Whether you believe in resolutions or not, there’s no denying that envisioning and writing down what you hope for your future has benefits and often helps you reach your goals more quickly. Looking at your art career as a whole, you can seek growth on many different levels and in various aspects of your studio practice or business. While we’re all for setting targets for your income and sales or what professional accomplishments you want to achieve this year, in this article, we also want to encourage you to consider goals related to your mindset, creativity, and organizational skills. So let’s dive into our list!
1. Avoid comparing yourself to others.
This is often a hard habit to break, especially if you’re active on social media and follow many other artists at various stages in their careers. Constantly seeing the highlights and accomplishments of those in your network or those you admire can diminish how you feel about your own path. So work to realize when you’re doing it and then let go of comparison. This way you’ll find joy in both celebrating others, but more importantly, trusting your timeline and journey.
2. Make work for you.
Along similar lines, notice if you find yourself seeking outside validation in any form for what you create. Beyond likes and sales, how deeply do you care about what writers or curators have to say about your work for example? Of course, if you receive positive feedback there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it, especially if it is from a happy collector of yours. However, you’ll likely find the greatest fulfillment from being truly excited and proud of your own work. This also applies to experimenting with new styles, media, or subjects. Don’t let the fear of what others will think hold you back.
3. Define success on your own terms.
In the past, finding gallery representation, showing internationally at art fairs, and securing museum acquisitions were traditional markers of success for an artist. But being a working artist today isn’t one size fits all. Maybe you prefer exhibiting locally, teaching classes, painting murals, making jewelry, or something else. You may not even have lofty income goals and simply want to make enough to comfortably support your family. That’s all great! Set your professional goals based on what you desire rather than others’ expectations.
4. Maximize your money.
It’s time to take ‘spend less than you earn’ to the next level. Read books or find resources online about investing. Track your income, sales, and expenses with software or a spreadsheet. Plan out a budget. Hire an accountant. Prepare for your taxes in advance. Take at least one step this year to upgrade how you manage your art finances. Or, seek to generate more money by adding one new income stream.
5. Release the guilt of productivity.
Take breaks as often as you need and don’t force your work or you’ll simply end up feeling frustrated. Plan as far in advance for deadlines as you can to avoid having to rush at the last minute.
6. Coordinate and arrange your schedule efficiently.
If you don’t already have a calendar, to-do list, planner, or another tool for managing your schedule, purchase one or set one up. You can take this one step further by breaking down larger goals and deadlines into smaller events or tasks and adding those to your organizer. Remember that you’ll earn respect by always sticking to your word, finishing projects on time, and keeping your commitments.
7. Build your network.
Artists at any level can benefit from working on this resolution. If you’re able to, attend a few live events such as an opening, artist talk, or workshop. For those who prefer or only have the option to network virtually, send cold emails or DMs (if you can’t find a contact) to make new connections. Or, try to reconnect with former professional contacts you might have lost touch with over the years.
8. Practice other ways of being creative.
Other hobbies and interests can inspire new and exciting ideas for your art!
Wishing you success, creativity, and health in 2022! Thanks so much for reading. If you’re interested in seeing more of my writing, please visit www.aliciapuig.com.