Friends, the beginning of a year is our best chance to start fresh with new art goals. Before we look forward, it’s always good to look to our experiences. How was 2016 for you, artistically speaking? How has your portfolio of work grown? Did you accomplish your goals? Keep in mind, this isn’t a time to be hard on yourself; this is about figuring out how to keep moving forward.
I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences this year, with opportunities to meet and learn from some gifted mixed-media artists, including Jodi Ohl, Sandrine Pelissier, Crystal Neubauer, and Seth Apter. You can imagine how much inspiration I gained from them, and the great news is that you can, too! As I write this, my work table is covered with watercolor paper, a few tubes and bottles of paint, a container of masking fluid, and a handful of pens and markers that I decided to just leave out because I know I’ll want them handy at any given moment.
In addition to learning many new techniques through these artists’ workshops, I also published my (first?) novel this year after many moons of hard work. While I doubt that I’ll top that one in 2017, you can bet that I’m going into January with some big ideas in mind, and I hope you are, too. Some friends of mine like to choose a specific word to focus on to keep them inspired and directed for the coming months. They’ve chosen motivational words such as inspire, mindfulness, prosper, breathe, and courage. Share your art goals or word for 2017 in the comments below. We’ll choose a random winner to receive a prize package of mixed-media supplies to help you get started with a year of creativity!
To keep your motivation going, North Light Shop has a limited-time offer on this New Year, New You selection of inspiring resources, no matter what your preferred art media and style is. For almost 50% off retail price, here’s what you’ll get:
• Celebrate Your Creative Self: 25 Painting Exercises to Discover Your Inner Artist (paperback) by Mary Todd Beam
• Creative Strength Training: Prompts, Exercises & Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius
(paperback) by Jane Dunnewold
• Card Play: Mixed Media Techniques for Small Works of Art (DVD workshop) by Seth Apter
• Cloth Paper Scissors January/February 2017 issue
• Art Inspiration: Advice and Support for the Creative Life (magazine download)
One more important thing to consider when it comes to setting art goals is to make them achievable, set mini-goals to get you there, and enjoy the process along the way. I look at some of my creative endeavors as work in order to focus with laser precision on creating them to as much perfection as I’m capable of. Others, I protect with a maternal desire to keep them naive and playful. Only you know what type of attitude you need to use toward your art. It could be anything from casual (you create when you feel like it, and that serves you well) to militaristic (you set a weekly or daily time for your art goals and stick to that schedule) to strategic (you focus on new techniques to apply to specific projects).
I’m just grateful that we’re here together on this path of art and creativity. Remember that you’re part of an entire community of artists who are experiencing the same ups and downs, frustrations and successes.
Remember to comment below and share your word for 2017. You’ll have a chance to win some mixed-media goodies from our stash and you’ll inspire others who visit the page as well and be inspired when you see what others are focusing on for the year. It’s a win/win/win!
Yours in art,
*Winner must be a US resident. Winner to be chosen January 18, 2017