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Copyright Rita Woodburne
Copyright Rita Woodburne
In coming up with a plan for 2008 the first thing I promised myself is that I would allow myself some wiggle room within my plan. There are always things popping up and in staying true to my nature I like the freedom to add things to an existing idea or to venture off into something completely unplanned for. For me that’s part of what makes artistic exploration and development so exciting.
My plans as outlined below are comprised of things that are very important to me to complete as well as some goals that have been carried over from last year. A lot of the artistic goals, as with any skill that requires developing, are going to be works in progress. Many of the business goals, on the other hand, are going to fall into the “either it gets done or it doesn’t” category. I think it’s important to have a plan that includes a combination of solid goals that can be seen to completion as well as more open ended goals that can be carried over into coming years.
The Main Thing: It’s All About the Art
This section is first and foremost because you can’t really call yourself an artist without the art. Nor can you, in my humble opinion, call yourself a serious artist without committing yourself to artistic development. Whether this comes in the form of mastering a medium, trying a new medium, tackling new subject matter, polishing your technical skills, studying the masters, etc. it’s imperative that an artist commit themselves to being the best they can be. Sometimes it happens in leaps and bounds and sometimes it’s just baby-steps, but any progress is better than none, right?
Below is what I’d like to do this year to further myself as an artist:
- Continue my focus on incorporating more colour into my work
- Continue my focus on pushing values
- Have two separate projects involving studying one of the Masters. I’ve already picked out the two I’d like to study and when I’d like to do them so stay tuned for more info!
- Do a really large piece (large for cp and myself anyway), something 16x20 inches or larger
- Concentrate on creating pieces with more dynamic composition
- I had fun in 2007 with using watercolour pencils in some of my pieces and the effects it gave me so I’d like to try and work them into more of my pieces for 2008 so I can become more comfortable with using them. That said, getting my hands on some Neocolours would also be a viable alternative.
- I also had oodles of fun doing still-lifes, presumably because they were a nice break for me from doing animal pieces and commissions. I’d like to make a point of doing more of them in 2008 with the intent to create a series of equine based still-lifes (the series goal may carry over into 2009).
- Improve my photography skills to take better reference pictures and images of my artwork
“But I Need To Buy Supplies!”: The Business Stuff
The artist that would like to make a living at this wacky thing called ‘art’ has to resolve that in order to do so they need to set aside the artist persona sometimes and become the businessperson. This means being a marketer, a salesperson, an accountant, a handyman/ woman, an inventory controller and a whole host of other things that have little or nothing to do with living creatively. This sometimes unpleasant chore of being “all business-like and stuff” is necessary and any time I get grumpy about doing these things I remind myself that I’m extremely fortunate to be doing something I love...book-keeping and all.
Below is the nitty-gritty business stuff I’d like to focus on this year:
- Make more contacts within my local art community
- Become more active in the local arts organizations I am a member of which will include attending meetings, gallery sittings, etc.
- Be more organized in my book-keeping (remember, I said it makes me grumpy)
- Be more disciplined in my use of time
- Make my art fair booth more professional looking and start to keep a journal of viewers comments and what other artists are doing in their booths in terms of set-up, display, functionality, etc.
- Set up a daily checklist for myself during the work week with daily goals (a small white-board will be a wise investment)
Above all, in catering to my “jump in head first” nature, I’m leaving myself the right to alter things as I go. Like I mentioned before, while I do enjoy having a plan to work I also enjoy having the freedom to throw caution to the wind and try something new or unplanned. The above mentioned goals are the things that have priority because I feel that, at this point in my artistic and business life, these are the things that need my focus the most.
So there you have it folks, my plan for 2008. Let's see how it all unfolds, shall we?