Creating Artist Goals

When I am sitting in my studio space winding down from the day slowly drawing each line that makes up the composition of my work I feel a personal connection to my process. It brings me fulfillment and a calming order to my life. I can create a world with new landscapes and manufactured spaces for my thoughts to get lost in. The moment I take my mind off the physical and mental process of art making I realize I am always creating with a larger purpose in mind; the goals I have set for myself as an artist.

The act of creating is a very personal process but in many instances in my studio I am creating for someone else. It goes without say that to feel successful as an artist we want people to notice and understand what we are creating. How is my art fulfilling someone else’s life? How do I continue to set goals for myself to give back to not only myself, but to those individuals supporting the ideas I have and want to share? How do I give back and use my art to help society?

With a new year right around the corner, I am setting up my studio practice with even more goals in mind to help create and achieve action plans that will help me succeed. It can be very daunting to think about what your goals are as an artist. It forces you to answer questions you may not have answers to. It challenges you to face the reality of your studio practice and understand why you are so driven to create the ideas in your head. But it is so important to strive for something, even if it is personal fulfillment, to help you create, grow, and challenge your studio practice. 

Beginning to set artistic goals for yourself starts from an understanding of what it is you want to want to do, how you want to get there, and what it all means to you. In my personal practice it took me a very long time to understand what it is I was naturally drawn to and then figure out how and why I wanted to express it. I began with small thoughts in my head that eventually I was able to turn into a sentence that explained to myself what I wanted my art to say to others. My art focusses on social issues; I strive to create art that challenges my viewers to critique the constructiveness of landscapes. This became the mission statement that helps me produce work in my studio and create artistic goals for me to work towards. 

From this very large sentence that fuels my studio practice, I create goals that reach towards this statement remaining true. I like to break down my goals into long term, short term, and goals for just today. After I consider what my long term goals are, which come from my mission statement, I can create short term goals. For me, these short term goals can only be achieved if I create “to do” lists for each day to help keep me on track, my daily goals. Most of the time my daily “to do” lists are small, like post one image on Instagram today, but this helps me avoid becoming overwhelmed and over time I am achieving my larger goals.

One important thing I have learned is to not be afraid if my ideas and goals change over time. I am learning that different people, places, and ideas can influence you and can change your outlook and opinions of your own goals, but that’s the amazing part of being an artist, having the opportunity to be inspired by so many other individuals striving towards similar goals. It can be refreshing when you alter your goals. Sometimes you just need to realign with them and make sure you are creating for the reasons you want.

With a new year starting it is the perfect opportunity to realign with all of my goals and find the opportunities where I can add on to my existing goals. I am excited to take my studio practice further and create new goals that encourage me to work in my studio more along side my full time job. Considering my work is focussed on social issues, I also plan to give back and make an effort to be a part of groups that allow for this opportunity. I plan to create goals that will help me grow artistically and personally as I strive to become a better artist each day.

As you move into the new year think about the mission you have for your studio practice, be it personal or for your small business. Consider each part of your long term, goal and allow those parts to become your short term goals. How can you work towards those short term goals daily? Do you need to create a to do list for everything so you feel accomplished when you check something off? However you feel successful as an artist it is important to create with your larger purpose in mind to help you create, grow, and challenge your studio practice. 

To see more of Lauren's work visit her Instagram or her Website.

MotivationalGrace Gulley