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6 Resolutions Every Artist Should Make—and Keep!


by Jeremy Rowland

Ah, the new year! A time for reflection, gratitude, optimism, and… resolutions (dum, dum, dum).

There’s that buzzword again. In January it represents hope and light, but come February it’s usually spoken with a roll of the eyes or a despondent sigh. 

As an artist, chances are your resolutions are going to involve your art in some way or another. That’s great! I’d love to add a few more to your list. 

These seven resolutions are written in 1st person so you can pretend you’re saying them yourself. I’m no psychologist, but I feel pretty certain that will help you apply them to your own experience. 

I’m going on a diet… sort of:

Ok, so I won’t be giving up apple pie. And fried chicken… well that’s just non-negotiable, but I am going to take a little vacation from the distractions that tend to pull me away from growing as an artist. 

Social media, online shopping, the telephone, and my afternoon soaps are all good things, but they’re just too needy. I think we need a little space (it’s not you, it’s me), so I’m going to try regulating how much of these distractions I allow myself each day for a month. Then, after the allotted time, I’ll evaluate which of these I can do without and which are a  good supplement to my daily routine. The fried chicken stays, though!

I will give myself the credit I deserve:

Sure I’ve run into a few road blocks and tripped over my own shoelaces a few times on my artistic journey, but I’ve made it this far and that’s a pretty big deal. 

I’ve crumpled plenty of sketches, painted over a canvas or two, and thrown my fair share of pencils—I owe myself a good pat on the back! This year I’m going to roll up my sleeves and create the best art I can possibly create at this stage of my education—regardless of what the end result may be. 

I’m going to talk less and do more:

I can sit down and knock your socks off with vivid descriptions of the art projects I would love to tackle. No really, you would be amazed! But, this year, I’m going spend less time talking about that drawing of my dog I would love to start and more time actually drawing it. I have good ideas—there’s no reason why I’m not turning those ideas into finished works of art!

The past is the past—but the future is mine for the making!:

Mr. Appleton from the 7th grade was a grumpy old curmudgeon with no imagination. I refuse to let his opinions about the “practicality” of art stop me from pursuing my passion one minute more. “Art is a waste of time,” “get a real job,” “you weren’t born with artistic talent”—those phrases will make their way out of my vocabulary and into the trash can, post haste! By clinging to these lies, I’m doing nothing but short-changing myself—enough is enough.

I’m going to give more gifts:

I am a creative person. Give me a pile of sticks, a glass bottle, and a glue gun, and I’ll make something awesome! I may not be able to tell you what it is or what it does, but it sure will look cool. I’m going to do more of this in 2014. I want to express my creativity, but more than that I want to give my art away as gifts. 

This is a great opportunity for me to not only gain experience, but to build deeper relationships as well. A handmade gift, regardless of the level of skill, is a truly intimate gesture and I want to let my loved ones know how much they mean to me. Sure the gift may not make it onto their wall or the fireplace mantle, but it will no doubt find a place in their heart.

No more negativity:

The next time I say, “well, I’m really not a good artist,” or “you don’t want to see my art, it might scare you,” I’m going to put a quarter in a jar and give myself a good, stern, talking to. There’s no need for these shenanigans! 

Sure, I’m no Rembrandt, but that picture of a banana that I drew last week—that was something special. I’m going to lift myself up rather than put myself down when it comes to my artwork (every aspect of life really) and just do the best I can. 

I have to understand that Rembrandt, da Vinci, and George from art class, didn’t get to be amazing artists over night, they grew over time just like myself.

Jeremy Rowland is editor for Senior Artist magazine and Director of Media Development at Happy Brain, Inc. He is a connoisseur of edible foods, an avid daydreamer, and has a hard time passing up an art museum.

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