You survived another year as a working artist. Congratulations!
Now it’s time to step back and look at all you have accomplished in the last twelve months. This is an annual ritual to take your mind off of the long task list in front of you and remind yourself that you really have done a great deal.
If you do nothing else, stop reading this right now and set aside time in your schedule to review your year. It’s too easy to neglect this exercise if you try to squeeze it in whenever you feel like it.
I suggest committing to two one-hour sessions to start this process. You’ll need to gather your data from calendars, bookkeeping, and journals.
The format here is based on The See Plan (8 Cs for a balanced business). Please adjust and add personal accomplishments if you like.
And … begin!
1. Challenge Creativity
What artistic medium or skill did you attempt or master?
What creative project was uncomfortable but helped you grow as an artist?
What new art events, galleries, and museums did you visit?
What art seminars/workshops/lectures/classes did you participate in or teach?
How did you improve your studio habits?
What business seminars/workshops/lectures/classes did you participate in?
How did you promote your art in a creative manner?
What creative challenge do you think you benefited from most?
How will you challenge your creativity next year?
2. Demonstrate Commitment
Where in your life did you set boundaries?
Were you happy with the studio hours you put in? Describe, explain.
Where did you exhibit or retail your art?
What grants, projects, or residencies did you apply for?
How many blog posts, newsletters, or articles did you write and with what regularity?
When did you take action that was uncomfortable, but moved you forward?
How can you increase your commitment level next year?
3. Seek Clarity
How did you do on setting goals and achieving them?
How did you stay on top of your finances?
How did you strategize?
What resources did you discover?
What technological skills did you learn or improve?
How did you make time for regular planning?
Where did you ask for help in your art business?
Where did you have an aha moment that gave you clarity?
Where do you need more clarity for next year?
4. Nurture Community
Who supported you – in any way – during the year?
What organizations were you involved with?
How did you help someone else out?
In what ways were you a leader in your art community?
How did you effectively nurture community around your art?
What changes will you make next year?
5. Cultivate Connection
Who were the top ten cool or influential people you met?
How many people did you add to your mailing list?
How did you use your mailing list?
How did you improve your social media presence?
How did you connect 1-on-1 with VIPs in your life?
What made the biggest difference in your marketing?
How can you improve your marketing next year?
6. Build Confidence
What did you do to enhance your professional reputation?
When and where did you give a gallery talk or lecture?
What classes or workshops did you teach, and how many students did you have?
Where did you introduce yourself to a valuable new connection?
What was your practice for writing about your art?
What gave you the most confidence this year?
What do you need to do to improve your confidence next year?
What new marketing material did you develop and use?
What artwork did you finish that you’re enthusiastic about?
How did you follow up with people and opportunities?
How did you track your growth, and what did you find?
What did you finish this year that was difficult or was a long time coming?
How will you improve your completion process next year?
What grants/honors/awards did you receive?
How did you acknowledge and reward yourself for your successes?
How will you celebrate in the New Year?
What was the single best thing that happened to your art career in 2016?
What are you most looking forward to in the New Year?
Please share below and feel free to link to anything that illustrates your progress. We want to celebrate with you!