Happy New Year!

I’m having a slow-ish start to the year. And from a few conversations I’ve had recently, you might be too.

I mean, I’m all about looking back on the year with the usual questions like:

  • So where DID the money come from last year?
  • What made my heart sing and what were the slogging through-quicksand projects?
  • And if the money came from the quicksand projects, how will I change that up this year?

You know, the usual.

So I evaluated and pondered and reached out to the people I trust though phone, email and across the couch (that’s Jim, btw) and sat with the information at hand for a bit.

And here’s what I know:

I want to make meaningful work that enhances my skills and interests.

Well, that’s pretty generic, Ronnie!

Yes.

And no.

As I make my practical plan for the new year, everything on it must meet that criteria. So with each opportunity, I need to ask the following questions:

  • Is it within my skills? (sure, I’ll stretch a bit—after all I taught myself video editing last year!) But if I need to learn a new skill to do something, how much time is taken away from the “doing something” to learn “the something”? And is that a better use of my time than developing more content that fits better?
  • Am I interested in it? We all see things go by us and think “hey, I can do that” but is it something that will hold my interest once it’s done? I don’t have time for trend-chasing, flash-in-the pan, hey that’s pretty cool detours from my best work.

And finally,

  • Is it meaningful? It doesn’t have to change the world, but it does need (for me, anyway) to be useful, to be helpful or to make someone else feel better. That includes coaching, teaching and even my art practice.

How are you approaching 2019?

Slow re-entry or with a hands-on-hips power pose ready to crush it this year?*

What are the questions you need to answer?

*Well, good for you but you’re making me a little tired.

4 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Happy January 21st! These are some fo the same things I’ve been mulling over.
    Part of me is – HEY! I could totally make that – but do I want to?
    Another part of me is – UGH. I know I *should* be creating that…but I don’t want to.
    Another part is all – WHY am I not making THAT?!?!
    And yet another is – WHAT in the world am I doing here????

    10+ years into this game and I feel like I am just on the outward edge looking in barely able to grasp WHO I am as an artist and WHAT I should be doing with this skill. I am allllllllllll over the place in terms of subjects and styles and while I know it has some benefit to be flexible, I feel like I have a split personality art style disorder.

    I need a strong hand hold (and possible a swift kick in the pants) to say “THIS is what you should be doing. THERE is where you need to go.”

    • Oh, Jennifer–I totally get it! And I’m afraid some of that will come along for the ride forever! (yay! great news!) But It can be managed (somewhat) by asking the right questions for each of those thoughts as they pop up. Those questions are different for each artist (hmmm…a blog post maybe?) but basically…Does this idea align with my values? Does this direction support the other things that I do? Is this at least close to my current skill set? Will this cause my current clients to say, “Huh?” when they see it? But yes, sometimes noodling through those questions are easier with someone else who can guide you to find the best and most confident answer for you! Of course even though we want to stay aligned and have a cohesive look, we also want to stay flexible enough to grow and change as artists. So, there’s that too…:)

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