These days, so many seem bothered or even repulsed by the word ‘resolutions’.
It seems some people associate New Year’s resolutions with broken promises-to-self, certain failure, or perhaps they just dislike setting goals all together. Either way, I tend to enjoy setting New Year resolutions and it’s something I do just before each year comes to a close. While I understand it’s all too easy to become disappointed when goals are not achieved, I don’t think the problem lies with the act of setting New Year’s resolutions but rather the kinds of resolutions some choose to set. Rather than choosing a fun or easy goal, many seem to set overly lofty goals which end up far too difficult to obtain, leading to certain disappointment. In my experience, setting small, fun and easily attainable resolutions at the start of each year helps renew my focus and often re-inspires me. I suppose this is because I’m all about living a fun and enjoyable life, so normally the goals I set aren’t too wild or structured and they are genuinely things that I look forward to.
All that said, this year I do actually have what I consider to be a few big ones. Three of them, in fact!
#1: Daily Painting
So yep, this is my big one. I’m challenging myself to paint daily Monday through Friday only (don’t mess with my weekends) for about 30 minutes each day, all year long. If it ends up a bit less, or more (most likely) so be it. Now, this might not seem like a ‘big’ one to most, considering this is already my day job but it is big to me because I’ve added a twist: I must complete a painting each day. So that means, I’m going to have very limited time per painting which should force me to create some very interesting, fun and loose work this year.
For several years I’ve had a heavy focus on large or highly detailed pieces like you can see evidence of in my summer painting, Barn Home. I’m really looking forward to this change of routine and hopefully this will shake things up a bit for me creatively. That said, I know it’s definitely going to be a challenge because I’m often a very detail-oriented painter who tends to get lost in those fine brush strokes and large canvases. Challenge, accepted. Wish me luck on this!
#2: More Writing, Including Blogging/Vlogging
I’m keeping this particular resolution fairly open in the sense that, as long as I write significantly more this year than last year, I’ll have achieved this goal. Ideally, this would mean I have completed writing, polishing and publishing book two of my painting tutorial book series in addition to much more blogging and vlogging on My YouTube Channel. I’d also like to have both books in paperback form this year, as well as significant progress on other manuscripts I’m currently drafting.
In late 2015 and 2016, I focused heavily on local projects, commissioned paintings, painting instruction, creating a fresh body of work and participating in art shows. While that was all very fun and rewarding, unfortunately my writing was put on hold far longer than I would have liked. This year, I’m really looking forward to more writing, blogging and video creation. I’ve even started a secondary blog where I’d like to write about things that are less painting related than the topics covered here on my main blog. I intend for it to be a sort of ‘catch all’ for my thoughts and interests and it’s called Artfully Amused.
#3: Improved Time Management For My Creative Works
This is another rather lofty one, so again I’m keeping it loose. As an artist and creator (of oh-so-many things) my biggest challenge is time management for the numerous projects I have going at any given time. One might think it’s easy to just ‘block in’ a time frame to complete an artistic project because that works extremely well for most all tasks. Yet art, in nearly any form, just doesn’t seem to work well or flow properly when it’s being contained, at least for me.
So, my rather broad goal is just to do a bit better in this department than I did last year. Simply not getting overly absorbed in any single creative project so that I might make more time for other tasks this year. Whether I am painting, writing, sculpting, dancing or even making simple crafts, the project always seems to take it’s own course which is surprisingly unexpected and near impossible to fit into any type of calculated regime or time slot. I believe this is part of what makes art so special; the way art should be made and I don’t intend to change that aspect of letting my work evolve and flow organically. Thus, I’m not going to attempt to pencil out a schedule but rather try and catch myself before I get too absorbed and lose focus on the bigger picture of what I’d like to achieve in 2017.
As for the best way for me to manage creative time, I feel the hardest part of achieving this goal might be having to say no to other people. Custom works or requested classes and projects (no matter how much I love doing them) requires that I stop working on any long-term creative piece for a time. This often leads to my losing momentum and steam for the current work which ultimately lands on a shelf or folder somewhere in my studio until said inspiration decides to re-visit. After 15 years as a working artist, I know that I work best when I can complete an entire project while that initial creative ‘spark’ is still burning brightly. As much as it is hard for me to say no, this year I intend to do it as often as needed and hopefully without feeling any guilt over doing so.
So that’s it for my three big New Year’s resolutions for 2017! I’m feeling pretty confident that these are attainable for me with a touch of extra focus and determination. I’m especially excited to see what creations come through my daily paintings and even more excited to offer them in my art store for others who might enjoy them. To anyone out there with New Year’s goals for 2017, I wish you nothing but success in achieving all that you desire; Let’s do it together. If you have any of your own resolutions or goals for this year, I would love to hear them!
Have a very happy and blessed New Year, my friends!