As the new year is upon us, we have all set goals. Last year proved to be a very successful year for me, and I look forward to celebrating my first year in business on January 7. However, it was such a grand year, that I found it difficult to set goals for this year that would even slightly compare to the unique opportunities I had in 2018 with my art. Therefore, instead of goal setting, I came up with four attributes that I felt contributed to actually obtaining the goals I had set for myself; generosity, work ethic balance, gratitude, and contentment.
Generosity. I honestly believe you reap what you sow.
When I am hired for a custom painting or drawing, I wholeheartedly pour myself into the design and collaboration with the client. I hope if you’re reading this, and have worked with me, you felt that generosity of spirit from me. I also believe in the importance of generously sharing your talents with no monetary outcome. Money isn’t everything and generosity will always leave you feeling happily satisfied. I come from the belief that my talents as an artist are not to be solely used for my own enjoyment. They are to be used to give back to the world in a way that no one else can. That’s why we are here! In a world where it’s such a common to practice to grab for all you can (especially when money is tight), we should always focus on what we can give.
Work Ethic Balance. “Work ethic” is often listed as an attribute unto itself, but “work ethic balance” is my new term.
With my studio being in my home, I found challenges in 2018 with balancing my time between work and rest. The work was always there calling my name. And for a worker bee, that was hard to resist. I quickly realized that without rest, both physically and mindfully, the creative process becomes more mundane and quite challenging! When the process of making a work of art is enjoyable for the creator, I think it really shows in the final piece of artwork.
Gratitude. What a special word. This single word can change your outlook on everything.
In art, relationships, and especially as an entrepreneur, a grateful mindset is crucial. I am the sole worker producing every piece of artwork, typing all the invoices, replying to every email, cleaning the studio, shipping product, figuring out paychecks and taxes, and ordering materials. It is exhausting at times, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! The only way I can look at these types of “to do” lists without becoming overwhelmed is by reminding myself to be grateful for the opportunity of being a full time artist. With that being said, if it wasn’t for customers like you, who see value and meaning in my artwork enough to purchase, I would just have some pretty paintings around me and a little more tax knowledge - haha! Now, if that doesn’t spark gratitude, I don’t know what will.
Contentment. This is the attribute that ties all of these characteristics together.
Art is my job. Therefore, It is so easy to fall into the trap (especially with social media) of creating a piece of art because I think it will sell well or because I want to imitate an artist, in hopes of a similar success story. But In my personal experience, comparison is always the thief of contentment! There is absolutely no harm in seeking advice or learning about other people’s journeys to success; I think that is a contributing factor in how we form our own goals. But in 2019, I want to be careful not to be paralyzed by comparison. So let us practice comradery with others, while remaining content with where we are in our own lives. With so many ambitious goals for the future, I think its important to remind ourselves to respect the process even more than the outcome.
So as the new year begins, ask yourself if you can apply generosity, work ethic balance, gratitude, and contentment into your own life. These attributes have proved to be the cornerstone attributes of my career as an artist and entrepreneur. I hope reading this sparks an interest for you to consider what cornerstone attributes your life and business rest upon.
Cheers to a New Year!