Recently we attended a workshop about artists as entrepreneurs, and it really helped put our goals as artists into perspective. When we first started making art we knew we wanted to share and sell it with others, but that’s about it. After our first year with our small art business, we are now thinking about where we want to be in a year or two as well as long term.
We realize now more than ever that our goals are our own, success is our definition of it, and our visions are something we have to stay true to in order to feel good about what we’re doing.
We know we love making art, we know what type we want to make, and we know what level of business we would like for our artwork short-term. As we continue our artistic journey, I would like to share some of the things that can be and have been useful to help us achieve our goals.
Celebrating success: I’m part of a wonderful Facebook artist group that makes it a point for each member to be able to share their weekly succeses, and recently I’ve been thinking more about this concept. Although Edwin and I tend not to share our successes with other people, we can do a better job of highlighting them between each other. Did we sell a piece? Did I finally write that blog post or update the website? Did we connect with another artist or did we experiment with our work? Most importantly, are we learning and growing? It’s easy to overlook the seemingly small things but those are what really count and can potentially add up to something big. Celebrating small things also helps to keep the excitement going about what we’re doing and makes us more aware and appreciative of our progress. It's a way for us to stay fully engaged in what we do, and also a reminder that we are meeting mini goals all the time.
Doing a little each day: The days are hectic and it’s easy to let them slip away without doing all that we want or need to do. It’s also easy not to do something when it seems overwhelming. We've been making weekly/daily to-do-lists and each day we tackle something on it, even if that just means beginning something, or doing a little of a big project each night. This has been incredibly helpful and keeps us focused and motivated to see ideas through. Checking off mini goals each day eventually leads to realization of a larger one.
Planning Financially and Otherwise: A big part of the entrepreneur workshop we attended was about financial planning for artists. We are now forcing ourselves to be more specific about our monetary goals when it comes to our artwork. We believe that the clearer our goals are, the better we can plan to meet them. It's also exciting to have that conversation with one another about how we can reach specific goals. It's interesting to see how our general goals can be the same, but when you really break it down, it's fun to note the differences in how much art each one of us wants to make this year, how much we want to sell, and how we want to go about doing it. We also have non-financial goals that are equally as important. It's great to share our ideas with each other and become more aware of our expectations. Ultimately, we both agree that any sort of progress is success.
Minding Our Business: This one encompasses all the previous ones. Nothing is more important than focusing on what you love and seeing that passion grow and manifest in a variety of ways to open doors. We do our best to nurture our little business and give it time and attention consistently. Although it is already March, the year is still young and we hope to implement many successful business practices as it progresses. :)