13 New Year’s Resolutions for the Artist

By Nicole Tinkham

Photo from Creative Commons by Stepheye.

2014 is only a few weeks away and now is the time to think about how you would like to make the New Year different from the last. Most New Year’s resolutions consist of weight loss and money saving, but you should also take into consideration your passion. If you’re an artist you have probably had times where you felt a little un-inspired. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions to keep you feeling creative all year round.

1. Use your sketchbook consistently. It’s easy to use your sketchbook here and there when you feel like it but try to be more consistent. This will not only improve your skill but also help get those creative juices flowing. Make it a goal to use your sketchbook every week as much as possible even if it’s just a small sketch.

2. Get out in the world. Many artists get stuck in the routine of working in the studio everyday. Take your painting or sketching out into the world. You can visit parks, beautiful buildings, the beach, or wherever you find creative energy. When in a rut, this can help you produce something new that you haven’t done before. This year, do your best to get out of the studio every once in awhile!

3. Experiment with artwork size. A great way to spark creativity is to step outside your safety zone. One way you can do this is to switch up the size of your artwork. For example, if you tend to work small, use a large canvas. This will allow you to think and work differently, producing unique work. Try working with different sizes here and there and see how your work changes.

4. Treat yourself. At least one time this year treat yourself to a supply you normally wouldn’t purchase. It could be a high-quality brush, new types of paint, or a large canvas. Spoil yourself and try new things!

5. Develop your ideas. If using your sketchbook more is one of your goals this year, you’ll most likely end up with a sketchbook full of great ideas. Instead of letting those ideas get lost among everything else in your sketchbook, do something with them. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour a week to developing these ideas.

6. Get inspired. It’s important to take the time to do things that spark your creativity like taking a walk, going on vacation, reading a book, or collaborating with other artists. This will give you the fuel you need to keep being creative throughout the year. Check out 5 Ways to Stay Creative for more ideas and make sure to do something that inspires you on a daily basis.

7. Define your artist style. Every artist wants to be recognizable. While it’s great to switch things up and try something new (see below), you also want to maintain an overall style so people recognize a group of artwork as being yours. Throughout the year continue to work on your personal artist style.

8. Try something new. Try at least one new thing this year (and we don’t just mean the size of your canvas). Explore other ways to create art whether it be drawing, stamping, Zentangle, watercolor, sculpting, or even the art of baking. This will help you grow as an artist and maybe you’ll find something else you’re passionate about!

9. Make time. If you aren’t a full time artist, chances are you probably wish you had more time for your art. No matter how busy you feel, you can always make a little time to do the things you love. A couple days a week make time for art by writing it in your planner, signing up for a workshop, or getting together with fellow artists. You can view upcoming workshops on The Artist’s Corner.

10. Look to the past. A great way to get a boost of inspiration is to look at the old masters. Choose an artist you’re particularly fascinated by and study their techniques. For an hour a week, grab an art history book and your sketchbook and practice these techniques of the past. This should give you great ideas for projects in the future.

11. Work on a portfolio. If you don’t already have a portfolio, the New Year is the perfect time to get started on one. You can take photographs of your work, scan them for digital copies or have them printed, create a website, or anything else you can think of (remember to be creative). Portfolios don’t have to be just for the professional artist. They’re also a great way to show friends and family what you’ve been working on all year.

12. Keep an idea journal. Your sketchbook may be filled with brilliant ideas but keeping an idea journal is also handy. This way all of your ideas are together and organized. Idea journals are perfect for those times you think of an idea but don’t have the time to sketch it out. You’ll want to carry this journal around EVERYWHERE since you never know when a great idea will strike!

13. Use your resources. Every artist needs a little help now and then and luckily, there are many resources to help you throughout the year. Whether it’s learning a new technique, learning about new products, or helping you stay creative, here are just some of the ways we can help you achieve your goals for 2014.

Keeton’s blog: This blog features both office and art supplies with product info, how-to’s, creative ideas, helpful techniques, and inspiration.

Pinterest: The Keeton’s Pinterest page has many similar topics as the blog but offers you a way to pin and save your favorite pieces of information. You’ll notice boards full of art products, events at Keeton’s, art tutorials, and more.

Facebook and Twitter: Both Facebook and Twitter pages include information on events happening at Keeton’s as well as local events, relevant news and articles, fun facts, and helpful tips.

Instagram: View featured products, vintage supplies (on throwback Thursdays), fun facts, and more on Keeton’s Instagram.

The Artist’s Corner: The Artist’s Corner on the Keeton’s website is packed full of upcoming workshops.

• Keeton’s retail store: The art specialists in the retail store are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

The most important thing to think about when creating your New Year’s resolution list is to not overwhelm yourself. Don’t try to accomplish everything listed in this post, just choose a select few that pique your interest. Keep your goals for the year close by as it’s easier to achieve them if you look at them on a daily basis. Good luck with all that you plan to do in 2014 and Happy New Year from Keeton’s!

We want to know some of your New Year’s resolutions! Leave a comment in the box below with your #1 goal for the New Year.

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