Every December I come up with a clear list of resolutions for the year ahead. Some people compile a long list of goals and then give up on them within a month. Five is a good number for me. I prefer to choose goals that feel attainable and part of my natural progression as an artist. These challenges are usually extensions to what I am already working on. This approach makes me feel optimistic and ambitious without an overwhelming sense of pressure and intimidation!
If you are stuck on writing your resolutions these are my top tips to get you started:
● Write a list of top 10 things that you would like to achieve, then scribble out all the points after five. This is because focusing on a smaller number of goals prevents your energy being diverted down too many paths.
● Bounce your ideas off friends in the industry. Sometimes my artist friends come up with more productive ideas for my career progression and spot goals that I hadn’t thought of.
● Choose a mixture between goals that can be achieved in a set amount of time and other challenges that can be built upon over a longer term of progression.
● Track your progress by setting a reminder in your calendar to go off in three months’ time. This gives you a kick when motivation may be fading and the excitement of a fresh new year has started to fade.
Here are my 2024 resolutions:
1) A Solo Show in NYC
Every year I enjoy participating in the big art fairs. It is excellent exposure and I don’t feel the same level of pressure that I feel when I am in a smaller scale exhibition. Crowds of spectators from all over the world push through the fairs to see the work of hundreds of artists. There is no need to work on any promotion and there is no fear about whether people will show up to see it. There is always a good turn out!
Likewise, in a group show, you usually collaborate with a curator, have the support of the gallery staff and the other artists taking part. There is less pressure on the install, organizing the logistics and on the launch night of the event or exhibition because there is a larger team involved to bounce ideas off and to spread the word.
However, my dream this year is to focus on having a solo show in New York City. A solo show is more daunting because all eyes are on you and your work alone. People visiting the gallery are there to experience your creative frontier. As an artist when you have a solo show you feel very exposed and often question everything you are doing and second guess all of the decisions that usually come so freely. The rewards make it all worthwhile. An opening of your own solo show is really an opportunity for you to shine, to network and to show the crowd where you are now creatively.
2) Create a New Body of Work
I want 2024 to be a collaborative year for my art practice. In my recent blog post When Art and Science Collide, I wrote about how fascinated I am with the connections between art and science. My new endeavor is to explore these links through working with the organization Art For Science, which I hope will develop into a new body of work.
3) Make Time for Networking
Sometimes I get into the habit of going into hibernation in my studio. I love being in my own creative environment, working away on my paintings – often I can neglect to put energy into other things such as networking. Over 2024 I am going to make sure that I program in days to go and see more art shows and cultural events. I want to go to more openings and also make time for the more casual interactions like conversations over a cup of tea with friends and other creatives.
4) Be Open to New Commissions
Whilst working on my paintings, prints and research, I also love getting commissions. This sometimes opens up new creative ventures and gives me a pause between my current projects. Getting a commission is akin to working on a collaborative project.
5) Enjoy the Process of Making
This is a bit of a cheat resolution but I like to remind myself that the business side is important but so is enjoying the journey and being experimental. The reason I wanted to become an artist in the first place was the love and curiosity I had for making and exploring my surroundings. Sometimes I like to draw and do sketch studies that I can do at a faster pace. This can help me think more freely and create in a manner that is more spontaneous. It can help me consider what I actually want to achieve in my paintings and new lines of creative thought can come quickly when I am expressing and channeling my ideas through this type of activity. It helps me find my flow.
Let me know what your resolutions are in the comments below.