This might be a good time for a mid-year review. I do this for work so I thought I’d do it for my art. It’ll give me enough time to course-correct in the next 6 months. Also, public accountability is good.
At the beginning of the year, I set the following goals:
- Do 4 photoshoots/per month
- Complete Alyson Stanfield’s Art Career Success System, a 5-month intensive course
- Complete Robert McKee’s screenwriting workshop
- Blog once a week
- Send out a newsletter once a month
- do social media outreach
- Show my artwork in 5 group shows.
Mid Year Results
I failed big time on the first one. After the craziness of finishing Part II of A Million Suns last year, I’ve done two shoots in the past six months. I was reflecting on why I was so productive last year. It’s because I was working with Mason who showed up every Saturday morning like clockwork. I need an outside force to keep me on track.
I completed my continuing education goals 2 and 3, so I’m good there.
I like blogging. It helps clarify the meaning of my work to myself. That’s a surprise. How could I not know what I’m shooting and creating? Writing is a great clarifier. Otherwise, things remain underwater in my Unconscious.
But as much as I like the end result of writing, starting is painful. I just learned a trick. I set a 25-minute countdown timer (the Pomodoro technique) and then I say to myself:
Just start typing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just write for 25 minutes.
This actually works. It’s like running: the first 15 minutes are the hardest and then it plateaus. I end up writing for 50 minutes. I read this advice from Accidental Genius, Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy. A recent blog post from Medium entitled, 6 of the Best Writing Tips Advice from Successful Writers, also discussed this point.
I failed on the newsletter front. If I’m writing for the blog, why would I write something separate for the newsletter? I get conflicting advice. I need to simplify and make changes.
I’m really not sure what to do with social media. There is so much content out there, that once you start reading, it’s like an alien abduction. Chunks of time will be missing afterward.
I burned myself out looking for ways to show my work. In prior years, I submitted left and right to juried shows. I don’t find it as fulfilling as I thought it would be. There must be a better way.
That’s why I started looking at unconventional venues. I did the Maryland Science Event and the pop-up exhibition at the Baltimore Theater Project in April and May. That’s 2 out of 5 opportunities done.
Coming up in the fall, I’m part of two group shows. Diffusion Magazine and A Smith Gallery just announced the first one. If you are nearby, I’ll be at the reception on September 24.
So that’s 4/5 opportunities for showing my work. I need to come up with just one more event, and I’ll be good this year.
Overall, I’m doing a good job considering the full-time+ accounting job. I have to go back to the studio though. That’s the most important thing.