I’m not a resolution maker. They are far to easy to break within days of being made and then I feel all guilty and less inspired to produce or reform and so on goes the circle. So I call them dreams.
We all dream. We dream of practical and impractical things. We dream in our sleep and when we’re awake. We are also in complete control of our dreams (well, except the one where the dark shape is waiting under the cellar stairs…) and choose to make them become reality or not. Yes, we are in charge of the outcome. When we are unsure of the unknown or afraid of failure we throw up many obstacles to put in our path as to why we ‘can’t’ do something, but never seem as enthusiastic about tossing out solutions about overcominb those very obstacles and making dreams happen.
Many of our obstacles fall into one or more of these categories:
Obstacle # 1: I haven’t got enough time. My whole day and evening is accounted for. Every single minute.
Obstacle # 2: I haven’t got enough money. Insufficient funds for _______ (supplies, framing, marketing, travel, you fill in the blank'.
Obstacle # 3: I don’t know how to do it. Lack of technical skills
Obstacle # 4: They’ll say no. Fear of rejection.
Obstacle # 5: I can’t be bothered. Apathy.
Fear is often the culprit, hand in hand with rejection behind the obstacles. These are the bad boys who bully artists constantly, push them around and control their lives. They list in mocking tones all the reasons why we won’t succeed and how we shouldn’t even try. They smirk in satisfaction when we fail. But just watch them retreat like scalded cats when we push ahead!
Lack of time and money are excuses too. There are always ways to find both. Get up earlier, go to bed later. Ignore the housework. As for money, you will find a way if you really want this. Art grants, cheaper supplies, bartering, sell other things you own. How badly did you say you wanted this??
Apathy. Art is hard work. And its not for whiners who are unwilling to put in the hours to make it succeed. Yes, that sounds pretty mean, but its true. No one’s going to come knocking on your door and discover you. No one’s going to introduce you to others at an art opening. No one’s going to produce your paintings for you. If you don’t care, neither will anyone else.
As a visual artist, some of my dreams are loftier than others. Some I know I can tackle and win, some I know will be more of a challenge and I’ll have to be creative to get around obstacles.
Think about how you can get around each obstacle. There are ways. NO EXCUSES! If you make excuses, you’re feeding your fears. Push them back and keep heading for your dreams. You WILL get there.
Some of my dreams for 2013 are:
Produce a new body of work
Representation by a new gallery
Deliver an online workshop
Update my gyotaku book to include more technical information
Produce a minimum of three short information videos and ebooks
Create a series of reproductions of gyotaku prints
Experience an art retreat
Produce a minimum of three significant drawings in dry media
Of course, other things will come into the picture as the year unfolds and I will need to prioritize which of these goals become my top three through analysing marketing, opportunity, timing, etc., etc. and be prepared to stick with them, no matter how enticing A, B or C are when they show themselves.
However, all of them are achievable. And I have all the obstacles ready, just as you do, to throw into the path of success. The key is to really think about how badly you want to achieve a goal; what exactly is needed to achieve a goal, and to work out a plan to reach it.
What obstacles get in your way? What are your dreams? Make them happen in 2013! Dream big and step outside your comfort zone. Take the boat out of its safe harbour and find a new adventure.
Happy New Year.