Artful Resolutions from Creative Souls

Artwork by Olga Siedlecka~Artwork by Olga Siedlecka


It’s in our nature to always strive for new goals. Some might think this is due to a competitive nature, but I think it’s because art helps us grow. I am always reminded of this just as New Years begins to creep up on me. We all have similar thoughts — eat better, hit the gym, get organized, finish projects, etc. Sometimes, it even seems like we’re pressured into making resolutions that we don’t really care about. It’s a slippery slope for an artist to make a promise that he or she may not be able or even willing to keep. But then again, resolutions can also be exceedingly positive when we make them for all the right reasons. In an attempt to elevate the tradition of the New Year’s Resolution to its full artistic potential, we decided to ask some of our creative friends what types of artistic resolutions they planned to make, how they would pursue inspiration in the new year, and most importantly, how they broke up their goals into manageable projects that could actually be attained. The responses were heartfelt and incredibly insightful, and we hope that while reading these, you’ll gain inspiration for your own artful resolutions.  

We are so grateful to have had 24 creative souls participate in this special project. However, with over 65 thoughtful and thorough responses to our questions, there’s simply no way we can showcase all the answers in this blog post.

Click here to read all the responses provided by our guest artists.

Also, don’t forget to scroll all the way to the end of this post to learn how you can win a beautiful Papaya Art Weekly Planner.

 

What is your creative/artful resolution for 2015?

 

Tuttle_question1~Photograph by Susan tuttle

 

“I’ve definitely found my creative niche in photography and love every moment of the process, from taking the photos to digitally enhancing them, but there is also a love in me for painting, in particular abstract painting. In terms of my career, I’ve been quite busy with photography and teaching online, so have found it difficult to make time to paint. My artistic goal for 2015 is to carve out some time, however small, to paint. I made a conscious choice to start with the un-lofty goal to create at least three paintings in 2015. This simple expectation of myself takes the pressure off, makes it doable, and gets me excited!” ~Susan Tuttle

~*~

I’m not one for making resolutions at the beginning of the year. My philosophy is that I’d much rather reflect on the past year and recognize all I have done. I find that to be empowering and motivating. Each January I have a ritual of making a Ta-Da list. I start with the end of December and work my way back to the first of the year, making notes of everything that I can remember doing during the year. It is easier to start with the most recent self-imposed assignments. Eventually I recall a full list of achievements, missions, chores, and projects that leaves me feeling really good. Sure, there are always things left on my To-Do list…there is always more to do, and ideas that are still in-process. However, when you move items from your To-Do list to your Ta-Da list you celebrate what you’ve completed — that’s much more affirming than worrying about the tasks ahead, and the pledge to make changes with the turn of the calendar page.  Maybe you could start 2015 by patting yourself on the back for all the work you completed in 2014, from art projects to self-improvement, and then carry forward the positive energy into the brand new year. Make a Ta-Da list, because it’s way more fun than a To-Do list!” ~Michelle Ward Download your own To-Do and Ta-Da lists, compliments of Michelle Ward.

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“Seriously, my resolution this year is to try and keep my workload manageable so that I leave some time for myself to grow as an artist. To be truly creative takes time … I am a slow worker and I need time to allow ideas to grow and develop, but I don’t always give myself enough time. I would love to work on a bigger scale — it’s something that I generally shy away from but I think it may be time to push myself to work bigger. I think that working on a larger scale will bring a sense of freedom. I would also love to learn some new skills; traditional bookbinding and printmaking are both on my to-do list so maybe this is the year!” ~ Kate Crane

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“My creative resolution is to not compare myself, my art, and my personality, to other creatives out there. It’s so hard not to do this because with so many of us, the goal is to distinguish ourselves, but in order to do this we must be true to who we are and why we create. We must follow and trust our intuitions and design aesthetic and not worry about what other artists doing.” ~Cat Kerr

~*~

Caitlin Dundon  Charming Bird Hope small~Artwork by Caitlin Dundon


“Several years ago, I stopped making official resolutions that start in January of each year. I found that after the busy holiday season, I needed a little bit of a break at the beginning of January and didn’t need the pressure of heavy resolutions. Instead, I make monthly resolutions year round. Using the Japanese “Kanban” approach — I have workflow post-its that represent projects I am in process of working on, projects I want to do (but are not ready to go yet), or projects I’m waiting for approval on, and projects I’ve completed recently. It’s nice to be able to move items to the done list! Certainly I have dream projects that I want to create, and sometimes I have to put them on a back burner if I have other things that require my attention first. I find that writing down your dreams/projects/desires, creates the kind of magic you need to get things to come into being. I have pride in completing and finishing a lot of projects during the course of a year, I know that there will always be projects that don’t come to fruition. I think it’s important to finish things, but it’s also important to accept that sometimes it is the process that is the most important thing. I find that if I ever have a moment of “artist’s block,” where I pause when I have a blank piece of paper or wood panel in front of me — I just force myself to dive in. Just cover the surface with anything, any color, and any collaged bits of paper. By just doing it, you are freeing yourself. You are allowing yourself to let go and just create. Sometimes I discover something new in doing this, something wonderful. Sometimes I make something I don’t like, but the beauty of the process is that you can keep layering, sanding, painting, adding gesso, stamping, inscribing, etc., and magically it becomes something that I love.” ~Caitlin Dundon

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“I prefer to use the words “creative invitation” as opposed to “resolution”. It feels like a gentler approach and works much better for me at this stage of my life and creative career. I am aiming for greater trust in my days…trust that my creativity will continue to lead me where I need to go, whether that is through my fine art, further developing my product line, or becoming more involved with teaching.  I can make all the lists I want about this or that path, but I am finding that simply showing up in my studio day after day and allowing space for the journey to unfold, without designating precisely what that journey is, brings the most rewards. so I suppose my creative invitation to myself for 2015 is to stay out of my own way, create freely without the overlay of how to make money, or be practical with my endeavors, and to stay in the game and allow room for serendipity to seep in.” ~Anna Corba

~*~

“I do not believe in resolutions and I do not make to-do lists. What I love to do is to stop when I feel the overwhelming need to make changes and take the time to listen to what my heart is telling me. I think of a resolution as an ongoing process, and instead of making it the end-of-the year habit I react to every situation through my impulses. When I am free of overwhelming expectations and due dates, I am successful in not rushing the moments, but really letting myself dive into them. My creativity springs when I give it time, space, and peace. Working as an independent creator is a continuous learning curve that above anything else includes self-improvement. …” ~Sylvia Stefanova

~*~

“To be a better servant to my muse, to resist nothing, and to suppress the ego dragon, which uselessly guards the gold. I know all of you creatives out there will fully understand what I mean by that.” ~Sandra Evertson  

 

What do you do to stay inspired — will you be looking to new sources of inspiration in 2015?

