The New Year is upon us. So to get in gear for 2016, we’ve collated a bunch of tips to deal with sticking to your creative plans over the holiday season. 2015 felt like it went lightning fast, and it’s safe to assume January will whiz by with similar vigor. If you’ve made plans to keep making artwork and meet creative goals early in 2016, or perhaps you have a creative New Year’s resolution, this post is for you. Making plans for your artwork is easy, but sticking to them while eating leftover pudding for the fifth day in a row after a wacky holiday schedule is a tad more challenging. So we’ve pulled together 6 tips to keep you going and focused over the next 365 days.
1. Be a “Creative”
Try everyday to think of yourself as a creative person. As someone who considers herself a “runner” would go for a run regularly, actively thinking of yourself as an artist will help you stay engaged in making art. Even when the holidays and the New Year and all that jazz is distracting, and you’ve fallen out of your usual routine, try and ground yourself in knowing you’re an artist that makes art.
2. Friends are good
Reach out for support and network. As we’ve discussed here, make sure you build a network with other artists that you can turn to for morale, good will, and inspiration. Having strong ties to different support groups both online and in person can help you push through if your creative goals. Check back in with us right here on the blog and chat with the community on Redbubble. We have some truly wonderful regular commenters and our extensive Redbubble family are a great resource for one another.
3. Remember the Growth Mindset
The Growth Mindset is a psychological idea that if you think of yourself as static or fixed in your capabilities, you’ll under-perform at your desired task. If you instead think of yourself as constantly growing and open to developing through mistakes and trials, you’ll do much better overall in tasks. This article cites specific scientific studies which have proven the Growth Mindset as a contributing factor to meeting goals.
Have self-imposed deadlines as well as exterior deadlines. For example, I have an exhibition at the end of January but my self-imposed deadline is to make sure all my artwork is ready to go one week before. This means that if something goes wrong I still have a week to work it out, but more importantly it feels like it’s giving me the opportunity to open myself up to success. If I meet my own deadline I can high five myself, buy myself a gelato, and not be stressed out.
Buy a calendar, get a planner, or fully digitize and integrate your calendar into your phone, computer, and anywhere else. Getting organized might seem boring or not-very-artistic, but it allows you to chill the hell out, which leads to better art making and more time in the creative world. Some of the best artists I know are very organized (or at least have a digital calendar and a yearly diary). They’ve taught me that disorganization causes stress, and their best art usually isn’t made under duress.
6. Take stock
Take stock in March about how you’re going. This is probably the hardest task, considering most New Year resolutions are abandoned by the end of January. Jump in your growth mindset and don’t judge yourself, but take a moment in March to reflect on how your creative New Year’s plans went. Did you get to draw everyday in your sketchbook? Did you finish a large piece you’ve been wanting to for a while? Unpack what worked and what didn’t, and really ask yourself why. Adjust accordingly for the following months with as little self-judgement as possible.