View Full Version : Where do you see yourself in a year?

09-27-2015, 09:35 AM
Hi :)

I have been thinking about this for some time and I would love to hear your thoughts.

The past year or so was very interesting for me. Lots of obstacles, learning, rewards, set goals. Lots of low moments as well. Because some life altering changes weren't easy, I was reading a lot of motivation books and watched a lot of documentaries about people who had set a difficult-to-reach goal (like to climb Mt.Everest :lol:) and had been fighting tooth and nail for a long time to reach it.
Listening to their stories was really interesting and inspiring.

I had been never good at setting New Year's resolutions. In fact I had resigned on setting them long time ago.

But now I keep wondering that maybe setting a long therm goal no matter of the day of the year isn't such a bad thing.

Do you set your goals in RL or in art? Including the date? Does it help? Or does it kill all the fun for you when it comes to art? Do you write down the goal as a reminder?
I used to put the bar higher and higher and I got discouraged and stopped painting out of the frustration. Now I am back to painting but I feel that if I do it just for fun, my improvement will be slow or none. I guess I am looking for some compromise that could work :)

How do you feel about goals? Do they work for you? Did they work for you when you were learning a new skill? Do you think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Thank you :wave:

09-27-2015, 10:47 AM
I believe that you must have some method of figuring out what you want from this life, and a method for measuring your progress in reaching it. Otherwise, it's just too easy to drift thru the days (years) coping with the everyday stuff and next thing you know the time is gone and you're looking back saying is that all there is??? A goal can be huge and life altering, but it doesn't have to be. It must be believable, and achievable, and yes it must be measurable and have a time frame.

I do set goals in art. For instance, after scribbling aimlessly for years and getting nowhere I now give myself one year to study and conquer a style or object I don't do well. Clouds got a year. Portraits got a year. It looks like mountains are gonna need a year, b/c they sure aren't coming naturally to this lowcountry bum. My goal for this year is to turn out five pastel paintings of a quality that will get me a PSA associate membership. Started in August, no faked up New Year's resolution. The first one is not good enough, so I'm calling on a successful friend Monday to help me figure out where I'm missing it & kick up my quality. Goals require action.

Last year my goal was to attend the IAPS convention. That required a lot of sub-goals - creating and selling enough small pieces to earn the money, lots of hours in every art fair or sale I could find, but I achieved that goal.

I spent years doing drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and the end of that paradigm is several sessions on goal setting. It's pretty simple - if you don't know where you want to go, how in the world do you expect to get there???? The Art Gods are not gonna drop it on your head.

09-27-2015, 11:28 AM
I used to put the bar higher and higher and I got discouraged and stopped painting out of the frustration. Now I am back to painting but I feel that if I do it just for fun, my improvement will be slow or none. I guess I am looking for some compromise that could work :)

Not sure why you feel that if you do it just for fun your improvement will be slow? I think, quite frankly, that it may be other way around. Of course, there is no way to know - and more importantly - what works for one person may be the worst thing for another.

Not really sure what type of goals you can set for art. I have never set one. Other than very general goals, such as, I will do more landscapes or I will do more portraits. Even that can be mistake as you should do what interests you now.

Your own comments tells me that if you set goals (or the bar) then you get frustrated. So I would work just for fun and see how that goes. Maybe painting just for fun will be your goal for the upcoming year!


09-27-2015, 12:12 PM
:) Two very different opinions, thank you for them!

Don, I think that if I paint just for fun, I can repeat my mistakes (or not get to know they are mistakes) and it will not push me to try hard to improve.

What kind of goals? Well, perhaps to learn to paint a particular thing/animal/gesture, or to fill a sketchbook in a year, or not to be intimidated by a new arch or paper, or to learn how to paint with limited palette, or just monochromatically, or with just two values and use the color of the paper as the third value.
Things that require a lot of work and not just two or three attempts.

