of my depth year, I will not be buying any new art courses. I will also not be buying too many new and shiny art supplies, focusing mainly on replacement supplies and canvases. This year, I also plan to finally focus on some of the areas that I had mapped out for last year – namely whimsical figure drawings and abstracts – while also allowing myself to stay open to inspiration from wherever it comes.

Going deeper with my spiritual practice

I’ve dabbled in a number of spiritual practices, ranging from crystals and pendulums to Reiki and astrology, along with my regular tarot practice, but not really grounded down into any one thing long enough to feel confident about what I am doing! For my depth year, I’m planning to choose one or two modalities to focus on each month or two, with a few over-arching themes that I will weave in through the year.

One of those over-arching themes is astrology and the moon cycles. I started dabbling in astrology last year. My aim was simply to understand astrology from a more personal/archetypal framework as it relates to my personal birth chart, and I will dedicate one quarter to working on understanding this better.

I also want to start adding in my own understanding of the astrology and energy around the new and full moons. I dipped my toe into this last year by looking at the archetype of the sign in which the moon was, and creating a tarot spread to see how I could harness that energy or amplify it. It was quite a powerful practice, so I’m planning to enhance this by bringing in the astro-tarot aspect into my moon musings. I’ve been sharing these on Instagram, and may add them to the blog too, going forward.

My depth year plan for books and reading

Inherent in a depth year is “finding the value in what you already own.” And I sure have a LOT of untapped value on my bookshelf. From fiction to non-fiction; tarot to astrology; art to lettering, I have it all. {And yes, I realize this could be an advertisement for a cosy library. And I have enough books – an entire wall, floor to ceiling, filled with books – to run a library, too!} It goes without saying, then, that I will not be buying any new fiction titles this year.

The only exceptions are the final book in The Winter Nights trilogy by Katherine Arden and the next book in the Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin {if it is even released this year}. I’m keeping the door open to add to my spiritual library, but any additions will be limited to my areas of focus and each purchase will be made very mindfully and only if absolutely needed.

Another thing I plan to do, that weaves in aspects of all these three areas – art, spirituality, and books – is to re-read Women Who Run With the Wolves – slowly – and journal and create art alongside the reading. I’m also hoping to finally work through the entire 12 weeks of The Artist’s Way; I’ve abandoned it too often around the half-way mark. The first thing I need to sort out before I tackle this, is to create about 30 minutes in the morning to do the morning pages. That’s been one of the big sticky points every time I’ve tried working through the book. I even managed the week without reading, but morning pages, I’ve struggled so with those!

Going deeper with the blog

I’m planning a few things for the blog as well. For starters, I’m refreshing my YouTube account! One of my aims with my blog was to inspire more people to pick up a paint brush and create some art. One of the best ways to do that – aside from teaching – is to share the process. I plan to post an art/creativity video on the second and fourth Saturday of the month {starting from February}, along with an associated blog post on the following Monday. I do hope you will enjoy these – and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube account {and turn on notifications} so you don’t miss any of the videos!

I’m also planning to create more art + soul courses. Each course will be a way in to get to know yourself better, to grow, to shift things, and to bring all that healing to the art that you create. I’m also planning some in-person workshops and studio dates, if I can get over my inherent shyness {ahem!}.

The other area that I really want to focus on is SEO. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, but that isn’t the most helpful strategy, is it? I’m planning to set aside some time to do a bit of reading and to implement some strategies. If you have any SEO go-tos or tips, please let me know in the comments!

And there you have it – the broad strokes of my depth year! There’s so much juiciness to dive into, and I’m really excited to see where this dedicated focus and practice will take me.

What areas are you planning to focus on this year?

Posted in Soulful living and tagged , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Gosh! I could have wrote this. I think we’ve talked about it before but I’ve been working on a painting series based on chapters of Women Who Run with the Wolves. And yes, morning pages are such a pain 😉 I keep canning out about half way on The Artist’s Way too. Makes me think maybe I’m not that disciplined… I don’t know. I’m going to click though your link about pendulums… it’s a topic I haven’t ran across. Great blog post. Thank you for taking the time to right it.

    • And I loved the painting you shared! I’m looking forward to seeing your series. And yes, those morning pages are a real pain. I haven’t been able to keep up with them, ever! But I’m going to give it another try.

  2. I am really motivated by the concept of depth year and have been giving it a serious thought after reading your previous post. I really want to deepen my knowledge and improve my skills in painting… And do something more meaningful this year. Yes as for art supplies… It’s really hard not to buy new stuffs, but I want finish my existing stores first. All your artwork has so much meaning and insight into it. I love reading about it ?

    • Awesome! And if you give it a go, I’d love to know what areas you’re focusing on (if you share them, of course!). You know I love your zentangles too, right? The detailing in your work is glorious!

  3. Fantastic idea, Shinjini. I love this concept of a ‘depth year’ that you’ve been talking about! Would love to know more on this. Wishing you good luck in all your focus areas and looking forward to your posts about how these are going to shape up over the year ahead. As for me, I’m planning to align myself to some of my key goals in writing, blogging, art and a few other areas. I’m going with the flow, and taking it as it comes. 🙂

    • I will post check-ins through the year. So far, though, I’m thrilled with how the art is shaping up – knock on wood!

      There’s a lot to be said for going with the flow. I hope you’re able to achieve the goals you’re aligning yourself with and that you have a wonderful year!

  4. These are things which I should do too, I guess. Be it reading from the already owned books an concentrate on my YouTube channel. Thanks for the much-needed push, Jini an all the best to you too. Go nail it! 🙂

  5. Wow! That sounds like a super cool plan. Having depth year plan for various areas of interest do add focus and direction. All the very best to you as you achieve all your goals, Shinjini.

  6. This is very nice, Shinjini. You got a good grip on the depth year plan. Wishing you all success ahead. I am hoping to use the concept myself. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  7. Oooh, this is something I could plan in my new bullet journal! (My first bujo is almost full so I’m in the very exciting process of starting a new one) moving along to the next post 😉 Anita

Leave a Reply