Friday, January 29, 2016

10 Works

I wanted to share a little more about my goal to create 10 works of art each month, since I hope that the work I will create will be a big part of this blog.  At the beginning of each month I decide on all the important parameters of the artwork for that month.  Each 10 works makes a sort of collection and I want them all to be cohesive and follow the same theme.  I want this for two reasons: One, when I create something similar ten times, ideas start to flow from that and my original idea expands and takes new turns.  Two, I don't want to spend time making the major decisions over and over again.

Let's take my art for January as an example.  This month I decided that I wanted to make my own version of portraits.  I knew I wanted to work with oils on canvas and I decided to make them 12" square.  I didn't have to make those decisions again all month and that saved me a lot of time.  Each morning I woke up to get to work, I knew exactly what materials to grab and what I was doing.

For these paintings, my idea truly did evolve.  I did these five first and painted the face in.  That was my original idea.

Then, when I did the 6th one, I decided that I didn't want to paint the face in, so I didn't.  I loved that so much that I continued that idea for the last four paintings.

Nine of these paintings will go up for sale in my shop and one of them will be added to my personal collection as a reminder of what I've done.  Only eight are currently posted because I'm having a hard time deciding which one to keep!

This system has been working very well for me.  I love the opportunity to create collections, try something different every month, and while ten works of art are a lot to get done, I find that it's just the right balance between hustling and stressing about it.  For February, I have already been thinking about what I want to do and I am excited to introduce that next week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 Goal Setting

Blogging is clearly not a consistency I have cultivated, but if there are two things that I am consistent about, they are journaling and goal setting.  I've recently read a lot of negative things about goal setting, including claims that it "never works" and it leaves a feeling of "then what?".  I acknowledge that setting goals isn't for everyone, there are a lot of different ways to live an intentional life, but if you want to claim that it never works, then I just think you're doing it wrong.  I admit that some goals do leave that empty feeling of "what now?", but in those cases, I have almost always found that I set the wrong goal in the first place.

Let me share some of my goals for 2016, how I intend on going about them, and address the question of "then what?".

Read Four Specific Books - I read a lot to begin with, but these four books are on my goal list because I've owned them awhile, I truly want to read each one of them, and seeing the goal just reminds me to pick them up.  I have already started one of them and I want to pick up the next one as soon as I'm done.  This goal is more of a reminder than anything, and once I've read all four, I will hopefully be a bit wiser and more productive.

Run 500 Miles - I started running in August of 2015 and I am still very much a novice.  I'm not training for anything, I just want to be healthy and I set this goal to ensure that I keep running.  Most metric based goals, like this one, will leave a "then what?" feeling.  After I run 500 miles, then I'll see how many more miles I can run this year and increase the number for next year.  The number 500 just gives me something to aim for, and shoot passed.

Make 110 Works of Art - This is another metric based goal, but it's purpose is a little different.  Towards the end of last year, I got this idea to make 10 works of art each month to build up my portfolio, shop inventory, and push myself to make art a priority of my every day.  I tried it out for October and November and I loved the push that the goal gave me.  So this year, 110 works of art will be 10 finished pieces of art a month, excluding December (because December is busy enough!).  So, at the end of the year, I will have made 110 works of art, refined my craft, built my portfolio, and hopefully made some money!  That's a lot of outcomes for one goal.  This goal will not leave me with a feeling of "what now?" because I will have learned so much from the experience and I will have a lot to show for it, but the next step will to keep making and selling art.

These three goals all stem from larger, on going goals.  The first comes from my desire to continue to learn, the second goal supports my need of being fit and healthy, and the last goal assists me in my ambitions to make and sell art.  The "then what" of these goals is that I am being the person that I want to be as I work on them.

As I work on these goals, I am avid about keeping track of them and the progress I've made on them.  In my journal, I start with my goal list for the year and then at the beginning of each month, I refer to that list in order to make goals for the month.  Each week I refer to my monthly goals to set to-do's for the week and each day I look at the week's to-do's in order to figure out what I need to do that day.  This system ensures that I never lose sight of what I want to accomplish.  Sure there are down days and weeks or months that I don't reach some goals, but overall, I am very successful with this system.

Are you a goal setter?  How do you accomplish your goals?  How do you keep sight of them?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Motivation

It's hard for me to come back to this blog after such a long absence, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that working on this blog is a real effort that I need to make.  Blogging looks like it's effortless, but as I've realized again and again, it is so much work.  Well, I'm here to try it again.  The only way to be a successful blogger is to keep trying, so that is what I'll do - starting today.

I want to start a little series of my own here with a motivational phrase to kick off the week.  Mondays are always off kilter for me because I don't know how the week will flow and I feel anxious to get everything done, so I want to give (and receive) an extra little push to start the week on a positive note.

In the past few weeks as I have been thinking a lot about putting myself out there as an artist and really deciding that this is what I want to do, I realized that I was the one holding myself back.  You might be in a different circumstance than I am in and don't have people cheering you on, but I have a lot of supporters and I realized that I wasn't one of them.  Since having that realization, I've decided that I'm going to go for it and do everything I can to make my dreams a reality.  Once I made that decision and got to work, thus proving to myself that I meant it, I began to feel so much peace and excitement about my path, my journey, and my subtle progress.  Nothing "major" has happened, but I feel like I'm on my way now.  

Today I challenge you to stop holding yourself back and start making progress on your dream.  It can be seemingly very little progress, but as you take those little steps, you'll feel a peace that will let you know that you're on the right track.

Currently Listening to Gold by Wake Owl