I contemplated my 2016 goals quite a lot at the end of 2015. Part of November and all of December, I dreamed about what I could do and what I might want to accomplish. I started trying to distill it down to a a few groups: things that were relatively easy to achieve and then a couple of stretch goals that I might not make but that I needed to try. Since I don’t have a 9-5, I’ve discovered that making some goals at the beginning of the year and keeping track of them keeps me from feeling directionless.
1.) The “Make Something Every Day” Project has treated me really well. Or maybe I’ve treated it well by staying so faithful. I feel good about the body of work I’ve developed over the past three years. I’ve learned SO. MUCH. I’ve spent time developing my ascetic and my toolbox. So I will continue with “Make Something Every Day” in 2016. I say this as we are twenty-five days in and I have 25 posts done. I’ve got my Instagram feed set up here on the blog so you can see my daily work.
2.) Stephen and I decided last year to split our websites apart because our children are older and we talk about them less online. (We’re trying to give them their space to choose how much of their lives they share on the internet.) The communal blog of his science stuff, my art stuff, and kid stuff was super messy and out of date. So my goal sometime at the end of 2015 became setting up a new website. I dithered on a theme and how to set it up and what to use as a logo. THE. LOGO. People, the logo defeated me in 2015. So one of my goals in 2016 was to get this site set up. I’m proud to say that I got it accomplished in just a few days once I put my mind to it. And I made a decision about the logo. That was approximately 300% of time spent.
3.) Study some of my favorite painters. Look at some more recent periods of art history that I enjoy. And in the process of that, look for overlaps in what they did and what I do. I took art history in college but we didn’t spend much time in the modern era and that’s the stuff I love. It helps that Stephen got me this amazing book on Mark Rothko for Christmas. It’s where I’ve started working on this goal.
So those are the easy ones. Relatively. Things I can/could do without much external input.
Next came the stretch goals. This morphed into a big scary dream. I visited NOLA in October and went to the Ogden sorta on a whim. It was pretty magical. I think my friends got a kick out of watching me lose my mind over some of the pieces there. And I thought, “What would it be like to have a gallery show?”
For a month after I got back from that trip, that thought whispered to me and made my heart pound with anxiety. I’d mentally poke it with a stick and tell it to go away. But it keep creeping back.
On the drive to Arkansas for Christmas, I said it out loud for the first time to Stephen.
4.) “I want to have a gallery show.”
Of course, my always supportive spouse said, “You should go for it.”
I had to say it another half dozen times before it would roll outta my mouth like a normal sentence.
I have no idea if it will happen. It involves setting myself up for hella rejection. But it will NOT happen unless I take some steps to make it happen. I’ve emailed the prospective gallery and gotten a list of materials I have to turn in for the jury. Also, I have to paint. I have to paint kinda a lot. Currently, I have four pieces that hang together nicely and I need at least 10-15 more. That’s nearly my whole output from last year. So if you see me and I don’t have paint on my hands, please kindly tell me to get back to work.
And if it doesn’t happen this year, then it doesn’t mean it will never happen. I think I can feel pretty good about making the attempt this year, seeing where it goes, and getting over the hump of being scared of it. I absolutely am not underestimating that last huge thing. Deep breaths. Baby steps.
5.) Increase my followers on social media and the blog. (I feel a bit vain typing that sentence. I’m working through that.) If I want people to see my art and buy my art, I have to be visible. My friends are awesome and many of them have bought art from me over the past couple of years but there’s a limit to how much they can physically house. So if I want to keep making things, I have to start selling thing on purpose. And I have to have an audience to do that.
So those are my 2016 goals. I’m excited and scared and thankful and feeling a little dizzy. What are you working toward in 2016?