Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for Artists.

It is the time of year that everyone starts coming up with their New Year's resolutions. Typically these are far fetched goals that are forgotten by valentines day, if not sooner. Goals like loose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, etc... are great buy why not broaden your thinking to include more creative goals?

General Tips for Resolutions:

A couple of key things here. One: Make your goals specific and attainable. For example don't say "I'm going to get my work out there," instead make a specific goal: "I'm going to get into a gallery this year." or "I am going to create a professional web page" You can even make this easier on yourself by coming up with a plan. "I will use January to research other artist websites I like for inspiration, I will photograph my work for my web page by February, etc..."

Two: WRITE IT DOWN, and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Putting your resolution in writing makes it more concrete, and posting it so you see it everyday serves as a constant reminder.

Three: If you fall off, get back on the horse. If you have a slip on your goal or take time away from it, it's OK - as long as you dust yourself off and get back on track. Don't make excuses you're only lying to yourself, instead of justifying things to your self like "I didn't do this because..." just get back into the swing.

Resolutions for Artists:

1. Try a new medium.
- Maybe you have never used watercolors, maybe you would like to learn how to screen print. Keep your options open, in 2008 I entered a sidewalk chalk contest without having any real experience with chalk or pastels. I have probably received more publicity and recognition locally from trying this new medium than any other single thing I did that year. You just never know.

2. Get better acquainted with the Business of Art.
- Read a book on the business of art, attend a seminar, learn from other artists. A successful artist needs to learn to divide their time between business and art. You can't focus solely on art and expect that the business will fall into place vice versa, you can't have a business with out good at to support it.

3. Keep a sketch book/diary.
- even if you can't dedicate as much time as you'd like to art make sure to at least do a little something daily. Just keep your talents fresh, creativity is like a muscle, to keep it strong you have to work it out.

4. I will help other artists.
- one word: KARMA. Help other artists by teaching a technique you have mastered, or sharing a business tip that has worked for you. This can be done as simple as post something that you have learned and can pass along on your website or blog, or can be a more hands on approach.

5. I will be "An Artist"
- This sounds simple, but typically if you meet someone and they ask what you do, what is your answer. Do you say, "I work at so-and-so," or do you tell them (proudly) that you are an artist. Have business cards ready to back your clam. You don't have to start off with the fanciest of cards. I started out with cards make on Microsoft word that were printed on business card stock from the local office supply store. Just make sure they look professional. Include your contact info, website or blog (even if its just a Myspace account with examples of your art on it) and an example of your work.

Whatever your resolutions are, don't be afraid to try new thinks and push your own boundaries. remember "Armatures built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic."

Happy New Year!