 

Kelly Letky each dawn is a new beginning~Photograph by Kelly Letky

 

“This one is easy: I go outside. Nature never fails to inspire me, from a pink cotton candy sunrise to a black crow eating seed in the driveway. I listen. To the birds, the wind, and the quiet whisper of flowers growing. To the sound of snowflakes gently hitting the ground, the cacophony of migrating geese that always makes me laugh, and the rustle of leaves passing through the tall poplars. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where I can walk outside and hear these things. I listen, to life.” ~Kelly Letky

~*~

“I am a very community-oriented artist and often gain inspiration from connecting to other artists. As such, I will be increasing the number of workshops I teach with other artists, participating in a multi-artist collaborative art project, overseeing a group art exhibition, and setting up several, open-call online collaborations on my blog. Living in NYC provides a ton of inspiration and my goal for 2015 is to be more consistent in actually visiting the galleries, museums and other art venues that always provide me with creative fuel.” ~Seth Apter

~*~

“I attend art retreats and workshops that are out of my comfort zone. For example, I really do not love to paint, so I place myself in a painting class to be stimulated and stretched. I may never paint again, but I always go away with new inspirations and challenges that apply to my daily life whether it be cooking a delicious meal in my kitchen or trying a new technique in my art studio. I will continue to participate in online workshops because they always feed my creative appetite. ” ~Deb Taylor

~*~

Monica Sabolla Gruppo ArtRes2~Photograph and Artwork by Monica Sabolla Gruppo


“I won’t be looking for them, as I believe inspiration comes from within and not from the outside. As to stay inspired, I will keep soaking up Nature and silence, going for solo drives and hikes in the glorious English countryside, or visiting Manor Houses and gardens — almost always unplanned and without a map (but always with my camera, sketchbook and a journal). These activities quiet my mind, fill my joy tank, and are always source of endless inspiration, and amazing clarity for me (in my work, for my life).” ~Monica Sabolla Gruppo

~*~

“I practice rituals from the book, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I have tweaked the rules-to suit me. I type my Morning Pages — you’re supposed to handwrite three pages. But I couldn’t read my writing, so I type. If my weekly Art Walk Date is canceled by life or the weather — I don’t let that stop me — I take my Art Walks-online. I go visit other countries, and/or watch a foreign or historical film, or visit Pinterest.  I do prefer to physically visit a place with fresh eyes. I always take my camera and chase light. Photos for me are visual poems.  My favorite painters are the sun, the moon, and the weather. Yes, I love all the Gelli art I am seeing and want to play with this medium. Art is fluid and always moving like the Northern Lights. I need to continue to grow, change, evolve, and playing with new sources helps expand our horizons. ” ~Ella Wilson

~*~

“The journey to a personal body of work is different in that I am compelled to wear blinders to sources of outside inspiration, I realize this sounds a tad ridiculous, especially in our 24/7 internet world. But I long to be in my cave (aka studio), holed up in mad-scientist/artist mode, playing with paint to see what comes up and where my muse guides me. It is important for me to rely on internal sources of inspiration as I have done in the past. For me, this typically means lots of time in nature, writing in my journals, meditation, and practicing yoga. These things will clear my mind and allow ideas to emerge in due course.” ~Mary Beth Shaw

~*~

“Cleaning your workspace is always a good idea as it often results in a surprising discovery that will eventually become a part of a future whole. I usually visit a flea market to find some rusty additions or just to look around. I also like to spoil myself with some little purchase, like new brushes or paints. After the shopping I always look forward to working with my new buy. My advice is to look through art and photo albums, and even some children books, too. Don’t forget nature with its colours and details. A piece of bark can be more inspiring than professionally printed papers.” ~Olga Siedlecka

~*~

“To stay inspired I like to do things that slow me down. Activities such as yoga and meditation are good places to go whenever I need to unwind and relax…which puts me in a peaceful frame of mind to receive creative thoughts and ideas. If you prefer more physical movement to quiet the mind, walking alone outside, especially in nature, can also be a good way to go.” ~Becky Shander  

 

How do you, as an artist/photographer/writer, set challenging but attainable goals?

 

Mary Wangerin IMG_3039 2~Photograph by Mary Wangerin

 

“When I begin to notice myself slip into that easy, comfortable zone while creating, I know it’s time to unleash my brave and bold and introduce a new creative goal. Pushing past that comfort level is where we grow, discover, and uncover amazing new techniques and processes; and ultimately when we have the most fun!

Sometimes that means I say yes to opportunities that thrill, but scare me. Sometimes I give myself a time limit for finishing a painting. Sometimes I challenge myself to use colors I don’t normally ever use while painting. Sometimes I collaborate with a fellow artist on a painting.

It’s all in allowing myself to try new things creatively, while embracing the discomfort of uncertainty/vulnerability that can come with a challenge!” ~Mary Wangerin

~*~

“During a screen writing class, the teacher asked: ‘What is the biggest difference between famous screenplay writers and yourselves?’ After a moment, he answered his own question, “They took their work to completion.” That became my motto. Take your work to the finish line. Not doing so may be the only thing standing between you and success. Remove that barrier and a path opens before you. I have an ongoing list of long and short term projects. I keep revisiting each project until it is complete. My children’s book took sixteen years to percolate and has just been self-published. A sketch I did in 30 seconds during my son’s violin lesson, sold as a print. Methodical, long-term works sprinkled with short-term projects keeps me moving forward.” ~Cathryn Mezzo

~*~

“First and foremost, I must write down my monthly, weekly, and daily goals in a daily planner, otherwise they’re just thoughts rumbling around in my head. Each month I think about what I want to accomplish overall, usually a big project or something that gets me closer to a bigger goal. Then I break that goal down into weekly and daily goals. I’m a big fan of micro-movements and achieving large goals in small chunks. Even if it’s something as challenging as writing a novel, if I break it down into itty bitty goals (10 minutes of research, 500 words a day, etc.) it makes the writing so much easier for me to accomplish.” ~Cassandra Key “By setting smaller, attainable daily goals, my more challenging goals end up being reached without even knowing it! A little mind trickery.” ~Michelle Shefveland

~*~

 “My goals need to be specific in nature. If they are too vague my performance can’t be evaluated. For instance, it isn’t enough to just commit to journaling or painting. I have to make that goal specific by committing to work in my journal at least twice a week or creating one new canvas a month. It is also important for me that my goals be realistic or I might get too overwhelmed from falling behind. I also adjust my goals as I go along when my circumstances change or I am inspired to move in a different direction. I have to remain flexible.” ~Roben-Marie Smith

~*~

“I’m not too aggressive when setting goals for myself. As a stay-at-home mom, time with family always comes first. Creative time may need to occur during school hours and evenings, but I do push myself a bit more when my Etsy store is looking empty or I have a vendor show coming up. Nothing like a hard deadline to get my gears going! I’m a firm believer in making lists, especially of creative ideas that pop into my head. Not all the ideas come to fruition, but many do make it to a finished project – and that feels wonderful. I never chastise myself for not getting to projects on the list, because there’s always some day.” ~Susan Frick

~*~

“I don’t think I am the right person to ask this! I have big, giant goals! I am working on setting smaller goals for myself, and most of all working at celebrating the small accomplishments along the way. Often times, as soon as I accomplish a goal I feel like ‘done! Now on to the next thing,’ and I forget to celebrate the small steps, which then leads to burn out. A couple of internet friends who have great podcasts about these types of topics are Tara Swiger, Abbey Glassenberg, and Jamie Ridler, and Kari Chapin who just started a new podcast too. I love listening to these podcasts while I work. Hearing about other artists struggling with the same issues inspires me to be a bit gentler with myself and my work.” ~Claudine Hellmuth

~*~

D Smith Kaich Jones now_what~Photograph by D. Smith Kaich Jones


“I just begin. One sentence, I tell myself. One line, one paragraph. I always begin by describing the day outside and inside. The mundane things. Where the cat is and what she’s doing. What the weather’s like. That keeps my fingers nimble, loosens me up.  It’s a warm up for the race ahead, but I don’t run marathons.

