[ new ] year resolutions

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Between now and the end of the world year, I will have left my job (and my co-workers that became my surrogate family for the past eighteen months), said goodbye to that adorable little cottage studio and loft, moved back to my hometown and into a new (slightly less adorable, but with definite potential) studio, and celebrated my 23rd birthday -- all with a bit of Christmas thrown into the mix.  Whoa... is there anything else I'm forgetting?

With just a few days left before I venture into the world of full-time artistry, I've found myself reflecting much on my practice.  
 This is my list of new year's resolutions to become a more intentional and productive artist:

1. reopen my sketchbook and never let it leave my side.  The summer before senior year of college I started a sketchbook.  It was a black, leather bound journal that I took everywhere, beginning with my trip to Ghana (it has some of my most favorite, treasured sketches of the children in it), and became somewhat of my silent therapist during my senior year.  I wrote down everything - journal entries, answer-less questions, sketches, ideas.  It was without a doubt the single greatest source of inspiration throughout my Senior Thesis.  I filled that sketchbook soon after graduation, and followed it with a few half-hearted attempts at new ones, but none of them lasted.  Instead I've been resorting to scattered notes on used envelopes and the occasional napkin, and that's if I sketch at all -- and it's just not working.  I need to recommit myself to sticking with a journal, and continue searching for and recording daily inspiration.

2. studio time. even as I'm writing this blog post, I should be painting.  Once, I am unemployed self-employed, with (theoretically) no distractions, I am determined to maintain a regular studio routine. I know myself as an artist, I know what works for me.  I hate painting at night -- I tend to get tired, and emotional, and easily frustrated.  Everything is better in daylight.  And with this in mind, I'm going to try my best to maintain regular studio hours... 9-5?  I'll leave some wiggle room, but this is my goal. 

3. set concrete goals.  When I first officially started my business this past year, I established a business plan and set goals for the first month, 3 months, 6 months, and year.  I actually reached nearly all of them within the first few months, and then sorta tucked that list in my back pocket and forgot about it.  Well, today, I'm pulling that list back out and adding to it, with real, concrete financial goals that I need to keep on display as a visual reminder and motivation. 

4. stay excited and inspired.  this last resolution will likely be achieved through a combination of all  above.  I used to paint when I was feeling especially inspired, when ever that moment would strike.  Now running a business, a business which will be my full-time profession and sole source of income, this method is not sustainable, nor practical.  Instead of letting inspiration find me, I need to make a conscious effort to actively seek a steady stream of inspiration -- beyond just pinterest.  I want to make more trips to museums, galleries and studios, do more reading and research, and fully commit myself to developing my art -- not just selling paintings.

Have you started thinking about your new year resolutions yet?  For the record, I'm not sure that I entirely believe in new year's resolutions -- I think self-improvement should really be something you are constantly re-evaluating and striving for all year long.  So I'm going to try to keep updating this list every few months (there's already a few more goals I could think of)  But, I'm excited for this new year and think this list a good start to keep me focused through all the changes ahead :) 

1 thoughts:

  1. I 'be been reading your blog on and off and I have been enjoying it immensely. Love hearing the very human side of your journey to be an artist. Good luck with your resolutions. Mine are similar to some degree. Never lose your passion. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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