Every year around December I really start thinking about my goals and intentions for the upcoming year, while also evaluating how well I did on accomplishing my goals from the current year.
These past few years have been an exercise in growth for me. I am genuinely a visionary person who can see and visualize where I want to go, what I want to do, and who I want to be. But, I’m realizing that I’ve always had visions of myself that were small enough that I could show up and be winning. I have enough talent to fly by the seat of my pants on a lot of things and actually EXCEL while I’m going that.
In recent years though, my visions have grown beyond what I can accomplish just showing up and throwing something together. My biggest lesson of this past year was that I must establish daily habits and practices that will help me accomplish huge projects like launching an art career.
The idea of creating a “career” is super daunting. Portfolios, signature style, and knowing what industry I want to work in? I have ideas. But the only way to find out is to actually do the work. I have taken lots of classes, made lots of projects, and have a deep desire right now to be a working artist. The big piece that’s missing is the daily direction and practice. The daily carving out of time to create. Not because I don’t already organize and schedule my time, but because with everything else going on, I can sometimes allow myself and the bigger goals I have to fall off the radar. When I finally sit down at the end of the day, making art is the last thing on my mind.
This year, I’m going to be sharing more of my personal story, my journey as an artist and photographer, and things I’m doing to make time to become a working, practicing artist. No mysteries. No overnight miracle successes. The daily, weekly, and monthly work. What classes I’m taking, how I’m making the time, and the progress that I’m making – even when it means I’m not making progress.
Did you see the photo at the beginning of this post? It may seem like a tiny thing, but the first thing I did to start my year as a practicing artist was to make a space for my work. I realized as I did that end of the year thinking, analyzing, and planning that I had never truly made a dedicated space for myself to work as an artist. For all of my desire for success, I had never set myself up for success. Removing the old, sorting and getting rid of things, replacing all of the furniture, sifting through and keeping only what I really need. It’s taken so much longer than I would have liked. But I’m reminding myself that I’m learning patience and dedication in the process.
I wonder how many times I’ve done that in life? Set a goal, but not given myself the tools, the time, or the space to actually accomplish it? That was a wake up call. I’m expecting all of these great things from myself, but haven’t made a plan for how to daily execute my vision. Haven’t made a space for it so that when I sit down, I can just get to work in the limited time that I have. And then, when I failed, what have decided was responsible for the failure? In the past I’ve allowed myself to feel guilty over the failure, but not get analytical about why I failed. I’d spend all of my time telling myself I’d do better next time, but not making a plan for how I would make it happen.
I think I’ve spent enough time sharing how I used to feel bad and guilty, rather than just take the experience, learn from it, and change. Failure can be our best teacher, when we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, learn from it, change, grow, and try again.
Hopefully at this point I haven’t bored you to death with all of my musings. I’m looking forward to sharing so much more as we move through the year! I’d love to have you join me on this journey as you work to accomplish your dreams and plans!