I keep bowls full of words and phrases, and if I’m having trouble grabbing an idea, I grab a word and hold it and pay attention to the feelings it invokes, the images it throws my way.  One of my favorite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, and one of my very favorite parts of that book is this:

‘He’d been having trouble with students who had nothing to say. At first he thought it was laziness but later it became apparent that it wasn’t. They just couldn’t think of anything to say.

One of them, a girl with strong-lensed glasses, wanted to write a five-hundred word essay about the United States. He was used to the sinking feeling that comes from statements like this, and suggested without disparagement that she narrow it down to just Bozeman.

When the paper came due she didn’t have it and was quite upset. She had tried and tried but she just couldn’t think of anything to say. 

It just stumped him. Now he couldn’t think of anything to say. A silence occurred, and then a peculiar answer: ‘Narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman.’ It was a stroke of insight.

She nodded dutifully and went out. But just before her next class she came back in real distress, tears this time, distress that had obviously been there for a long time. She still couldn’t think of anything to say, and couldn’t understand why, if she couldn’t think of anything about all of Bozeman, she should be able to think of something about just one street.

He was furious. ‘You’re not looking!’ he said. A memory came back of his own dismissal from the University for having too much to say. For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see. She really wasn’t looking and yet somehow didn’t understand this.   

He told her angrily, ‘Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick.’

Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, opened wide.  

She came in the next class with a puzzled look and handed him a five-thousand-word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. ‘I sat in the hamburger stand across the street,’ she said, ‘and started writing about the first brick, and the second brick, and then by the third brick it all started to come and I couldn’t stop. They thought I was crazy, and they kept kidding me, but here it all is. I don’t understand it.’

Those words in those bowls are my bricks. I start with just one, and I list (even if just mentally) all the obvious things, and then keep going.” ~D. Smith Kaich Jones

 

A Warm Thank You to all the Creative Souls

We’re so grateful to all the artists, photographers, and writers, who participated in this blog post. Thank you for sharing your plans for the future, sources of inspiration, and your techniques for success.

Don’t forget, you can read all of our artists’ responses by clicking here.

 

Tell us your Artful Resolution for a Chance to Win:

5PA-CAL15PLN004-Papaya-Art-Sun-Speak-2015-Weekly-Planner-300x300Now we want to hear from you, our beloved readers! Tell us what you think about these resolutions and share your own artful resolutions for a chance to win a Papaya Art Weekly Planner. This gorgeous planner has a sturdy, hard cover and special features like foil accents, pockets, and an elastic closure, making it both functional and beautiful.

For your chance to win, simply leave us a comment below. We’ll select a winner at random and contact them via email as well as announcing their name in our upcoming Glimpse Inside Blog Post on January 1st, 2015.

Contest ends on December 31st at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

 

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Posted: Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 @ 2:40 pm
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109 Responses to “Artful Resolutions from Creative Souls”

  1. Cat Kerr says:

    Love all the responses! It’s so fun to get a glimpse at how other artist think.

  2. My 2015 Art Resolution is to believe in my abilities and not to compare my work with others. In other words, just have fun.

  3. julie wasson says:

    In 2015 I want to be able to only work at home and not have to work for someone else. I need a planner to make that happen!

  4. Cassy says:

    I love the idea of writing a Ta Da list!

  5. Tisha says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing so much inspiration! Thank you, Michelle Ward, for the Ta-Da List! I want to go thru all the online classes I’ve paid for already and use my stash to finish making the art projects. The Kanban method sounds interesting, so I’d like to try that too.

  6. Jackie PN says:

    What a great article and gift from those artists who shared! Loved reading the whole thing over my coffee this morn !
    One of my resolutions, is to stop putting pressure on myself and continue to grow naturally as an artist-
    Merry Christmas to all!

  7. cindy coven says:

    After 65 years I still make resolutions. This year it’s shut the F up to my internal critic. Happy New Year!

  8. Roberta says:

    My resolution is to be more organized!

  9. Lucy says:

    I always fail with resolutions, so I have taken courage from all the beautiful words from all the artists presented here on your wonderful blog… I hope to be more creative in 2015. Merry Christmas to you all xx

  10. Robin says:

    I have had CFS (Chronic Fatigue) for some years now, and just getting out of bed in the morning requires great resolve. I somehow manage to look after three children and my husband and I work from home three days a week (not for myself, for a company). If I had to actually go to a job, I wouldn’t be able to, so I am really thankful for that. I ave trouble with concentration and my short term memory and unless I write things down, I forget to do them. I know how to do a lot of different crafts- I taught myself when I actually had time and energy (which seems a lifetime away now), but do very little that is crafty anymore. I used to make a lot of things (including polymer clay buttons, silk scarves, handmade cards…and sell them on the internet). My goal for this year is to make one card a day (I love papercrafting). Just one card a day. Doesn’t sound like much does it, but to a person with CFS it’s a huge mountain to climb. Wish me luck!

  11. Ella says:

    Thank you Stampington and Gabriela for organizing this wonderful post~

    It is so unique n’ special to read everyone’s insight and ideas! I love Michelle’s Ta-da list~
    I love reading all the artist’s ideas and what works for them.

    This post is a brilliant gift-thank you!

  12. Linda says:

    How inspiring! My resolution is to make more time for art with my grandchildren.

  13. Virginia Dever says:

    My New Year’s resolution is to be grateful for all that I have been given. Being grateful opens doors to new ideas, new relationships and new creative ideas.

  14. Merry Warner says:

    This year I’m making a huge move and retiring. My resolution is to make more art in all my “extra” free time!

  15. Anne D says:

    Pick one of my many unfinished projects, or one of the planned and never even started ones, and just work on it until it’s done. Repeat as many times as I can.

  16. Kim McM says:

    I resolve to lower my expectations and not expect good results, let alone perfection, the first few times I try something. “Learn by doing,” it’s my mantra.

  17. Jani Howe says:

    Next year, I want to explore some of the new(er) techniques I have picked up online from many artists, and stop being scared to TRY new things! I feel the road to being a better artist is to always ‘keep on trying’ — and that includes new things, new techniques, new paper products, whatever tickles my fancy. I’ve learned much from online videos and tutorials, and have a long list of things to at least TRY! So, onward to 2015 — the year of NEW THINGS!

  18. Michelle Salazar says:

    My goal is to live more within my face in both my art and heart!

  19. Michelle Salazar says:

    Oh my gosh and check for the mean spelling checker guys in my computer. . .

    That was Faith live more in my faith in both my art and heart!

    You can stop laughing now!

  20. Carolyn Buckner says:

    Thank you for the insight from so many artists! I really like Michelle Ward’s TA DA list. My list was never a To Do list. It was always my Completion list! A check mark became a smile of gratification. And no calories! I’m looking forward to 2015, a new year of New Year of a New beginnings and completions.

  21. Sandra Opperman says:

    I’ve joined an online art journaling group and not only am I resolved to follow thru all 52 weeks but also to share my art with them!

