Artist’s New Year’s Resolutions

Artist’s New Year’s Resolutions
Every December… the magazines, newspaper and television shows are loaded with New Year’s Resolution(s).  Most of them have to do with dieting, exercise and lifestyle choices. I am one of those people who not only vow to do all my resolutions, I always manage to fall short by February (at the latest).   I started to think about resolutions that were  about my artistic year and how I could accomplish them without giving up.  I asked myself a few questions like how could I be more productive or how could I embrace my artistic self?  It turns out my Mother was right!  I had to get organized, because a clean space gives a clear space for creativity to flourish.
  1. Clean up the work space:  It is impossible to get excited about the New Year and new ideas when the Christmas holidays are spread all over everything.  Start at square one; buy tubs, label and stack them.  Organize all your tools, supplies and brushes.  Make your space work for you not the other way around.
  2.  Gather up all unfinished projects from the year before:  It is time to evaluate each project and ask yourself some serious questions.  “Why didn’t I finish it?” or “Why do I hate it?” or simply “Is  it me?” I believe our Puritan sensibilities  of cleaning our plate or finishing what we started is probably the root of this problem.  Let it go and say goodbye.  Break them apart to be reborn again for another project.  Unfinished work holds us back from moving forward.  Don’t think of them as failures, they were investments in future projects.
  3. Stock up on supplies:  This is the most enjoyable of all the resolutions.  Start the year off with new brushes or pliers or fill-in with missing supplies.  There is nothing more invigorating then adding new to the old.  Make an inventory of what you are needing and write it down in your day planner.
  4. Buy a day planner:  This will be the best money you will spend all year.  You have to carry it with you and use it.  The smart phone planners don’t work as well for visual people.  Appointments hide in your phone, and if you forget to set a reminder it makes it like it was never there.  We artistic types have a tendency to write our appointments down on the back of a cocktail napkin or scraps of paper then promptly throw it away…  Once you start writing in your planner you are going to wonder how you lived without it!
  5. Sell something:  Commit to an art or craft show and be brave.  Ask around if you can’t find one.  They are easy to find especially if you look on the internet.  Take a folding table, umbrella, merchandise, business cards, email signup sheet and a trusty credit card reader (for your phone) to take payments.  Showing and selling our art is what makes us legitimate artists.  It gives us the opportunity to get feedback from the public.  It is also very energizing to be with other artists.  They will be filled with all sorts of ideas.  In my experience artists are very giving people.  Oh… and it is FUN!!
  6. Look at others’ inspiration:  Visit an art gallery or museum to be supportive of others work and to find your own creative niche.  This works great when we are in an artistic block.  Take the time to look up what exhibits are coming and go.  Write them down in your day planner.  No one to go with you?  Good!  That way you can linger where you want, absorb the art and not worry if your companion needs a latte!
  7. Go find your own inspiration:  Everyone can find inspiration outside.  All you need is to put your phone down and look up.  Bring your day planner to jot down any thoughts that may be clouding your creative flow.  Be mindful.  Be present.  In the back of your day planner are blank pages waiting to be filled up with great new ideas.
  8. Make a work schedule:  Artists need schedules too.  What we do is legitimate work so treat it as such.  We all need studio time.  Write it down… How much do you need a day?  Write it down…  We need to network and utilize social media, a big part of our lives. Write it down… Uncle Sam is calling!  Schedule office time, there is always something to do.  Most importantly, write it down!
  9. Join an art group:  Artists need support not just at venues, they need it via online portals too.  Google “Art groups” in your area.  You will be amazed at what you will find.  Give yourself a chance and try more than one.  These groups are an excellent source for future art and craft fairs.  Being an artist doesn’t have to be a solitary career.  Art groups can offer friendship, knowledge and understanding.  Once again, write it down in your planner as groups come and go!!
  10. Make a portfolio:   We need to be proud of our work.  Have it available to show potential  clients.  Keep it in your car or anywhere that it will be easily accessible.  You never know when a  opportunity will arise where you can showcase your work.  I am going to make a few different portfolios this year showcasing the different aspects of my design business.  I look forward to sharing them with you.
These are some of my New Year’s Resolutions. They are positive, attainable and move me forward as an artist in the New Year. I hope they inspire you to make your own list. Happy New Year!!
Cindy Valdez
Edited by: Jackie Valdez
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