My Goals and Aspirations for the future.

Usually people tend to set their goals in January, so it might seem strange that I am writing this post only now in April.

My goals were set in January as you may have guessed, but one of the goals on my list was to start writing blog entries regularly and so this is my first blog for this goal.

As an artist, I am very focused on creating art that shows the beauty of the world. With that I mean not just the shapes and colors of everything, but the way that things are created to work perfectly. The fact that people have souls and the ability to love, hate or even the ability to just not care enough to even love or hate. I think the way that God has made even our internal organs and how they work together to me is just miraculous!

I find it amazing that animals have natural instincts so that a deer, for example, knows without being taught that it needs to stay away from lions.

Plants evoke and are associated with different emotions, which is why I love to paint these wonderful creations made by God. A man in love would buy red roses as a symbol of his lover for a woman. Purple flowers are said to signify death and therefor often bought for funerals. White flowers are connected to purity and innocence.

When painting landscapes, I prefer painting sunsets as it stirs emotions of romance. But clear blue skies and green meadows makes us feel peaceful.

While I was busy setting up my goals, I tried to keep in mind why it is that I love to paint. Therefore, I decided to focus on different landscapes (connected to different emotions of course). I have already painted a few seascapes last year and would like to complete a few more to have a series of seascapes.

When this is done, I would like to start a series of portraits of people practicing different kinds of art and a series of people interacting (or not interacting) with each other in different ways. Colors used will be chosen carefully to depict different moods.

Goal-setting for artists practicing art as a hobby only can easily only focus on what kind of art to create. Artists practicing art as a career, should include many other goals too.

In a later blog, I will tell more about my health issues I had for several years. It made it very difficult for me to have any kind of serious career at all. I did manage to sell quite a few paintings, but I did not put a lot of effort into my paintings and the business part of art as a career really was almost non-existent.

This year, I really want to start practicing art as a full-time career. To succeed at this, I have set up a list of goals which includes my personal goals along with my career goals:

Goals specifically related to Art:

  1. Sketch Daily
    Even though I have been practicing art as hobby for nearly 29 years now, I know that I can always still learn a lot. Artists should never reach a stage where they can say they know everything or they have “practiced” enough.The best way to learn is practice, practice and more practice.
  2. Portfolio
    I have updated my portfolio to include my recently completed art works as well as a few of my favorite past works.
  3. New Projects
    Do a series of landscapes in watercolour and have them framed soon after completion.
  4. Education, Skills, and Teaching
    Learn more about human anatomy. Work through exercises in The fundamentals of drawing anatomy (Drawings by Tom Flint)
  5. Current Body of Work
    Start a new series depicting people practicing art. Concentrate on depicting different moods.
    Start a new series depicting people interacting with each other. Concentrate on depicting emotions.

Goals specifically related to Art Business:

  1. Documentation
    I have already created a file system where I keep large printable versions along with smaller versions and thumbnail images of all my artworks.
    My goal now is to keep this updated every time I finish an artwork.
  2. PC Backup
    I have setup an external drive to backup all my images and data files.
    My goal here is to run weekly and bigger monthly backups.
  3. Galleries and exhibitions
    I would love to get represented by a South African Art Gallery. I plan to start meeting and emailing the managers of a few galleries which I think might want to show my art during May this year. My goal is to participate in two group exhibitions this year.
  4. Events and Participation
    I plan to find out how to participate in the monthly artists under the sun shows at zoo lake.
  5. Marketing
    Redesign and print business cards.
    Choose and order customized items to hand out as gifts. This has to be affordable though.
    Check out: Giftwrap.co.za.
  6. Website
    I did a redesign and update of my website and plan to update it along with each blog entry and with each new artwork completed. See it here: www.magdasart.com.
  7. Learn more about how to sell art
    Buy and work through this book(e-guide) this year:
    Sell Your Art in the Healthcare Art Market by Reneé Phillips.
  8. Press and Publications
    Write a press release and send it to Randburg Sun.
  9. Reading and Writing
    Subscribe to and read The South African Artist Magazine.
  10. Social and Speaking
    Write and practice personal introduction. Introduce yourself to people using this introduction whenever you get the chance.
  11. Awards and Contests
    Watch for competitions on the VANSA site and participate where possible:
    VANSA.co.za.
  12. Finances
    Save all my arts and supplies receipts. Set up an accounting system.
  13. Time Management
    Work on time management until you have a schedule that allows for at least 2 hours painting time every weekday.
  14. Inventory and Organization
    Buy archival boxes for storing A4, A3 and A2 sized artworks on paper.
    Keep the master inventory of my entire body of work updated.
  15. Social Networking
    I plan on blogging often and to be active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn. I also plan to create a newsletter and start getting people to sign up for it.
    I haven’t been actively trying to get followers, but currently I have 90 likes and 85 followers on my Facebook page. I plan to increase it to at least 150 followers by mid-year and 300 by end of the year. I do not really have any followers on any of the other social media channels, but if I can increase each of them to 150 each, I will be very happy.
    I also plan to create a YouTube channel towards the end of the year to show off artworks as well as some techniques.
  16. Commissions
    Update the Commission page on my art website:  www.magdasart.com.
    Make sure to include approximate price ranges as well as clear instructions on how to proceed with commissioning an artwork from me.
    Include examples of previous commissions I have completed in the past.

Goals specifically related to my personal life:

  1. Life Choices
    Gym at least 3 times a week.
    Work at healthier eating with weekly meal planning.
    Drink 2 liters water every day.
    Drink less coffee.
  2. Appearance
    Shave, exfoliate and self-tan legs weekly.
    Have eyebrows done professionally.
  3. Studio space
    I have bought a few plastic stack-able drawers and sorted my art materials into these so I can work in the living room without creating chaos in our living space.

Accomplishing Your Goals
Celebrating the successes as well as each step you have taken towards achieving your goals are crucial to accomplishing most or even all your goals. So, do not cross out any goals you have achieved, but mark them as done along with the date you achieved said goal. Then spoil yourself in some way to reward yourself. If you are struggling to achieve a long-term goal, separate the goal into smaller steps and celebrate accomplishing each step along the way.

Sharing your goals with other people helps to keep you accountable. If you have a fellow artist friend, show your goals to him/her regularly. Encourage your friend to do the same with you. Or join an online artist community forum with goal sharing as topic.

Another way to encourage accomplishment of goals is to visualize your goals with vision boards. Vision boards are visual representations of your goals and more importantly, visual representations of how you could feel when accomplishing each of your goals. For more about how to create vision boards, read this article by Elizabeth Rider: The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One

Also remember that when writing out your goals, you should include as much details about your goals as possible. Include specific details as well as date wherever possible along with all your goals.

There is nothing wrong with retiring a goal that you have set for yourself. Often circumstances and needs changes before it is even time for you to start working on a specific goal. So, realizing that a goal is just no longer relevant any longer, is very important for you so you can stop seeing the retired goal as a failure. Instead it is turned into a success when you replace it with a more relevant goal.

Remember to include fun and especially also some easier goals when you go through your goal-setting exercises. The good feeling you get when achieving an easier goal will motivate you to work harder on the not so easy goals you do have.

Always look back at the goals you have set and ask yourself if they contribute to any of the dreams you have for your work or personal life.

Wishing you success with your goal setting as well as with the achievements of your goals.

Have fun and feel free to comment and share your own goals for 2017 below!

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