  22. Barbara Howell says:

    I plan to play freely in my journal with mixed media techniques and watercolors. I got a start today!! I had an inspiration photo and it took me in directions I hadn’t planned. I had a great time :-)

  23. HawaiianLibrarian says:

    Like Susan Fink I want to PLAY in 2015 w/ media, classes & projects that challenge me to leap “out of my comfort zone” as Deb Taylor shared. I’ve been playing w/ making a box like D.’s “bowls of words and phrases” for inspiration, and include pieces of papers, pics, fortunes,…for collage, tags, scrapbooking, bookmaking, and cards. Mahalo to all of the beautiful artists for sharing and inspiring.

  24. Pamela Margraf says:

    I am caregiving for my mother and having a special book like the Papaya Art Calendar to schedule time for my art work would be so helpful. Thanks for the opportunity. Pam

  25. Rita Hatcher says:

    My resolution is to paint everyday, absorb all the knowledge I can, and believe in my ability. Thank you all for inspiring us.

  26. Dena Jardin says:

    I read and enjoyed all of the artists responses to your questions. I am also a person who does not make resolutions at the beginning of each year. I tend to evaluate what is going on whenever things feel out of sorts. My art at times takes second place behind other life obligations. The promise I have made to myself recently is to be totally in the moment, no matter what that moment looks like. I believe this will make me a better artist as well as a better person.

  27. Carol says:

    It is inspiring to read the goals of artists.For me I am going to be kinder to myself…not so critical and spread my wings by finishing my website.

  28. Luz Rubianes says:

    Although I can not go back and make a brand new start, I can start from now and choose to be happy-breathe-create…always remembering that I can make magical moments happen every second of the day with a smile. This has been my resolution and it works – SMILE! Ruby

  29. M.R. Beat says:

    I finish 18 months of recovery from major medical surgeries on Jan. 6, 2015, which has made me aware of the gift of LIFE. On Jan. 7 I will begin a 2 hour dedication to creative time every day by planning ahead regardless where I am, or the amount of obligations to family &/or friends. I don’t have to be behind the sewing machine, or with open bottles of paint, etc., every day. Hand projects, filling journal pages, reading “how-to” articles (from Somerset & others) can fill those 2 hours. Thanks for reading….& inspiring me. :-)

  30. Geralyn Gray says:

    I am going to start a campaign to encourage sending greeting cards and letters. I am going to take a vacation the week before Valentine’s day to devote time to the campaign and making valentines to represent how I want to put the heart back into a greeting card store I opened 5 years ago.

  31. Melanie says:

    Love the resolutions and different way artists find inspiration!
    I don’t like to make resolutions, but I definitely want to be more adventurous with art.

  32. LaNell Taylor says:

    I will be striving to play in an art journal more often. Use materials I have not used or have used very little ie, Twinks, gelli plate, pan pastels,and various types of markers.❤️

  33. Peggy Lee says:

    I feel a shift in my art.Believing that others always need more spiritual encouragement,my 2015 creative resolution will involve more of this idea in my products.I plan on,and am already getting,ideas and new inspiration for this creative endeavor! Not only spiritual,but uplifting and encouraging words of wisdom,soulfulness,mindfulness,and humor,to help other creative souls on their path and goals.Bella Grace is THE source for this new found inspiration!

  34. Kelly K says:

    2015 is going to be my year of “art for my soul”. I will to tell myself (repeatedly if necessary) NOT to feel intimidated by other artists but to feel inspired…then just create! I’m going to start by organizing my studio and focus on using up a plethora of supplies that I have seem to collected. Have a lofty goal of making one handmade item each month…card, book, journal page, etc.

  35. Carol Weiler says:

    I resolve to be gentle with myself, to allow myself the time to visit my studio every day and trust myself to make something, anything, without judgement or self criticism. I resolve to continue to grow and challenge myself to learn new techniques and mediums thru online classes and books by artists I admire all the while making the art my own. I look forward to a creative year.

  36. Great to read about all the different resolutions!

    For the first time in my lift, I have decided to have my own resolution , a word to live for and live by, for the next year.
    And my word is DARE!
    Dare to do what I want
    Dare to live the way I want
    Dare to create the way I want
    ..and the list are long of all my “dares”

  37. Katherine says:

    After 18 years of collecting everything art-related under the sun, I just completed a huge purge. Not the smart “I should sell all this stuff to other artists at a cheap price, so they can expand their horizons”…noooo. More like a “I’m in such a rut creatively that I’m going to become a total freak and throw out 97% of everything I own – in a 2 week period!” kind of freak show. So I have to replenish my stock now…basically, from the ground up. So this will be an interesting year of discovery…with very few tools! I’m kind of excited…kind of scared. Oh, what a year ’15 should be! (Super fantastic post, by the way.)

  38. My resolution is to learn how to be “un-busy”, not to feel the need to fill every minute of my day. Beginning January 1st. I resolve to have “un-busy” moments of everyday day that are reserved just for me. It’s my desire to spend more time in my art journals unleashing my creativity from my heart and soul creating personal journals and art work that speak to me! When I lost my “un-busy” times, I lost a part of me!

  39. Sherry W. Matthews says:

    I made several “mini-resolutions” to myself… but the biggest and hardest to follow for me involves self-promotion. In the past, I have always felt selfish in a way when trying to promote my own art ( while fearlessly sharing the art of my friends) . I plan to get over that silly voice inside of myself and blog , post on FB and tumblr, pinterest and instagram, submit more to your magazines , get business cards , do shows… and it’s so scary & exciting to think about! I wonder how many other artists struggle or have struggled with this ?…. Happy New Year to you all!

    • Gabriela says:

      This hits close to home Sherry. I can completely understand that sense of “selfishness” that comes with self promotion. But you just have to trust in your artwork and in the message your trying to convey. It’s a wonderful resolution to have for 2015, thanks for sharing.

  40. Stacie Comeaux says:

    My promise to myself for 2015 is to slow down and allow myself to reconnect with nature and life’s beauty. I am carving out time to back away from the hectic to invest in my inner artist self and make time for fun projects and inspiration.

  41. Lora dalton says:

    I loved seeing all the creative responses to the posed question. My goal this year is to truly build my creative business and make my dreams a reality.

  42. Christina Mccafferty says:

    My 2015 art goal is to keep a better schedule when working on my art from home. I have to balance all the tasks of my day better and my art time as well so I am not feeling rushed in everything I do.

  43. gina louthian says:

    Each new year I try to slow down, reflect on the past year, and cherish the highlights and use those as a basis to seek growth for the coming year. I have counted my blessings this year because I have met so many new people and traveled to new places in 2014. My plan for 2015 is to hone my skills in teaching art and developing new skills of my own. I want to find the best way to reach others by teaching what I know. My resolution is to continue on the path I am on, and grow in new ways on that path. To venture out and encourage those who want to create to do just that! I find extreme joy in seeing others find their way artistically and to let go of the fear that we all have when we out our creative spirit out for the word to see. May we all have a creative, safe, and healthy New Year!

  44. Mary Robinson says:

    I adore everything Papaya Art! This post was a great idea. I enjoyed reading artists ideas and approaches to the new year. I want to stay freshly motivated for the new year.

  45. Rachel Imsland says:

    I have NEVER been able to keep an annual resolution. Instead, I am working with monthly “intentions” – so each intention is a work in progress and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t complete a particular intention. The word “intention” is just much nicer and softer than “resolution.” I also find a monthly time frame works much better for me than an annual time frame. It’s great to read about how we all work with resolutions!

