Brimming with creative possibility, 2019 is finally here. Some people are ecstatic about fresh starts. Others make strict resolutions like eating yogurt and going to the gym. Some might even sum up their plans with lyrics from the 90’s chart-topper “Closing Time.”
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Regardless of how you feel about greeting a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on past successes and near misses and look ahead to things that inspire your best art. We’ve corralled a few arty resolutions on how to get motivated and plan for a successful year of artmaking.
1. Have Fun
The holiday season is over. The gifts are unwrapped, the dreidels stopped spinning, the relatives returned home, and “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey is no longer playing on repeat. So now what? Easy. Make the return to normalcy a chance to reset your creativity.
As you rub your palms together pondering what to create next, consider starting with fun. What part of the creative process comes to you with ease? What gives you that artistic high? What makes you smile or even laugh? What makes you completely lose track of time?
Try something new. Revisit what it felt like to be a beginner again. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because nothing is. Just have fun and start creating.
2. Set Creative Goals
Reflect on your work from 2018 to see what pieces brought you the most joy. Which projects resonated with your audience or came out on top in your Redbubble shop? Use what you discover to help set goals for the new year.
If starting a new project feels daunting, allow yourself space to charge forward gently. Take small steps toward your goal and enjoy the process. Setting unrealistic goals often derails the whole effort.
Here’s an example. You join a book club. You get the first few books on the list hoping to get ahead in all your excitement. A few weeks fly by. You glance over at that fresh copy of The Handmaid’s Tale sitting on your nightstand and shudder. Not because Commander Waterford is a dystopian dictator, but because he’s just sitting in that book reminding you that the next meeting is on Tuesday and you haven’t started reading yet.
Look at this year as a chance to take it easy. Get very clear about where you want to go. Choose your adventure and stay the course. If you are a visual person, consider making a vision board. Add clippings, color palettes, items you find in your environment, and anything else you can think of that will inspire you this year. Vision boards help you concept and visually see what you’re after before you embark on that journey.
3. Do Some Housekeeping
No, we aren’t talking about waxing the car, polishing the floor, or painting the fence. We are, however, encouraging you to do some ‘business’ housekeeping.
Clean up your Redbubble shop to keep things running smoothly. Do you have any outstanding items on your list? Maybe you forgot to tag a few works last summer. Do they still need to be done or can you let them go? Check to make sure your payment details are up to date. Connect your social accounts. Respond to any lingering unopened messages. These are all things that can help set you up for the best possible operation on Redbubble in the new year. You get it.
Another thing. Take care of yourself. Make room for your creative endeavors. Go outside, stretch your body, listen to good music, and find laughter. Clear out the old and make space for the new. When your body, mind, and Redbubble shop are all taken care of, your inspiration will come.
4. Stop at the Inspiration Station
Inspiration is everywhere. You can immerse yourself in it at any time. Willy Wonka once sang, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.”
Get fresh inspiration by visiting a museum, people watching at a cafe, or scribbling in your sketchbook at the park. Try a two-page spread with random drawings that have nothing to do with each other. Or take an original that you love and change one small thing about it.
If you’re feeling uninspired, focus instead on technique. Practice a new stroke or play with a new color palette. Hone your craft so that the next time your creative download hits you’ll be ready for it.
Now that you have mapped out a great plan for yourself consider teasing with your followers what’s in store, pun intended, for your Redbubble shop this year.
Connect with your community both on Redbubble and in the world. Try unplugging for a few hours a week and reconnect with paper and paint or nature and animals. Talk to friends, strangers, mentors, and collaborate on a project.
Most importantly, connect with yourself. To abridge the words of social justice theologian and
scholar Howard Thurman, find your magic and use it.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman