New Year's Resolutions Ideas For Artists - With Printable Worksheets
Do you like making new year's resolutions? I do. It's an important ritual that I have done for years and enjoyed very much.
People like to make new year's resolutions because a new year promises new beginnings. After a long break at the end of the year, we see things with a fresh perspective, let go of the past and move into newer ways of living.
One of the biggest hurdles at the start of the year is finding the motivation to get back to work after an extended break. Most artists work alone, so we need to come up with our own incentives to get going.
We like to think that a new year means 'new you', but unfortunately, it's not that easy. Most of us have ingrained habits that are hard to break, so we struggle to make the changes we like to see in our lives. This is why we need to consider how we performed in the past and what course adjustments we could make to take us where we want to go.
I believe in taking stock at the end of each year to reflect on the year gone by. What worked, what needs improving, and how can I get there? I make my new year's resolutions accordingly.
You may have been considering changing the direction of your art or posting it on social media, setting up your studio or learning a new medium. I want to be able to support you and your goals and make them a reality.
I have created a new year's resolutions printable pdf so you can plan and work towards your goals.
I have also included some questions to help you reflect on your past year and consider how you will tackle the new one. These questions are designed to help you find the 'why' of your goals. I hope to help you find meaning in the process rather than relying on your motivation.
Additionally, I have added monthly and weekly planner sheets. Use these along with your usual planning tools and block out time to achieve your goals. Remember that goals only give you direction; you need systems that work for you. Be consistent and make room for derailments.
If you have struggled to maintain your new year's resolutions, check out this article here. I write about why new year's resolutions fail and what to do instead.
Here are some ideas that I keep in mind while writing my new year's resolutions.
Twelve new year's resolutions ideas for artists:
1. Join a Community of Artists
I draw more when I am with like-minded people who love sketching too. I feel motivated and inspired when I am with other people who encourage me to achieve my artistic goals. I have enjoyed finding new art meetups in my city through the meetup app. I have also found some art groups on Facebook, like the Urban Sketchers group.
Look up your local art institutions and galleries; often they need volunteers. It's a fun way to learn something new and meet other artists. Do your research and get involved locally and online.
2. Be inspired
Often I get trapped at my desk with the excuse that I am working very hard, but that stifles my creativity. After several bouts of struggling with feeling uninspired, I have realised that I need to prioritise finding new inspiration and seeing more art in person.
Don't forget to visit museums, gallery shows, art openings and private studio openings. This exercise helps to fill your inspiration tank and allows you to meet other creative people who made a living doing what they love.
3. Share Your Work
In the past, I have been too scared to share my work. I was doubtful about my abilities and often felt ashamed of my work. But I have since learnt that by sharing my art, I can learn more from the feedback I get from others.
Avoid getting caught in the perfectionist mindset and not sharing your work. You don't need to share it online if you are not comfortable. Share your art with other artists you admire and get their feedback. Once you are satisfied with your progress, you can share your work online.
4. Learn a new medium
I have always been curious about painting with ink. Over the last few months, I have dabbled in it, and I am ready to commit to learning more.
Is there a medium that you have been meaning to try? Get a course on using that medium or just experiment with it and see what you can create. Have fun while learning a new medium.
5. Invest in yourself
My recent obsession has been about investing in good art books. As you know, I am trying to maintain my habit of staying clear of social media. Good art books have helped fill that gap with something much more productive. I am discovering new artists and their techniques by buying books they have written.
Is there an art class or art material that you have longed for? Take the plunge and invest in yourself. You can cut back on something frivolous you enjoy to free up some cash to enrich your life. Buy the artist's grade art materials. Buy that expensive art course that you have been eyeing for months. Do it because your art will grow as a consequence.
If you are ready to invest in yourself to plan and execute your dreams, check out my goal-setting sheets.
6. Make more art
I have two conflicting roles, the content creator and the artist. Unfortunately, there are many days when I don't draw. I am either writing or editing, not drawing. This year I want to draw a lot more. So I am setting an alarm that reminds me to draw at a certain time every day.
How are you planning to add more art time to your life? Schedule time and mark it in your calendar.
7. Keep an artist’s journal
Starting an art journal has significantly transformed my art practice. It helped me work through questions about my identity as an artist and helped me find myself.
Art journaling focuses on the process rather than the pressure of a perfect result. It's a therapeutic activity used to reduce stress and boost creativity. You just need a sketchbook and some mark-making materials. The only rule to art journaling is to have fun and express yourself.
8. Film your art process
If one of your goals is to grow on social media, you need to take videos of your art. Sharing your art in a meaningful way will make you visible to those who enjoy your work.
A piece of art is more than aesthetics; it portrays the artist's life and experiences. Your art videos give your audience a deeper connection with you through the stories you share about your work. Start using your phone to make videos, then work your way up to getting a better camera.
9. Build your art studio
It's crucial to create a positive work environment, whether you have your own art studio or a tiny corner. Although having an art studio may seem like a luxury, creating one is simpler than you expect.
Find a location you can claim as your own. It could be a closet, a garage, a tool shed, or a bedroom corner. The essential things to consider are where you'll keep your art tools and how you'll use the area. Your studio should represent your artistic side; look for inspiration in the décor and art pieces you choose.
10. Draw from life
Drawing outdoors is one of the most necessary skills that most students avoid. I am guilty of it too! I rely on photos heavily. When we have so many photos at our disposal, drawing from life seems unnecessary.
But if you want to stand out from the artists who copy, draw from life more often. Additionally, you'll develop stronger visual recall and memory. You will expand your ability to "see" better and interpret your surroundings for a drawing.
11. Take time for personal projects
I often long for the ability to experiment with my art without restrictions. When I have worked with clients, there are heavy restrictions about what they want, and it can feel creatively stifling.
Personal projects don't need to be grand or amazing. We must allow ourselves to fail and work on ideas that fizzle out. These projects might not help you if you want to start a side hustle with your art, but they help you figure out what you enjoy in your practice the most.
12. Stop postponing your dreams
Your life matters most to you, and consequently, how you choose to spend your time matters. I often hear people say they wish they could do this or that and list the many reasons they cannot achieve them. Instead of focusing on what you cannot achieve, what small steps can you take to get closer to your dreams?
Quit putting off following your aspirations. Life is too short to give up on things that bring you joy.
You don't need a New Year for resolutions
The beginning of a new year is an arbitrary point in time. So if you don't believe in new year's resolutions, you don't have to do it.
The feeling of a fresh start at the beginning of a new year is mentally fleeting. Making new changes is hard work, and it means dealing with whatever has been holding you back. If you are setting a resolution because you believe that a new year can wipe your slate clean, it might not work.
The truth is that there's no point in making the same resolutions you've made for years on end to feel let down and depressed afterward. This cycle serves to reinforce emotions of inadequacy and failure.
If we want to improve, we must cultivate the habit of making plans and tweaking our progress to achieve our dreams. Make your resolutions when you are ready to make changes and commit to them.
Dont forget your goal planning sheets. Download them here.
If you need help building an art habit, check out this post.