  46. Linda Lipford says:

    My NYR is to begin to actually use the supplies I have gathered for that new endeavor/big thing/project/wild interest/passion. I buy many of your magazines and want to make everything! I will print out Michelle Ward’s Ta Da list and begin.

  47. Wendi unrein says:

    I loved these!! And I actually took time to read them. As I ponder what I want as an artist for this next year is to grow. I jumped off the comfortable fence and signed up for Lilla Rogers course and I want to challenge ourselves to create a calendar that I have been chewing on. We must up our game and I want Jenny to keep growing, it’s the most amazing thing to watch her grow in ways I didn’t expect. Williams Syndrome is such a cool syndrome.

  48. Wendi unrein says:

    I loved these!! And I actually took time to read them! As I ponder what I want as an artist for this next year is to grow and to tidy up our biz. I jumped off the comfortable fence and signed up for Lilla Rogers course. I want to challenge ourselves to create a calendar. We must up our game and I want Jenny to keep growing, it’s the most amazing thing to watch her grow.

  49. Julie Minter says:

    Bought my first home and I’ve decided to make it who I am. New art studio to create an atmosphere where my imagination totally blooms, peaceful but exciting, lots of canvas and wood, colours and textures…and the colour “blush”. Stock my etsy store and start writing for publications and working on the book I want to share, blog instead of hiding myself within the pages of private journals.

  50. Clemencia says:

    Hmmm, My artful resolution is to learn as much as I can, new things artsy and crafty and to teach as much as I know ;)

  51. Lori says:

    Love the ideas….my goal is to celebrate the little steps. I feel I don’t accomplish much, but looking into the steps makes it come into being! I hope to win the planner so I can track my progress, no matter how small to reach the BIG! Watercolors are the goal…thanks for the motivation!

  52. M J Harvey says:

    One of my favorite words these days is ‘accomplish’. My kids put up my inspiration board and love to put my completed artistic/creative projects up there.

  53. Sharon Lee Bull says:

    It is so inspiring to read everyone’s posts. In 2015 I want to organize my art supplies, use some supplies that have been tucked away, purge some items, and devote more time to creating art.

  54. Georgeanne Ingram says:

    I, like all the others so appreciate the feedback from our peers.
    If I’m smart I will plant a rock solid resolution to paint on canvas more and be more public with my work. And a cattle prod embedded to get off my bum!

  55. Jerilea says:

    For the past 3 years I’ve made to do list with twelve things that I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year. Its a great way to feel like I am accomplishing things I really want to do. I plan to sit down today to make one for 2015. One thing ng that will be on there will be to finally get set up on Etsy.

  56. Janet says:

    I found that everyone needs more time to create and time is a generous gift to ourselves. My solution is to finish my children’s book and market it for my peeps to enjoy!

  57. this was absolutely wonderful to read them all! Wow! Great post! And inspiring! My past resolutions have been checked off and it’s so fun to see what goals I will let myself dream up! (That’s the scary part!!!) here are my only three..
    One that is at the top
    Of the list : —>is to submit art work to
    Somerset!! Uh duh! I’m addicted to every inch, of every one of them! :) I know you all are too! :)
    And a second is to teach/share more.. I just love the hours that can fly by when a room full of excited creatives start to be in their glory!! I just want to
    Be the cheerleader! Xoxo
    And last but not least: set up
    My next studio ! This will be in a new state.. New town ..! :) it will be my fifth studio I will have set up and this one will be the best ever!! I can just SEE it!!
    Happy healthy awesome new year to all of you amazing sweethearts! Xoxox

  58. Katherine says:

    I found these post so inspiring. This will be my first year for setting art goals. I know I will be setting aside scheduled time for pursueing my goals. An organizer would assist me with that. Thanks for the opportunity. Happy New Year!

  59. Kim Williams says:

    Taking a nudge from the musical number in Peter Pan, I’m Flying; I hope to be lighter in mind and spirit in the coming year. A simple expression that captures my imagination. I’m flying lighter, brighter and with more conviction.

  60. Mickie says:

    Thanks for sharing – what a wonderful inspiration for us all!

  61. Pam Kilpatrick says:

    I am in a rut with watercolor painting. I resolve to try mixed media and art journaling this new year. I have so much down deep longing to find a way out. I resolve to do something, even a little in my busy day!

  62. Irene Cortez says:

    My resolution for 2015 is to keep a plain journal with me at all times to write down my ideas as they come up. Sometimes I dream about crafts to make or thought just come up randomly during the day. I’m scattered in my crafting. I do one thing and then start another and then another. I want to create and try to focus. I love to make recycle crafts but then I save things, empty tin cans, peat pots, cereal boxes, then I don’t craft with them. I guess I’m a collector. This year I will be a do-er. If that’s a word. I hope I win.

  63. dawn fay says:

    it’s nice to know that others share the hesitance and uncertainty i have about putting my art work and creations out there.

  64. Kay H. says:

    My personal resolution for the coming year is to try and have more patience and not to overwhelm myself. In my art life I need to become more of a doer than a shopper. I see so many ideas that I want to try and purchase all the things I’ll need for them then overwhelm myself with too many projects. Then I end up doing next to nothing. It to the point I forget what I already have or can’t find what I’m looking for when I do create. This year I will look for my “happy place”.

  65. pam says:

    I resolve to DO not just DREAM.

  66. Some objectives for 2015
    Make art
    Share my art”trics”
    Help people unleash their creativity through challenges based on music listening. If I win the prize I will give it away trough a drawing on my “Musiqu’Art Facebook Group page “https://www.facebook.com/groups/402593933231158/
    Thanks for the give away.

  67. Chris Cresswell says:

    My resolution is to practise, practise, practise and ignore the inner voice that tells me I can’t draw. I’m beginning to find I can. Heavily influenced by the Greats ie Pam Carriker, Mindy Mawn, Dina Wakley, Julie Fei Fan Balzer, Kate Crane, Jane Davenport – I’m going to draw, draw draw every day! I know I’ll get there in 2015!

  68. Donna Arkle says:

    My aim for 2015 is simply to make sure that ever single day I do something creative! Whether it be a 3 minute rough sketch, ink sprayed on a page or random scribbles on my art calendar page!!! I just want to make sure that every day even if it is for the briefest time that I let a little of the creativity out, with the hope that it will maintain and expand my creative Mojo!!!
    Wishing you a Year filled with love laughter and creativity!!1 xxx

    • Gabriela says:

      This is such a great resolution Donna! I hope you can achieve your goal to be creative every single day. Make sure you stop by Somerset Place if you need some inspiration. ;)

  69. Tricia Leng says:

    My 2015 goals are to only join in enough things that I actually complete them. I tend to jump into so many great things and become overwhelmed and don’t finish them. I also want to work more on developing my own style – Lord knows, I’ve looked at everyone else’s enough :) And lastly, I want to work on drawing faces. Thanks for sharing a give-away.

  70. leslierahye says:

    Last year my focus was to Thrive. As the year unfolded I more often found myself treading water rather than thriving. I am still exploring what my focus will be for 2015 but I do know this…I will create daily–even if it’s just a 5 minute zendoodle. I will create with the intent to publish in mind and I will remember to include fiber and metal arts in my plans as I love them so and have missed them in the past year.
    I love everyone’s resolutions and it inspires me to keep my own!
    2015 is my year to shine–even if only 15 minutes at a time.

