Facing the New Year can be both exciting and daunting, and facing a new decade only increases the pressure. In my last blog post I suggested that you begin by creating a mantra to guide your thoughts and actions, because a simple word or phrase keeps you on track. A good mantra for artists who want to grow their practice is “be strategic.”
What does it mean to be strategic in your art career? First, think about what really matters to you. Maybe it is making time to create a new body of work, or making an effort to reach out to others who can help you advance. Perhaps this is the year when you will seek advice about gallery representation, or build your presence on social media. Pick just one thing to work on, for now, and “be strategic” about it.
Being strategic means that you are conscious of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You don’t worry that you cannot control the outcome, you just go ahead and act. For example, if this is the year when you want to reach out to others, you reach out to someone every day. If you decide to develop a new body of work, then you increase your hours in the studio, and say no to less important activities.
Being strategic means that you shape your days around your priorities. Even If you’re not a morning person, you start the day with what matters most. No matter how many demands and distractions come at you, each day you do at least one strategic thing. In this way you gradually build momentum, so that your actions become natural and new ideas start to flow.
Remember, as an artist you are a visual person. Try to find an image that represents your strategy, and keep it visible wherever you are working. Let me know what you discover.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.