Happy New Year from all of us here at Nicole’s Classes! We are all firm believers in new beginnings and new starts; One of the most rewarding things to me as a teacher, is to see my students take classes, and then create a whole new hobby, passion, or even career for themselves from the things we teach them. It is so fun to see all of you get so good at design, photography, and art!
Because of our new advanced students, Alma Loveland and I created a new class called “How to be a successful artist” where we will delve into the ins and outs of running a creative business, whether you are a designer, photographer, illustrator, blogger, or whatever! In running with this course, I also wanted to start a new blogging series called “Creative Business.” Today is the first start in this series, enjoy! (xo, Melanie)
CREATIVE BUSINESS: SETTING GOALS
As creatives, sometimes its hard to stop and plot your goals. I know that it isn’t my first tendency, I would much rather be drawing or doodling than stop and take a hard look at the upcoming year, but as I have learned–it is a necessity! When you write down your goals, you help yourself focus as an artist, and it can help you be more successful. I have been writing goals and plans for years now, and I know that it a crucial step to my success.
So grab a paper and pen, and let’s start! Here are a few tips as your plot goals for the new year.
1. TAKE A LOOK AT THE PAST
What were your greatest accomplishments from the last year? What were the things you hated? If you could change anything, what would it be?
After writing those down, turn your page over. I find it is important to look to the past, but remember, (as shown in the image above) you have a whole year of new beginnings, a clean slate! Let’s start fresh, but remember what we learned from our triumphs and failures last year!
2. BE SPECIFIC
What do you really want from this year? What are some of your hidden dreams? Write those down, and then evaluate the steps you can take this year to make that happen. I know that I have some goals and dreams that aren’t for this year–but I do have other goals and dreams that I want to make happen in 2013. Are you ready for one of mine? I want to create a fabric line. Just writing this makes me feel nervous, anxious, and excited! It’s a goal of mine, but I think that 2013 will be the year!
Make sure and write down these specific goals that you have for this year–give it a dose of your dreams, but also consider where you are at right now. Don’t set goals like: “Become a famous artist this year.” (ok, bad example, but you get the idea) What are specific things you can achieve, that are specific to your talents and ability?
Here are some examples of past goals I have had: Create a new website for myself, create a children’s app, gets some new clients, raise my rates, etc. (obviously these have been over the years)
3. DON’T WRITE TOO MANY, MAKE IT DOABLE
One of the hardest things for myself is to limit myself on my goals. Last year I tried a new experiment and only set 4 goals. While that may be too few for some of you, what I do want to remind you, is to be specific, and evaluate what goals you REALLY want to accomplish. Pick just a few, so that you can really achieve them! It’s not really realistic to have a whole page of goals for 2013–though that might be a good exercise for your “GOALS & DREAMS” or your “BUCKETLIST.” By picking just a few goals, you are helping yourself remember your goals, and giving yourself a chance to achieve them.
4. CREATE A PLAN
We all know that goals without a plan just won’t happen. What is your plan to make these goals happen? I like to split it up into months–so my end goal is to have a fabric line? So what is my plan for each month to make that happen? I personally know that my plate is full for the next 3 months with previous commitments, but there are other things I can be doing to get ready for it. (I actually already emailed a contact this morning about it) See? It doesn’t have to be hard, but you need to plan active steps to help yourself in your goals. Maybe those active steps can be creating a new personal design each month for your portfolio, but whatever it is, create a plan to make those goals happen!
5. GIVE YOURSELF MOTIVATION
What is your reward as you achieve the steps in your plan? Do you have rewards for yourself along the way? I know that I like to give myself monthly “bonuses” as I achieve my plans! Maybe it is a new camera lens after you finish 2 photo classes. Or it can be small like going out to lunch to your favorite restaurant. Whatever it is, make it good, and you will help yourself along with your goals.
6. SHARE IT WITH OTHERS
This is a HUGE point for me. I am a pretty motivated person, but sharing it with others can really help hold yourself to it. I always like to set my goals privately, and then share them with my husband. This year, I am actually holding a goal meeting with Alma (yes we are nerds like that). It REALLY helps us to plan out how we are going to make it happen, and help us turn it to reality.
I would love to see you share your goals below! What do you want from 2013? Share it with me in the comments and let’s all help each other!
7. DO IT & REMEMBER THE TRIUMPHS ALONG THE WAY
So of course, for all of this talking, planning, and writing, nothing beats old fashioned work. Write down your goals, your plan, and then just do it!
Believe it or not, I was a total jock in high school (playing basketball, softball, and cross country) and so I quickly learned that to become successful, I really had to practice hard EVERYDAY. It was hard work, but it always paid off. It is sweaty, it is tough, but that is the price you have to pay. It’s a good lesson to remember as artists–we need to practice!
And what if you don’t achieve your goal? What if you are close, but you don’t quite get there? I think this quote from famous basketball coach John Wooden says it best:
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
Remember your triumphs along the way! Maybe you didn’t design that whole, beautiful site that you had planned, but you did design 40 fabulous pieces to put in your portfolio!
There are always going to be triumphs and accomplishments as you strive to achieve your goals–and you must be flexible as life takes you another course. Often times, I have set a goal for one thing, and worked really hard after that, only to see that my life had a different course, but what was in store for me was even better! So be flexible and be open to change, and enjoy the triumphs that come as you work after your goals.
I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for us! I hope these points helped you as you set your goals and plot what you want to achieve this year.
(Did you enjoy this post? Then you will love our How to be a Successful Artist class. I promise. We believe there are no starving artists here! )