  71. Mary says:

    My new year’s resolution is to stop thinking that there are better artists and I’ll never be able to do what they do, I’ll start looking for my style and stop comparing with others and continue to practice and learn new techniques

  72. Coral says:

    Love how different the resolutions are. What fits for one is totally different to another.

    My resolution is to do more ‘doing’ of art. I jumped into online classes much more this year. But art is about putting pencil to paper, paint to canvas and exploring your own style, not just passively watching a course or playing on Pinterest or spending the afternoon flicking through your library of magazines. It’s about taking that inspiration and techniques and creating something. Learning as you go and making discoveries about your own art style. Anahata Katkin calls it your personal alphabet. Something I really want to explore in 2015.

  73. Candy Taylor Tutt says:

    I create in a variety of media; at times there are so many ideas in my head that I can’t focus on a specific project. One night I opened a journal and started to sketch. Simple line drawings began to help clarify the concept; the more I drew, the tighter the details coalesced. Instead of random words, I brought together front, back, side and closeup views showing what I intended to build. In 2015 my resolution is to continue doing ‘architectural’ renderings for my art proposals – some for reference and some just for fun.

  74. Lisa Jones says:

    My artistic resolution for 2015 is to stretch myself and take on new and different projects. I think it’s sometimes easy to keep doing what you know, but you don’t learn much that way. I’d like to feel confident calling myself an artist rather than just a ‘crafty person’.

  75. Angela Weber says:

    My resolution for 2015 is to do something creative for at least 15 minutes per day. I run my own business and I can’t seem to stop working until I drag myself to bed. I need to have a more healthy balance in my life. And creating arty things makes me happy!

  76. Joy P says:

    I hope to creat one thing a week. Be it a tag, card, journal page or something bigger. Like many, I have a few chronic medical conditions that limit my ability. Therefore I hope to just create so ething each week!
    There are so many inspirational people to draw from and those featured in the Stampington Publications provide so many wonderful options!

  77. Tina W. says:

    Make more art!

  78. JoRene Byers says:

    I appreciated these resolutions so very much ~ I feel like I’ve just been invited to a circle of best friends who are speaking their Truth! My resolution is to hold steadfast to the assurance: “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” And I promise myself I will paint, write, nap, have a cup of tea, and/or read every single day!

  79. Kathy says:

    The time is now! Create it!

  80. Julie Bell says:

    in 2015 I resolve to get involved with more challenges, draw much more to expand my range and to try and bring out my artistic side more, I know it’s in their some where I need to practise much more :-)

  81. Andrea Aeschliman says:

    My goal is to send one piece of “happy” mail a month to an unexpecting recipient!

  82. Becca says:

    I resolve to be more intentional in my art making–being satisfied and content that not everything has to be a huge project with a million supplies and mediums.

  83. lacyquilter says:

    What wonderful ideas for inspiration. Thank you all for sharing.

  84. my artsy resolutions are:
    stock my etsy shop with my art
    sell 2 pieces of art per month
    produce a new piece of art per week
    keep my planner up to date with important art intake dates
    post to my blog weekly
    build my email list of current,past and future customers
    and of course, read stampington blog’s new posts!
    :-)

  85. […] of New Year’s resolutions for 2015, to be published on the blog Somerset Place in the post Artful Resolutions from Creative Souls, I was in one place. I talked about wanting to paint abstracts in 2015, along with a few other […]

  86. Ella says:

    My father talked me out of art school-with the starving artist convo. I want to prove him wrong!

    The spare room is supposedly mine-so I am going to go make the space mine and create the world my muse has sketched. Marquee letters, silver stars and maybe a red carpet will highlight my space!

  87. Christine Rickert says:

    i want to continue to learn and grow as an artist. Made a list of the things I want to master such as lettering to enhance art, journaling-better expression of feelings on page,and color exploration. Then I’ve signed up for classes and workshops to get more instruction and practice with these areas. Daily practice, practice, practice is the other goal I made. Journaling should help me track this progress!

  88. Cindi says:

    I want to exercise willpower in many areas of my life, including the creativity portion. Let my art flow freely.

Leave a Reply

Sarah Holidays ,,,,,,
Artwork by Olga Siedlecka~Artwork by Olga Siedlecka


It’s in our nature to always strive for new goals. Some might think this is due to a competitive nature, but I think it’s because art helps us grow. I am always reminded of this just as New Years begins to creep up on me. We all have similar thoughts — eat better, hit the gym, get organized, finish projects, etc. Sometimes, it even seems like we’re pressured into making resolutions that we don’t really care about. It’s a slippery slope for an artist to make a promise that he or she may not be able or even willing to keep. But then again, resolutions can also be exceedingly positive when we make them for all the right reasons. In an attempt to elevate the tradition of the New Year’s Resolution to its full artistic potential, we decided to ask some of our creative friends what types of artistic resolutions they planned to make, how they would pursue inspiration in the new year, and most importantly, how they broke up their goals into manageable projects that could actually be attained. The responses were heartfelt and incredibly insightful, and we hope that while reading these, you’ll gain inspiration for your own artful resolutions.  

We are so grateful to have had 24 creative souls participate in this special project. However, with over 65 thoughtful and thorough responses to our questions, there’s simply no way we can showcase all the answers in this blog post.

Click here to read all the responses provided by our guest artists.

Also, don’t forget to scroll all the way to the end of this post to learn how you can win a beautiful Papaya Art Weekly Planner.

 

What is your creative/artful resolution for 2015?

 

Tuttle_question1~Photograph by Susan tuttle

 

“I’ve definitely found my creative niche in photography and love every moment of the process, from taking the photos to digitally enhancing them, but there is also a love in me for painting, in particular abstract painting. In terms of my career, I’ve been quite busy with photography and teaching online, so have found it difficult to make time to paint. My artistic goal for 2015 is to carve out some time, however small, to paint. I made a conscious choice to start with the un-lofty goal to create at least three paintings in 2015. This simple expectation of myself takes the pressure off, makes it doable, and gets me excited!” ~Susan Tuttle

~*~

I’m not one for making resolutions at the beginning of the year. My philosophy is that I’d much rather reflect on the past year and recognize all I have done. I find that to be empowering and motivating. Each January I have a ritual of making a Ta-Da list. I start with the end of December and work my way back to the first of the year, making notes of everything that I can remember doing during the year. It is easier to start with the most recent self-imposed assignments. Eventually I recall a full list of achievements, missions, chores, and projects that leaves me feeling really good. Sure, there are always things left on my To-Do list…there is always more to do, and ideas that are still in-process. However, when you move items from your To-Do list to your Ta-Da list you celebrate what you’ve completed — that’s much more affirming than worrying about the tasks ahead, and the pledge to make changes with the turn of the calendar page.  Maybe you could start 2015 by patting yourself on the back for all the work you completed in 2014, from art projects to self-improvement, and then carry forward the positive energy into the brand new year. Make a Ta-Da list, because it’s way more fun than a To-Do list!” ~Michelle Ward Download your own To-Do and Ta-Da lists, compliments of Michelle Ward.

