October 15th is a memorable day for me. One year ago today I completed my last day of work at my office job. I had been downgrading my hours to a four-day work week as the company was lacking for clients and I was shifting my focus to fine art. I started taking that feeling of being trapped seriously, and finally got up the courage to walk away and start out on my own.
So what have I done in the last year? It’s gone by in a blink, truly. So many days I struggle to stay focused on the art and be productive between two sides of my business. I also try to not get depressed at the achingly slow pace (so it seems) at which I can experiment and grow my audience, and challenge myself artistically. Even in the last year, I spent the first few months taking on as much freelance multimedia work as I could get, and only from May on did I really prioritize the fine art. So I try to be a little forgiving in that I still have a long way to go on this journey to full-time artist.
Here’s what I have artistically in the last year (outside of the freelance work):
- Started the Art Heart project with Olivia’s Heart Fund
- Created six illustrative paintings for the Art Heart exhibition
- Created 35+ other paintings
- Created two found art pieces
- Placed artwork in two local gallery/stores
- Showed artwork in four exhibitions
- Donated two paintings for an art museum
- Won an award for a painting
- Wrote a grant proposal
- Became an art instructor for acrylic workshops
- Scheduled two interviews about teaching at institutions
- Blogged 40 times (not including today!)
- Created a Facebook page, art website, art business cards and other promotional efforts
- Became a member of four art groups/museums
- Learned how to solder art jewelry
- Started experimenting with a new mixed-media technique
- Went to numerous museums and creative events and met lots of talented people
Most of this I have been tracking through Outlook, I’m getting better about it now, and it really helps to look over your calendar and see all those little blocks of time that account for your efforts. Now that I see it all in black and white, I don’t feel like quite such a schmo in getting things accomplished.
Do you keep lists of what you’ve done, or what you want to do? Has that helped you get a better picture of your progress or define what you want to do in the future?
I think I can continue this momentum and get much closer to my goals over the next year. There is a solid foundation here, something to build on.