Ways of BE-ing

Goals are about action and achievement. They’re about DO-ing. Consider these examples:

You identify challenging goals to move closer to the vision you have for your art career (and life).

©Claire Linder, Thy Kingdom Come. Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 165 centimeters. Used with permission.

©Claire Linder, Thy Kingdom Come. Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 165 centimeters. Used with permission.

And … because you don’t want your vision to get lost in the busy-ness of working toward individual goals, it’s important to remember how you want to feel as you’re striving toward those goals.

With that in mind, I asked my Art Biz Inner Circle members how they wanted to BE in 2017.

Many artists chose a word-of-the-year to answer the question. I thought it would be fun to share with you the wide range of be-ing words, which I’ve grouped into seven categories below.

I hope you’ll take a look at this list of ways of be-ing for artists and see if any of them ring true for you.

Happiness

Who can argue with wanting to be happier? You’ll enjoy a lot more of your tasks when you approach your work with this attitude.

The desire for more happiness was expressed with these words:

Positive
Happy
Bliss-filled
Joy-filled

About the last two, artists distinguished between the outer perception (blissful and joyful) and the inner feeling (-filled).

Contentment

I’m not sure that “contentment” is the right word for this category. “Acceptance” might work, too.

©Michon Weeks, Wheel Within a Wheel (Saw Blades). Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Used with permission.

©Michon Weeks, Wheel Within a Wheel (Saw Blades). Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Used with permission.

Confident
Balanced
Present
Imperfection

We all loved that last word. It’s better to do things imperfectly than to overwork the task in search of perfection, which we all know never comes.

Bravery & Action

A lot of artists are bursting out of their comfort zones to make their dreams happen.
They seek to be:

Fearless
Unstoppable
Bold
Strong
Unapologetic
An Activist
Impassioned

Organization and Reliability

Then there are those of us (me included) who are always looking to feel less scattered. We want to be:

In Control
Lean
Efficient
Focus
Clarity
Purposeful
Creatively structured
Consistent

I put the word “focus” in two categories because it applies equally to both. Note below the different types of focus.

Diligence

This is an interesting category:

Exploration
Trust (in myself)
Focus (on me)
Focus (on the work)

You’ll find “focus” is the word-of-the-year for many artists, but there are two types of focus here. I love how one person said it was high time she focused on herself after focusing on others for so long.

©Michelle Sirois Silver, Recovery Method 2. Waste hosiery on linen, hand hooked. 22 x 48 inches. Used with permission. Photo courtesy of Ted Clarke.

©Michelle Sirois Silver, Recovery Method 2. Waste hosiery on linen, hand hooked. 22 x 48 inches. Used with permission. Photo courtesy of Ted Clarke.

Effortlessness

I could steal any one of these words for myself. Who doesn’t want to glide through each day feeling lighter and more peaceful?

Space
Lighter
Peaceful
Glide

Incidentally, my word of the year is “ocean.” Oceans, for me, are vast, expansive, and meditative. When life and work get crazy, I want to retreat to my vision of how it feels to be near the ocean. (Kinda crazy for a mountain gal like me, I know.)

Recognition

Countless artists I’ve worked with have desired recognition. These two words were prominent this year:

Validated
Respected

For those who chose “validated,” it was seeing the work sell that was most important. They feel respected, but the sales would be an indisputable sign that people connect to the work.

Your Turn

I’d love for you to share your thoughts on how you want to BE this year. Please leave a comment below.

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79 comments to Ways of BE-ing

  • Martha

    Sorry this is late.I missed this email.My word is Imagine. I’m always imagining paintings or crafts ect. the hard part is finding the time to do…..Thanks for your inspiration, this is awesome post, I think I’ll do this every year. It may become my New Year resolution.

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