~*~

“Seriously, my resolution this year is to try and keep my workload manageable so that I leave some time for myself to grow as an artist. To be truly creative takes time … I am a slow worker and I need time to allow ideas to grow and develop, but I don’t always give myself enough time. I would love to work on a bigger scale — it’s something that I generally shy away from but I think it may be time to push myself to work bigger. I think that working on a larger scale will bring a sense of freedom. I would also love to learn some new skills; traditional bookbinding and printmaking are both on my to-do list so maybe this is the year!” ~ Kate Crane

~*~

“My creative resolution is to not compare myself, my art, and my personality, to other creatives out there. It’s so hard not to do this because with so many of us, the goal is to distinguish ourselves, but in order to do this we must be true to who we are and why we create. We must follow and trust our intuitions and design aesthetic and not worry about what other artists doing.” ~Cat Kerr

~*~

Caitlin Dundon  Charming Bird Hope small~Artwork by Caitlin Dundon


“Several years ago, I stopped making official resolutions that start in January of each year. I found that after the busy holiday season, I needed a little bit of a break at the beginning of January and didn’t need the pressure of heavy resolutions. Instead, I make monthly resolutions year round. Using the Japanese “Kanban” approach — I have workflow post-its that represent projects I am in process of working on, projects I want to do (but are not ready to go yet), or projects I’m waiting for approval on, and projects I’ve completed recently. It’s nice to be able to move items to the done list! Certainly I have dream projects that I want to create, and sometimes I have to put them on a back burner if I have other things that require my attention first. I find that writing down your dreams/projects/desires, creates the kind of magic you need to get things to come into being. I have pride in completing and finishing a lot of projects during the course of a year, I know that there will always be projects that don’t come to fruition. I think it’s important to finish things, but it’s also important to accept that sometimes it is the process that is the most important thing. I find that if I ever have a moment of “artist’s block,” where I pause when I have a blank piece of paper or wood panel in front of me — I just force myself to dive in. Just cover the surface with anything, any color, and any collaged bits of paper. By just doing it, you are freeing yourself. You are allowing yourself to let go and just create. Sometimes I discover something new in doing this, something wonderful. Sometimes I make something I don’t like, but the beauty of the process is that you can keep layering, sanding, painting, adding gesso, stamping, inscribing, etc., and magically it becomes something that I love.” ~Caitlin Dundon

~*~

“I prefer to use the words “creative invitation” as opposed to “resolution”. It feels like a gentler approach and works much better for me at this stage of my life and creative career. I am aiming for greater trust in my days…trust that my creativity will continue to lead me where I need to go, whether that is through my fine art, further developing my product line, or becoming more involved with teaching.  I can make all the lists I want about this or that path, but I am finding that simply showing up in my studio day after day and allowing space for the journey to unfold, without designating precisely what that journey is, brings the most rewards. so I suppose my creative invitation to myself for 2015 is to stay out of my own way, create freely without the overlay of how to make money, or be practical with my endeavors, and to stay in the game and allow room for serendipity to seep in.” ~Anna Corba

~*~

“I do not believe in resolutions and I do not make to-do lists. What I love to do is to stop when I feel the overwhelming need to make changes and take the time to listen to what my heart is telling me. I think of a resolution as an ongoing process, and instead of making it the end-of-the year habit I react to every situation through my impulses. When I am free of overwhelming expectations and due dates, I am successful in not rushing the moments, but really letting myself dive into them. My creativity springs when I give it time, space, and peace. Working as an independent creator is a continuous learning curve that above anything else includes self-improvement. …” ~Sylvia Stefanova

~*~

“To be a better servant to my muse, to resist nothing, and to suppress the ego dragon, which uselessly guards the gold. I know all of you creatives out there will fully understand what I mean by that.” ~Sandra Evertson  

 

What do you do to stay inspired — will you be looking to new sources of inspiration in 2015?

 

Kelly Letky each dawn is a new beginning~Photograph by Kelly Letky

 

“This one is easy: I go outside. Nature never fails to inspire me, from a pink cotton candy sunrise to a black crow eating seed in the driveway. I listen. To the birds, the wind, and the quiet whisper of flowers growing. To the sound of snowflakes gently hitting the ground, the cacophony of migrating geese that always makes me laugh, and the rustle of leaves passing through the tall poplars. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where I can walk outside and hear these things. I listen, to life.” ~Kelly Letky

~*~

“I am a very community-oriented artist and often gain inspiration from connecting to other artists. As such, I will be increasing the number of workshops I teach with other artists, participating in a multi-artist collaborative art project, overseeing a group art exhibition, and setting up several, open-call online collaborations on my blog. Living in NYC provides a ton of inspiration and my goal for 2015 is to be more consistent in actually visiting the galleries, museums and other art venues that always provide me with creative fuel.” ~Seth Apter

~*~

“I attend art retreats and workshops that are out of my comfort zone. For example, I really do not love to paint, so I place myself in a painting class to be stimulated and stretched. I may never paint again, but I always go away with new inspirations and challenges that apply to my daily life whether it be cooking a delicious meal in my kitchen or trying a new technique in my art studio. I will continue to participate in online workshops because they always feed my creative appetite. ” ~Deb Taylor

~*~

Monica Sabolla Gruppo ArtRes2~Photograph and Artwork by Monica Sabolla Gruppo


“I won’t be looking for them, as I believe inspiration comes from within and not from the outside. As to stay inspired, I will keep soaking up Nature and silence, going for solo drives and hikes in the glorious English countryside, or visiting Manor Houses and gardens — almost always unplanned and without a map (but always with my camera, sketchbook and a journal). These activities quiet my mind, fill my joy tank, and are always source of endless inspiration, and amazing clarity for me (in my work, for my life).” ~Monica Sabolla Gruppo

~*~

“I practice rituals from the book, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I have tweaked the rules-to suit me. I type my Morning Pages — you’re supposed to handwrite three pages. But I couldn’t read my writing, so I type. If my weekly Art Walk Date is canceled by life or the weather — I don’t let that stop me — I take my Art Walks-online. I go visit other countries, and/or watch a foreign or historical film, or visit Pinterest.  I do prefer to physically visit a place with fresh eyes. I always take my camera and chase light. Photos for me are visual poems.  My favorite painters are the sun, the moon, and the weather. Yes, I love all the Gelli art I am seeing and want to play with this medium. Art is fluid and always moving like the Northern Lights. I need to continue to grow, change, evolve, and playing with new sources helps expand our horizons. ” ~Ella Wilson

~*~

“The journey to a personal body of work is different in that I am compelled to wear blinders to sources of outside inspiration, I realize this sounds a tad ridiculous, especially in our 24/7 internet world. But I long to be in my cave (aka studio), holed up in mad-scientist/artist mode, playing with paint to see what comes up and where my muse guides me. It is important for me to rely on internal sources of inspiration as I have done in the past. For me, this typically means lots of time in nature, writing in my journals, meditation, and practicing yoga. These things will clear my mind and allow ideas to emerge in due course.” ~Mary Beth Shaw

~*~

“Cleaning your workspace is always a good idea as it often results in a surprising discovery that will eventually become a part of a future whole. I usually visit a flea market to find some rusty additions or just to look around. I also like to spoil myself with some little purchase, like new brushes or paints. After the shopping I always look forward to working with my new buy. My advice is to look through art and photo albums, and even some children books, too. Don’t forget nature with its colours and details. A piece of bark can be more inspiring than professionally printed papers.” ~Olga Siedlecka

~*~

“To stay inspired I like to do things that slow me down. Activities such as yoga and meditation are good places to go whenever I need to unwind and relax…which puts me in a peaceful frame of mind to receive creative thoughts and ideas. If you prefer more physical movement to quiet the mind, walking alone outside, especially in nature, can also be a good way to go.” ~Becky Shander  

 

How do you, as an artist/photographer/writer, set challenging but attainable goals?