I remember how much you all helped me with some paintings I was struggling with. Even with those I was satisfied with :D Painting seven flamingoes in a row wasn't much fun, because the more I painted the more I saw what needed to be improved (= learned). But it helped me tremendously.
If I painted just for fun, I would have been proud on my first flamingo, not knowing that I could do better. I think that that is why I am afraid of painting just for fun.
Does it make any sense? :clear:

09-27-2015, 02:10 PM
Personally, I feel if I'm not having fun, I'm doing something wrong. What I want from life is to enjoy each moment, pure and simple.

My intent is to do my best and of course I like to sell paintings, but that is not why I paint. Even when the subject matter is challenging for me (and often is), I find it "fun" to figure out how to accomplish the task at hand. For me the learning is fun and very gratifying (it can also be frustrating, but that's when I take a break ;). But maybe this is all "semantics" and we have different meanings of "fun".

I don't really set definite definite objectives, other than to constantly do the best I can. Having said that, I don't have a problem with setting goals, and know that works well for many people, but for me it's my "intent" to do my best that paves the way and presents the opportunities I need to do so. I avoid setting "expectations" which dictate how the outcome of my intent "should" look because the expectations stand in the way of allowing the organic process to unfold and often set us up for disappointment. It reminds me of that Beatles song, we get what we need, not what we want. It's all about the journey and I definitely want to be enjoying it ;)

09-27-2015, 02:49 PM
I set long term goals without dates on them. I tend to either succeed early on "year" scale goals or it takes many years and gets frustrating, because life happens. I move or something and anything for that year's out the window.

What works for me is monthly goals to keep going. The Goalpost works well for me. That's short enough the goal is in sight and I don't really count the fails.

Long term goals tend to be my "artist's bucket list." Render cats well in motion is my current one. Better composition is coming into view. I have improved a lot but usually by setting low goals yet datng everything I do and looking back to see my progress.

I can't predict my life well enough to make good long term goals like a year. They just don't work that way. It's too far off and just results in my kicking myself when it's near. Things take as long as they do.

Goals shorter than a month can be wrecked on a streak of bad weather, same thing. A stressful event can knock me over for weeks. A good stretch without getting hassled may give great results for a while till something happens. But, I have to live around specific disabilities that limit me in numerous entertaining ways, especially around times needed to do anything. I can't say what works for other people. Lists don't usually work for me, same reason. Daily lists are a good way to make sure none of it gets done because that gets stressful.

Nick, you're pushing yourself hard, so be careful. It's really impartant to enjoy it and let your art pace itself. When you forget time because the process is so enjoyable is when you may do your best.

09-28-2015, 10:11 AM
Interesting thread, Nick! For me personally, I tend to echo what Dedrian says, and do agree that what works for one may not work for another. I'm fortunate in that my day job means I don't have to earn a living from my artwork so have the privilege of painting for my own enjoyment more than anything else. So that may also color my goals in art (no pun intended). And I've also learned a lot from Robert's wise words - he helped me learn to relax and enjoy the process two years ago when I first started and was stressing over every little thing (remember the lily two years ago Robert?! lol). I do still take lessons when I can afford them and try to practice drawing and painting as close to daily as possible, but what works for me is not setting too many stressful goals. Your mileage, of course, may vary. :-)

09-29-2015, 02:01 AM
Actually, when I posted, I didn't yet know about a change in plans. My daughter just invited me to move back home to Arkansas, disgusted by the continued problems I've had with hotel maintenance. They are literally putting in a small outbuilding for me with a sort of studio apartment in it, my own bathroom and sink and all, not really a kitchen but some appliances and good wiring to run them (and they'll cook at me from the house).

This will seriously affect my income and expenses. My check will be smaller but I'll pay a lower percentage of it as rent and have more money in hand every month. I'll miss San Francisco - but I miss my grandkids and her and my son in law a lot and haven't made close local ties in five years. I am nearly housebound anyway.

I'll have AC, which will help, and enough heat to be able to function. Weather's not so bad if I'm not actually out in it. I'll be changing my art accordingly... because she also offered to let me ride along with her several times a week while horse shoeing. Plenty of outdoor sketching time. I may get a lot better at doing horses by way of exposure.

I may eventually have my own horse if a rescue comes along that's old and incredibly sweet tempered and easy. That sort of thing. Some things shut down, others open up. I was happy there but they didn't have room for me when they moved. Now they're in a position that they can make room and I feel needed.

