This is a time when we all declare to make some changes with New Year’s Resolutions. The turning of the calendar page to whole new year signifies a beginning and a clean slate to play with. An artist, however, may have a different looking list of resolutions than the average individual. Usually, it contains goals for creating more art!
I’m a firm believer of resolutions and goals. There’s something very creative about them, with the possibility of recreating yourself in the process. We all are works in progress after all, and life is about change. Even as artists, we grow and change, and our artwork reflects our journeys.
If you’re a creative individual, here are some artistic New Year’s resolutions that you can use to become a better artist. Even after a 40-year career, I still strive to be better! An artist never quits learning or growing as long as we are alive.
New Year’s Resolutions for Artists
1. Commit to learning a new medium. There are endless drawing and painting techniques and always new products to play with. Is there something you think is interesting, but have never tried? Now is the time. Dive in! I’m going to try modeling paste to add some 3-dimensional qualities to my paintings.
2. Is there a medium you like, but never seem to do enough of it? We all have our favorite techniques that we seem to go to religiously. What technique do you love, but never seem to find the time for? Revisit an old love. I enjoy using oils, but I never seem to make the time to work with them. This is the year I crack out my oil paints again for some serious work! I also love mosaics, and am determined to do more this year!
3. Is there a class you’ve always wanted to take, but never took the time? (For instance, taking a Lee Hammond art workshop? Hint, hint!) You can learn so much from someone who is already a pro! Make the decision to broaden your horizons and take an art class! I’ve signed up for some photoshop classes to make my photo references more interesting.
4. Are you using inadequate art supplies? Yes, we all have to start somewhere, and often that means the bargain brands. While they’re good to start with to get your artistic feet wet, you may not be seeing your full potential. Invest in yourself! (You can cut back on something else to free up some money for this, like the daily coffee splurge.) You’ll be amazed at how much better your work can look with the right products and tools. I was amazed when I tried high-grade paper products such as 500-series Bristol. Yes, it is expensive, but it makes my work much more professional and sellable.
5. Are you skimping on your art supplies by using up all of your old stuff before investing in new? I’m guilty of this, for art supplies aren’t cheap. However, running out of colors or using little ends of pencils or pastels, has a dramatic effect on your work. Working on creased or dirty paper cheapens your work as well. Make the decision to replace some things for a fresh start. I’ve decided to replace my pastels with fresh sticks. Yes, I’ll use up the old ones, but there’s something so inspiring about a fresh display of colors!
6. Are you an artistic slob? Do you have clutter and mess in your art studio or work area? Make a resolution to clean up your act! Having your things organized and tidy can be very inspiring. A cluttered work area isn’t very conducive to creativity! Nothing feels better than putting things where they belong. I also like to divide my colored pencils into groups of colors, for easy access, and arrange my art supplies so they look nice. Also, this is a good time to keep the promise to clean up as you go!
7. Have you always wanted to be more professional and sell your work? This is the year to go for it! Make the decision to go pro. Create a good website (I recommend hiring a professional to help you) have some flyers and business cards made, and start to market yourself. Take a cue from others already in the business to see how it should be done, and what you want to charge according to the existing market. This is your year to elevate your art business! I’m starting to take commissions again this year. I haven’t done that for a while due to other commitments, but I’m changing that. I have a brand new website (LeeHammond.net) and will be selling many more commissions and prints.
8. Are you making the time to draw or paint? You can’t grow as an artist unless you’re doing the work! This is the year to create an “art schedule.” Plan out a two-hour window that’s all artistically yours. You can do it if you really want to! For me, that window of time was very early in the morning, before my kids woke up. I’m NOT a morning person, but realizing that morning was the only time I had for “me,” I made myself get up at 5 AM to do my art. I remember looking forward to waking up, so I could drink my coffee and paint in the quiet before the day even began.
9. Use your art to document your life and desires. Each week, create a simple drawing that represents the great things you experienced in the last seven days. Make it like a collage of “feel good” doodles, phrases and drawings of the things you’ve appreciated throughout the week. In a new book I’m writing titled REACH!, I recommend this type of art journaling as a way to keep your mood elevated, and your desires coming your way. You can literally “draw” what you want into your life.
Yes, this can be YOUR YEAR for being a better artist, and a happier person! But, it takes determination and desire. Most resolutions are dropped before February even arrives. Don’t let that happen to you! Get busy! Get creative! Buy more art stuff! I will post my progress on my website and Facebook as inspiration to you. In turn, I want to hear from you, and see if any of this advice works for you!
Happy New Year my creative friends!!!!
Until next time,
Lee Hammond has been called the Queen of Drawing. That may not be fair these days since, in addition to providing the best drawing lessons, she has also created fantastic books and videos filled with the same easy to follow acrylic painting techniques, colored pencil techniques and more. Click here to see all of the instructional books and DVDs that Lee Hammond has to offer!