 

Mary Wangerin IMG_3039 2~Photograph by Mary Wangerin

 

“When I begin to notice myself slip into that easy, comfortable zone while creating, I know it’s time to unleash my brave and bold and introduce a new creative goal. Pushing past that comfort level is where we grow, discover, and uncover amazing new techniques and processes; and ultimately when we have the most fun!

Sometimes that means I say yes to opportunities that thrill, but scare me. Sometimes I give myself a time limit for finishing a painting. Sometimes I challenge myself to use colors I don’t normally ever use while painting. Sometimes I collaborate with a fellow artist on a painting.

It’s all in allowing myself to try new things creatively, while embracing the discomfort of uncertainty/vulnerability that can come with a challenge!” ~Mary Wangerin

~*~

“During a screen writing class, the teacher asked: ‘What is the biggest difference between famous screenplay writers and yourselves?’ After a moment, he answered his own question, “They took their work to completion.” That became my motto. Take your work to the finish line. Not doing so may be the only thing standing between you and success. Remove that barrier and a path opens before you. I have an ongoing list of long and short term projects. I keep revisiting each project until it is complete. My children’s book took sixteen years to percolate and has just been self-published. A sketch I did in 30 seconds during my son’s violin lesson, sold as a print. Methodical, long-term works sprinkled with short-term projects keeps me moving forward.” ~Cathryn Mezzo

~*~

“First and foremost, I must write down my monthly, weekly, and daily goals in a daily planner, otherwise they’re just thoughts rumbling around in my head. Each month I think about what I want to accomplish overall, usually a big project or something that gets me closer to a bigger goal. Then I break that goal down into weekly and daily goals. I’m a big fan of micro-movements and achieving large goals in small chunks. Even if it’s something as challenging as writing a novel, if I break it down into itty bitty goals (10 minutes of research, 500 words a day, etc.) it makes the writing so much easier for me to accomplish.” ~Cassandra Key “By setting smaller, attainable daily goals, my more challenging goals end up being reached without even knowing it! A little mind trickery.” ~Michelle Shefveland

~*~

 “My goals need to be specific in nature. If they are too vague my performance can’t be evaluated. For instance, it isn’t enough to just commit to journaling or painting. I have to make that goal specific by committing to work in my journal at least twice a week or creating one new canvas a month. It is also important for me that my goals be realistic or I might get too overwhelmed from falling behind. I also adjust my goals as I go along when my circumstances change or I am inspired to move in a different direction. I have to remain flexible.” ~Roben-Marie Smith

~*~

“I’m not too aggressive when setting goals for myself. As a stay-at-home mom, time with family always comes first. Creative time may need to occur during school hours and evenings, but I do push myself a bit more when my Etsy store is looking empty or I have a vendor show coming up. Nothing like a hard deadline to get my gears going! I’m a firm believer in making lists, especially of creative ideas that pop into my head. Not all the ideas come to fruition, but many do make it to a finished project – and that feels wonderful. I never chastise myself for not getting to projects on the list, because there’s always some day.” ~Susan Frick

~*~

“I don’t think I am the right person to ask this! I have big, giant goals! I am working on setting smaller goals for myself, and most of all working at celebrating the small accomplishments along the way. Often times, as soon as I accomplish a goal I feel like ‘done! Now on to the next thing,’ and I forget to celebrate the small steps, which then leads to burn out. A couple of internet friends who have great podcasts about these types of topics are Tara Swiger, Abbey Glassenberg, and Jamie Ridler, and Kari Chapin who just started a new podcast too. I love listening to these podcasts while I work. Hearing about other artists struggling with the same issues inspires me to be a bit gentler with myself and my work.” ~Claudine Hellmuth

~*~

D Smith Kaich Jones now_what~Photograph by D. Smith Kaich Jones


“I just begin. One sentence, I tell myself. One line, one paragraph. I always begin by describing the day outside and inside. The mundane things. Where the cat is and what she’s doing. What the weather’s like. That keeps my fingers nimble, loosens me up.  It’s a warm up for the race ahead, but I don’t run marathons.

I keep bowls full of words and phrases, and if I’m having trouble grabbing an idea, I grab a word and hold it and pay attention to the feelings it invokes, the images it throws my way.  One of my favorite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, and one of my very favorite parts of that book is this:

‘He’d been having trouble with students who had nothing to say. At first he thought it was laziness but later it became apparent that it wasn’t. They just couldn’t think of anything to say.

One of them, a girl with strong-lensed glasses, wanted to write a five-hundred word essay about the United States. He was used to the sinking feeling that comes from statements like this, and suggested without disparagement that she narrow it down to just Bozeman.

When the paper came due she didn’t have it and was quite upset. She had tried and tried but she just couldn’t think of anything to say. 

It just stumped him. Now he couldn’t think of anything to say. A silence occurred, and then a peculiar answer: ‘Narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman.’ It was a stroke of insight.

She nodded dutifully and went out. But just before her next class she came back in real distress, tears this time, distress that had obviously been there for a long time. She still couldn’t think of anything to say, and couldn’t understand why, if she couldn’t think of anything about all of Bozeman, she should be able to think of something about just one street.

He was furious. ‘You’re not looking!’ he said. A memory came back of his own dismissal from the University for having too much to say. For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see. She really wasn’t looking and yet somehow didn’t understand this.   

He told her angrily, ‘Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick.’

Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, opened wide.  

She came in the next class with a puzzled look and handed him a five-thousand-word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. ‘I sat in the hamburger stand across the street,’ she said, ‘and started writing about the first brick, and the second brick, and then by the third brick it all started to come and I couldn’t stop. They thought I was crazy, and they kept kidding me, but here it all is. I don’t understand it.’

Those words in those bowls are my bricks. I start with just one, and I list (even if just mentally) all the obvious things, and then keep going.” ~D. Smith Kaich Jones

 

A Warm Thank You to all the Creative Souls

We’re so grateful to all the artists, photographers, and writers, who participated in this blog post. Thank you for sharing your plans for the future, sources of inspiration, and your techniques for success.

Don’t forget, you can read all of our artists’ responses by clicking here.

 

Tell us your Artful Resolution for a Chance to Win:

5PA-CAL15PLN004-Papaya-Art-Sun-Speak-2015-Weekly-Planner-300x300Now we want to hear from you, our beloved readers! Tell us what you think about these resolutions and share your own artful resolutions for a chance to win a Papaya Art Weekly Planner. This gorgeous planner has a sturdy, hard cover and special features like foil accents, pockets, and an elastic closure, making it both functional and beautiful.

For your chance to win, simply leave us a comment below. We’ll select a winner at random and contact them via email as well as announcing their name in our upcoming Glimpse Inside Blog Post on January 1st, 2015.

Contest ends on December 31st at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

 

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