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The Importance of Setting Goals as an Artist

This week I’d like to talk a little bit about goals. The new year is quickly approaching and a lot of people take the time before the start of 2019 to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, a list of goals they want to achieve over the course of the year. If you’re an artist and you like making those kinds of lists, I’d strongly encourage you to make a list just for your artistic pursuits.

These goals don’t have to be just for 2019, they can be for the next five years or the next five months, it’s completely up to you. But, these goals should be able to be measured in some way, whether that’s making fifteen more paintings, or trying new techniques.

I cannot stress enough the importance of setting goals for your artwork. When I first started out with acrylic pouring, I only had one goal, to try acrylic pouring. And when I had done that and continued pouring, I never stopped to set new goals for myself. I just made a lot of paintings and had a lot of fun with it.

And you should have fun with it, you should fill your free time with things you feel good about doing! But after months of just painting using the same techniques, much of that initial thrill I felt in the beginning had worn off. I was just using the same formula over and over, only slightly deviating to slowly discover the outer limits of what was possible.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a formula and sticking to it, if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, but you can always invent something else. Your formula will still work just like it always did, but I’d strongly encourage you to go out of your comfort zone in this new year.

It was only when I began experimenting, and setting goals for myself, that the thrill came back. These goals don’t have to be radical, you don’t have to, and by all means shouldn’t, throw all the knowledge you’ve gained out of the window. All that setting goals means is that your adventure in art has a bit more structure.

I’ve made a list of potential goals for your artwork in 2019, feel free to use any of these when setting your New Year’s resolutions! And comment down below how they’re working out for you!

  1. If you’ve never tried resin before, I’d challenge you to give it a shot sometime in 2019.
  2. Create a painting larger than you ever have before. See where all that space takes you!
  3. Finally reach out to the restaurants, cafes, and salons in your community and ask if you can display your art there.
  4. Apply to galleries for the first time!
  5. Create a series of paintings centered around some common theme, be that a common color palette, technique, or size.
  6. Start your own online store!
  7. Try adding texture to your work, mica flakes and German glitter shards work really well for this.
  8. Try and invent a completely new formula for your acrylic pours, and keep an ongoing journal of the recipe and your results.
  9. Only use canvas? Switch to boards in 2019.

Only paint on squares or rectangles? Switch it up and use round panels instead, best options are from woodcrafter.com, trekkel.com, or dickblick.com

The Importance of Setting Goals as an Artist

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