Setting the course for a year in the studio

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Every artist dreams of success in their own way: perhaps a year of productivity, developing a perfect series, getting that dream commission, or selling everything they produce. It’s great to set goals, whether they are about making, showing, selling, sharing or teaching our work. Goals help us to focus on what we want. Effective goals are specific in how and when we will reach our targets.

Blog-2-photo-Jan-2014-Calendar-4-X-3-web-copy-In late December or early January, I assess where I am in my art practice. What I accomplished last year, what was left undone, and what I’d like to work on for the next year. For the last 5 years or so, I have written out my goals, and have sometimes shared them with other artists for input and accountability. For me, this seems to work. I don’t review my goals every month, but I find that at the end of most years, I am pretty close to being on track. At least well on the way. For me, thinking it through, and actually writing them down, are important catalysts for action.

For 2014, my major goals (without the specifics of how or when) are:

• developing a body of work that deals with the land and people of the prairies (finishing a specific number of pieces per month)
• preparing for my graduation show for my Fine Art Certificate at the University of Alberta,
• participating in group shows to promote and sell work
• putting in proposals for gallery shows in 2015 and 2016.

Sharing this is a bit of a test for me. I am sure you can relate to the questions that pop into your mind as put your personal aims into the public realm: will I have the discipline to walk into that studio and keep studio hours? Will I have the creative ‘jump’ to actually develop those amazing ideas running around in my head? Will I be able to express myself well in the pieces that are so important to me? Will viewers respond to the themes that I think are so evocative and interesting?

Do you set goals too? How do you measure your success? What keeps you focused on those goals through a whole long year? Please share your insights into what keeps you working effectively.