I might finally get around to going to that local art society out there. She's looking into different social groups so I don't get as lonely. But better heat and AC will help a lot with my function. She'd take over as my caretaker and do my hours cleaning and fixing my meals and helping me bathe.

And when I turn 62... I can consider switching to old age Social Security and supplementing it. Step up the articles and sell some art. Get local representation and do some local landscapes to show. I wouldn't have to earn enough to live on but it would be darn nice to earn enough to get whatever supplies I want and a few extras.

I am about fed up with the bugs. The exterminator's coming tomorrow but his showing up once a month to put goo in a couple of places isn't even slowing them down. The city's changing and not for the better. I'd be losing a foothold in a building that's seriously declining in favor of having my own little place on her land and paint her goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, horses, dogs and barn cats. Plus beautiful Arkansas scenery.

It wasn't as bad as the Midwest for winters. So we're a go for that, we're doing it. The plan even includes eventually a $1400 sit-in bathtub that might allow me unaided bathing albeit slow, which would seriously rock. They'll put ramps in for my power scooter - and that's something that'd let me get around a lot more than before.

Plans change.

In five years I never made it to the beach or the zoo or the museums. Life's too hard here being broke all the time and the city's changing - things keep getting more and more expensive.

More and more the people who work here don't live her and artists can't find cheap housing any more. I couldn't go back to street art and I gave that an honest try. Maybe I should just think more reasonably and do part time without the pressure of survival.

So that's where I see myself in a year - in Arkansas with Ari reunited with my family and painting a new yard full of critters. And in a year and a half maybe selling art again.

09-29-2015, 02:20 AM
Wow Rob, that sounds great! I am really happy for you. And you will get back to all the unpacked boxes of supplies and sketchbooks :)
Really great news!

09-29-2015, 09:28 AM
Rob, that sounds great. How lucky you are, to have a caring family!

09-29-2015, 08:01 PM
Robert, you're going to love being with your family, and I'm very happy this opportunity has opened up for you!

Nick, I've been looking at this thread since you posted but haven't formulated an answer to your question. I have been feeling guilty at not having definite goals, though! :( The only goal, a vague one, that is constantly in my mind is to become better at painting. I know improvement only comes through practice, and I have no set schedule for that. Another, again vague, goal is to keep alive my joy in painting, which is sometimes difficult when I become overwhelmed with other life concerns and feel too tired or discouraged to even try to paint.

Thank you for posting this thread. It's made me think, and perhaps some good changes in my routine will come of that!

10-01-2015, 04:18 PM
Rob: What fabulous news. This sounds like a win-win for you and your family. Easy access to fresh area, a new home for Ari, and ... NO BUGS. Great news.

I have always been a goal setter. Some RL goals were as long as 10-15 years. I set a goal when a teenager to get a Ph.D. and subsequent goals for progressing in my career. When I retired nearly 3 years ago, I set the goal to develop my drawing skills. And thanks to finding WC, I have now gotten into pastel painting. My art related goals are to improve my painting techniques in both oil and pastel. I have been seeking out local art/teachers. Currently I am taking an oil painting class. Earlier in the summer I took a pastel painting class at a local art league. When I go to Florida in the next few weeks I will be actively seeking classes and studio time opportunities there.

My next art related goal is to sell some of my growing portfolio of paintings. I plan to participate in a show in Florida that is an arts/crafts fair as a fund raise for the local hospice; I would also like to affiliate with the local art league and get some gallery space there.

Yes, I believe in goal setting. Sometimes achieving the goals is mostly fun, sometimes the achievement of goals requires work, concentration and some sacrifice, but I find being able to realize completion of a goal to be very personally rewarding.

11-01-2015, 05:18 AM
I just found this thread. Interesting, Nick. I hope you are able to find joy and still find the improvement, growth, that you're looking for.
I don't have any firm goals. To improve and still enjoy..that would be my attitude. Although I would like to improve my drawing skills.

Robert. Wishing you well with the big changes in your life. Sounds like all good things there. I'm looking forward to those goat paintings!