“I will join Alice and explore every rabbit hole, even at the risk of shrinking and expanding. I will join Huck and ride the river, even if con men are waiting. I will discover the essence of poetry, unravel the mystery of song, grasp the intricacies of color. I am one terrific explorer.” Eric Maisel
“If we did the things that we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison
“Commit to a process and see where it leads.” Chuck Close
One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to sit down with my art journal and page through the year’s entries. I review what I focused on and thought about as I worked on this year’s body of work and ask myself what worked, what didn’t work, what still needs improvement, and what needs to be changed. Then I make a list of ideas for where I might take my work in the coming year and clearly identify some action steps for getting there. Ideas for potential action steps can also be found in art books and magazines, on-line research, and studying other artists’ paintings that interest you. I add content ideas, series ideas, ideas and plans for how I might make needed improvements or stretch myself further, and more action plans to the mix. I believe that you can never have too many ideas or too many action plans for improving your art!
This year I changed up the questions I asked myself for the sake of more clarity and to achieve a deeper, more authentic intentionality in my paintings. If you would like to do a yearly review and set some goals for 2017, here are those questions. Enjoy!
1. What do I most want to achieve in my art in 2017?
2. What habits or personality traits might trip me up?
3. What actions will I take to overcome them so that I can achieve my goals?
4. What two or three specific areas would I really like too improve in my art in 2017?
5. What action steps will I take to manifest those improvements?
It’s fun to list goals and dreams, but without formulating specific action plans for achieving them they’re just empty words. You need to know where you want to go and what actions you need to take in order to get there. All of the answers are found inside of you. Always remember, you are the best expert on your life.
P.S. I recommend answering these questions over a number of days. It may take awhile for the more authentic answers to bubble up to the surface.