Belinda Lindhardt

Friday, December 28, 2007

Plan your wins for 2008

Following on from my post yesterday 2007 Highlights and Accomplishments, here are some of my plans for 2008.

Firstly let me start with a prelude to my 2008 plan. Up until this point in my life I have pretty much left most things to chance and have always assumed that things would come my way eventually.
I have believed that if you are a good person that good things will come your way, events of this past year personally and art wise have shown me that this is true but I really HAVE to plan my life from this point onwards. I am getting older, my family life and time is getting shorter and more complicated (as the kids get older) and I have to speak up and chase after what I want or i will be left behind!

In saying that though I also recognise that I have to careful that I do not overplan and put such high expectations on myself and my family that I / we forget to just go with the wind sometimes and HAVE FUN. The past few years I have been all about just getting through the day / week / this or that job or project and not HAVING FUN along the way and that is not healthy and no way to live.

So, my ultimate goal for 2008 and is to more proactive in life but also to ensure that I always enjoy and make time for the positive things this applys to my art as well as my personal and family life.

My ULTIMATE art goal for this year is to by the end of the year to be supporting myself and my family with my art so that I can be a stay at home artist mum. In the first quarter of the year I hope to be earning / selling enough so as to be earning some type of income. I.e. At least selling something!!! Otherwise my hubby is sending me off to get a job :(

Some of the actions I am going to take to achieve my goals are this:

- Enter Competitions and Exhibitions - basically to get myself out there!
I already have taken steps towards this and researched some local options. I am currently preparing entries and paperwork for a few local competitions which are commencing for the new year. One of my goals is to continue doing this throughout the year at every opportunity.

- Continue and improve posts on my blog
My blog is such a valuable tool, I have plans for a bit of an design update soon. I have also realised that I really do need to put a bit more effort in effective titles and regular tweaks for my blog and squidoo if i am going to utilise them effectively. I am going to schedule on the calendar a review once a month at least.

- Website
I also have plans for a website design update, as well as some backend updates hopefully soon (as soon as hubby can do it for me). I will be adding modules for tracking and consignment of artwork( it will help me keep control of things when I start getting busier). I am also going to also change my gallery etc to be a bit more inline with my original idea for the site and hopefully I will also be adding comments and integrating more selling on the pages as well as a media release area.

- Making the most of self promotion and selling opportunities
I really haven't yet pursued my local avenues much at all. Specifically - I have the form for the local art society which I will send off in the next few days, I will also in the new year upgrade my listings on another online art directory I am getting lots of traffic from my other listing on artsconnect so this i think is a valuable tool :) I will also put together some type of marketing materials / flyers in the new year. I have tried Ebay a few times but I am always scared of calculating shipping but I think I might try again with some of my smaller works and have a "shop" and/Or I will add paypal options to my website to try to sell more.

- Greeting Cards
My greeting cards were a big success in 2007, I don’t make any money off them but they are good opportunity for self promotion I am going to do some more for calendar events such as mothers day etc. So these will continue in 2008

- Classes
For both my own mental stability and for my art progression I hope to regularly attend life drawing classes in the new year. Or sometype of workshop on a regular basis. Ideally i would like a group i can join regularlly with hopefully this will eventuate throughout the year.

- Mailing List
This is something I need to start to build on and pay some attention to.

I am hoping as I start to have a bit income behind me I can afford to do things like become a member of the CPA, i hope that an australian option opens up for this at sometime in the future but responses on my squidoo and other forums indicate that there isnt a huge number of Australian CP artists.

- Directory
I am thinking of perhaps starting a local directory of artists, suppliers, galleries etc as I find it difficult to find out information in my area. Any information that I can find out is outdated and poorly managed. So this might be a project I do hopefully generating other work / income.

On the art side

Improve studio habits
I am wasting money on not storing materials properly (papers are getting creased not washing brushes properly), keeping inventory correctly and not utilising the stock I already have ( I have a lot of papers etc I should use this up first) so I will endeavor to change this habit in the new year.

For my CP work I think I can describe my style as realism, but I would like the pieces to tell more of a story and have a bit more emotion for this year and perhaps less realism. The problem I am having with the CP pieces (as well as every other CP artist in the world) is that everyone thinks they are fabulous but the time it takes to create them is way out of most people's price range and I am selling myself short. Prints are good but cost me a lot of money upfront especially if I get them shipped. Also the framing of them adds to the overall cost of the pieces so in the end I barely would cover materials, so I hope to do some more "quicker" and loser pieces in this medium this year and save the big time consuming pieces for an exhibition or a particular special piece.

For my paintings I need to cement my style a bit more, its emerging with my recent pieces but i need to develop it a little further. I am really getting into the thick paint with a contrast of smoother backgrounds. I am really enjoying the contemporary and abstract pieces I have been doing and from talking with other artists this is more what people are interested in buying anyway. I am hoping that this might be where I generate some income in 2008.
In saying all of that though, I really need to do more of them. I need to have a lot more works available.

Make sketching a daily habit
This is going to be a tough one for me as two small kids makes for busy days but I am going to make a big effort to do this as I know it has a great deal of value and merit.

Illustration - IF
I really do enjoy illustration, my design background helps me with "client" related issues, but i do actually enjoy being given a brief. I think if I can sketch everyday this will improve my confidence and ability and hopefully I can generate a bit more work / style with this avenue. At the least it allows for totally freedom and a bit of fun.

So yes there is a lot there !!! And I can hear you saying these are all well and good intentions but will it happen? YES ! It HAS to.... or at least most of them will .... going back to what I started with at the beginning of this post I realise that I can no longer afford to leave my life to chance and this year I am going to be more organised all round.
To MAKE SURE I bought the 2008 Scribbletalk calendar and shortly I will be scheduling things on the calendar on a weekly and monthly basis to remind me to do these things. It will be displayed on my pantry door so I have to look at it everyday this is hopefully going to be my kick in the bum when lazy Belinda ventures back into my life and she will come back at some point i know she will but she can only hang around for a little while then she has to move out!!


Rose Welty said...

Belinda, this looks great. It does look quite a bit, but as you get into it, you'll find the priorities out and be able to manage it all - at least I think so! :D And, wanting to be full-time by the end of the year, it is going to take that kind of work and dedication.

Looking forward to all of us reaching some goals this year!

Jo Castillo said...

This sounds like a full plate. You will have our support (FAF)! You have such great talent in your drawing. You can do it!

Valerie Jones said...

If anyone can get this accomplished, it is YOU! I have no doubt in my mind that you will accomplish what you start out to do. As Jo said, you have the support of your FAF!

Ann said...

Belinda, you are quite inspiring and I wish you much success with your 2008 goals. I'm sure you'll succeed and then some!

Nina Johansson said...

Wow, what a list of goals! Mine is... well, a bit shorter. :) (I haven´t put it in writing yet, but it´s finished in my head, and I´ll be posting it in the next few days.)
I´m looking forward to seeing how you meet your goals, especially the ones about selling and exhibiting your art. I haven´t done much of that and am very curious as to how others do it, hoping that I´ll get there myself one day. Good luck!

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Thanks Everyone.
Nina, i didnt realise i had all of these in my head until i wrote them all down. I surprised myself, now they are on the blog i better make sure i get to some of them !!! :)

I forgot to add on here my studying, in 2007 i did the Monet and John Singer Sargent studies these were fabulous i hope to squeeze a bit of these in this year too :)

Stacey-Ann said...

These are really well thought out goals. Good luck in 2008!