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My 5 Creative Goals for 2020

I think this is the first year in a long time that I have set some specifically creativity based goals for myself. I'm a very goal-orientated person, I love the feeling of crossing something off my list, or seeing progress towards a target. The reason I've decided to set creative goals for this year, is that I'm now very lucky to be able to use a lot of my creative energies in my work - which, to be clear, I absolutely love. The downside, however, is that everything I create becomes tied to business goals, rather than simply creating for the sake of enjoyment or curiosity. In 2020, I want to work on separating the things that I make that are marketable and exist to make profit, from the things that I make because I love making them, and sod what anyone else thinks. Yes, it might be a long time before I'm good enough to sell any of my watercolors (except this one manatee design which actually sells quite often...), but that doesn't mean I don't deserve to have time playing with them. So here we are, my 5 creative goals for 2020.

1. Take part in Inktober

I've watched it come and go for a couple of years now, and I've made excuses for myself every time, ranging from "I don't have time" to, "I'd be to shy to post them on Instagram", but honestly, I regret not taking part every year! So this time around I am going to carve out some time and do some variation of this challenge in October.

 2. Get back to my roots with some ballpoint pen drawing

At some point when I was studying art in college, I fell in love with ballpoint pens as a drawing medium. I love the flow of it, the fact it can look sketchy or simple and, let's be honest, I love how non-precious I can be about it - I can use a super cheap pen and basically any paper and not worry at all if I "screw it up". I used to do a lot of observational drawing - I'd draw my breakfast, or people on the train and I feel like it really helped my hand eye co-ordination and my ability to observe. These days, I so often draw digitally (which for me is on my PC at home, no iPad here), and I'm starting to notice how rusty I'm getting with a good old pen and paper, as well as how hard drawing quickly from a moving life reference is becoming. I just don't make time for this type of art as much anymore, because, truthfully, it's not directly useful for my business; I can't really turn it into products I'll sell and nobody is ever very interested in the sketches. Still, I feel like this is an important practice that I'm starting to suffer from missing out on, and like I said at the start of this post, I do want to make time for creating just for the sake of it.

3. Study and practice hand lettering

Hand lettering definitely does NOT come naturally to me, it's very much an uphill battle trying to make any progress! But honestly, I am SO drawn to it; it's what will make me stop scrolling on Instagram and I have Pinterest boards full of the stuff. What I tend to do though is try it every once in a while, suck at it and then put it back down again. Given how inspiring I find it, and how many ideas for artwork I have that are text-based, I think it's definitely time to start taking it a bit more seriously and putting in some time and study.
Photo by Tatiana from Pexels
  4. Buy fewer, better art supplies

I know this might seem like it would belong more in a budget or money based goal list, but hear me out. For a long time I've definitely been an avid accumulator of art supplies, you know, I will have like 100 shades of coloured pencil JUST IN CASE, even though, at present, I don't work in full colour like that. I get excited when I see new products or I have an idea and I tend to buy more than I need just because I want it. And yes, there are obvious financial rammifications of this, but it is also damaging to my creativity. It means that my work space is cluttered with supplies I dont really want to use, but sort of have to because I bought them. Or that I can't buy that one really nice pen that would be good for my lettering, because I bought 20 cheap ones - can anyone else relate to this?! So, for 2020, I really want to work on only buying what I need and taking the time to do more research before getting excited and opening my wallet.

5. Enjoy the journey

Back when I used to predominently fill journals with my work, I was very chill about the whole thing, you know, "the only bad page is a blank page", and all that, but these days I am definitely a lot more critical of myself. I can feel myself falling into the trap of thinking my work will "be good" when I can sell it, or when I get X amount of likes on Instagram, and honestly that's just not true. Yes, I make work to sell, and so whether or not it sells is a valid criteria for success, but not all of my work is for other people, not all of it is designed to be commercial - in fact, my most "true" work, really isn't very saleable at all, and that's okay. In 2020 I really want to make time to enjoy the journey.

Do you have any creative goals for 2020?

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