In 2017, I plan to draw and paint. When I think about goal-setting, there are a few important steps that help lead to success: 1) start small, 2) give yourself time, 3) expect obstacles, and 4) tell people about it.
Starting small, for me, means doing what I can with what I have. It means putting pencil to paper. It means a canvas or page size of no bigger than 12X18 inches. And it means interpreting the image in a way that is meaningful to me (keep it simple, let the process happen).
Giving myself time for art is so tricky. I wish I could commit to a daily practice, but for my process and life, every other day is much more do-able. Like many of you, I have a family and obligations. But time can be scheduled. I’m committed to blocking off small windows each day to do the art that fills me up. And I recognize that things happen, and I might miss a day or two here and there, and that’s okay!
That brings me to expecting obstacles. Time is the biggest challenge, and like any other habit, the schedule will take some acclimating. My second obstacle will likely be stagnation. I struggled with this during my 50 State Birds project, and I think part of the problem was that I had locked myself into a particular format, and medium. There wasn’t any room for exploration. While I’m so thrilled that the project is complete, and as a whole, represents so much more than the 50 State Birds, I am certainly glad to be embarking on a fresh new project. I have a giant list of strategies for when I’m stumbling, and I vow to keep showing up.
Part of keeping myself accountable is telling people about it. I asked 26 family and friends to give me about a dozen words. Every two weeks, I will have a new envelope to dive into.
I think there might be other artists out there looking for an art challenge that will help them create as well. So, you’re invited too! The rules are that there are no rules. Use whatever media you like best (pencil, paint, pen & ink, collage, 3D, digital…). Use my words, or your own, or a mix. Join me for a week, or a month or the year. Or pop in when you need a fresh prompt. Share your work at the #drawthedictionary on Instagram, if you’re willing! Know that I’d love to see your interpretation of the word in your art. Even just checking in to see where I’m at will bolster my confidence, and keep me moving forward. Questions, thoughts or suggestions?