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New Year's Resolutions for Artists - Day 363

Another year is almost over. Time to take stock of what we did (or didn’t) accomplish and to start thinking about our goals, hopes and dreams for the coming year. This year has been a challenging one for many artists, but you know what? We’re all still here, and we’re all still creating. What kinds of New Year’s resolutions are artists planning for the coming year? Here are some artists from the Ask the Artists series who shared their responses:

The Red and Black Cafe by Timothy Nielson. Copyright © Timothy Nielson

"The Red and Black Cafe" by Timothy Nielson. Copyright © Timothy Nielson

“My New Year’s resolution is that there will be no weakness in my heart and there will be no days off. I will sacrifice sleep, food and my physical health to realize my potential. I could work a little less and my life will stay the same or I can work as hard as I can to make myself what I want to be.”

Timothy Nielson, Oregon
Art pens on canvas
~rowboot on deviantART

Pandora's Kiss by Paula Matthiesen. Copyright © Paula Matthiesen

"Pandora's Kiss" by Paula Matthiesen. Copyright © Paula Matthiesen

“I’ve never been very good with adhering to resolutions. I kind of fly free – if it sounds workable, I’ll try it. Maybe it’s time I found a compromise to that. In the New Year, I resolve to work smarter at getting more exposure for my work. I’ll be more diligent in making contacts and in following up. I’ll be more disciplined in the creative process. And when I slip back into ‘Accidental Artist’ mode and let the creative process dictate its own time and space, I’ll resolve not to make strict declarations and to just let it happen.”
Paula Matthiesen, Oregon
Paintings by Paula

Magma by Luke S. Poteete. Copyright © Luke S. Poteete

"Magma" by Luke S. Poteete. Copyright © Luke S. Poteete

“I usually stay away from New Year’s resolutions. By the middle of February if you ask someone what theirs was they will probably give you a dead stare and mutter something about chocolate. I do think it’s helpful to set goals for my work though, and its fun to watch the progress as I work towards them. I always enjoy tampering with my style. I get stuck on a pattern or style and do it incessantly, and changing that style up completely helps me find new techniques to throw into the mix and use in a completely new way.I should probably focus more on getting my work out there more. I have too much fun (if there is such a thing) creating the pieces and don’t focus on showing them once they’re complete.”
Luke S. Poteete, Texas
Luke S. Poteete

Three Insulators by Susan Schenk

"Three Insulators" by Susan Schenk

“I want my work to be more compelling and connect with viewers on a more visceral level. I’m moving beyond pretty pictures. I’ve recently been drawn to look at primitive figure art, including petroglyphs, totems, mythical guardians, and other human/animal life forms with some spiritual overtones. While my pretty works sell, I’m being pulled to listen to some inner voice to let these spirits out. My goal is to create marketable works which resonate at some deeper place.”

Susan Schenk, Oregon
Susan Schenk

Untitled by Patricia Benitez. Copyright © Patricia Benitez

Untitled by Patricia Benitez. Copyright © Patricia Benitez

“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions – I believe in resolutions for every day of the year. My daily resolutions for my art are to constantly improve, to create, plan, network or promote daily. This way, I will always stay motivated and on track with my career.”

Patricia Benitez, New Jersey
Patricia Benitez

Little Green by Marilyn Holt. Copyright © Marilyn Holt

Little Green by Marilyn Holt. Copyright © Marilyn Holt

“My biggest New Year’s Resolution concerning my art is to take it seriously enough (versus viewing is as a ‘hobby’). I am moving from the mindset that my craft and creative time are something that is only done after the ‘important’ work is done, which, of course, means never, as I’ve defined ‘important.’ As the end of the year approaches, I am realizing that my art IS the important work, especially as I wish to share and sell my art with the public. I really need to respect that growing part of me that yearns to create rather than just ‘perform,’ as in my other areas of employment. As a massage therapist I serve my clients first, as it should be. In my art, I serve my own inner nature first, and then deliver my art to the world.”

Marilyn Holt, Connecticut
Gourd Artwork
Spirited Touch

Untitled by Ana Cvejic. Copyright © Ana Cvejic

Untitled by Ana Cvejic. Copyright © Ana Cvejic

“My biggest wish for the New Year is that my parents live a long time. For me: Enroll in doctoral studies abroad and continue my education. Develop and mature my work even more. Participate in a large number of exhibitions in my country and abroad. Overall, I want people to understand my work, conveying the message and purpose of my art: freedom.”

Ana Cvejić, Serbia
Painting, printmaking, drawing
Ana Cvejić

Mutant Fern by Annette Yoho Feltes. Copyright © Annette Yoho Feltes

"Mutant Fern" by Annette Yoho Feltes. Copyright © Annette Yoho Feltes

“My hope for 2013 is to become clearer in what I am expressing in my artwork. As far as technique is concerned, I hope to incorporate glass and textiles into my assemblages. Marshal McLuhan’s phrase, ‘The medium is the message’ means the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is interpreted. Sculptural assemblages are my medium, and the choices I make in materials becomes visually informative to the message I am intending. The thoughtfulness in my choice of materials, along with the technical ability to use these materials, allows me to find my language as an artist, so that what I want to say to the viewer, what I want them to read is more than a nebulous babble that furrows brows.”

Annette Yoho Feltes, Ohio
Mixed media sculpture
Annette Yoho Feltes

Spirit Dancer by Sierra Undine. Copyright © Sierra Undine

"Spirit Dancer" by Sierra Undine. Copyright © Sierra Undine

“I have a daily resolution! It’s to somehow make a living from my art. Every day I wake up and say, ‘Okay, here I go…I’m gonna do this!’ And then I have to just put a lot of energy into getting my work out there and seeing what happens. This year, it’s about getting my work out into the world.”

Sierra Golden Eagle Undine, Illinois
Sierra Golden Eagle Undine

Waiting (detail) by Jo Grishman. Copyright © Jo Grishman

"Waiting" (detail) by Jo Grishman. Copyright © Jo Grishman

“My New Year’s Resolution. I actually hate the word “resolution,” as I feel it sets one up for failure. It is too rigid. I like to think of it more as a New Year’s Intention. I have been working on an installation piece called ‘Waiting’ for quite some time. It consists of 108 small hand made white ceramic ladder back chairs, that I intend to hang on the wall. Each chair holds an object I have collected along the way, that marks my time, like a visual journal. I have completed it, but it does not feel truly complete till I find a place to exhibit it. I believe that the piece will only will feel complete once it can be ‘seen.’ Then the story will feel as though it has come full circle. My intention is to photograph the piece in it’s entirety and then submit the images to various galleries in Portland to find a good temporary ‘home’ for it, preferably a window space so that passersby can interact with it by observing it. I guess I am tired of ‘Waiting’ for it to be seen. I feel it is holding me back and not allowing me to move forward in my creative process on to the next project.”
Jo Grishman
, Oregon
Mixed media, sculpture
Jo Grishman

Divorce Weathervane by Sara Ybarra Lopez. Copyright © Sara Ybarra Lopez

"Divorce Weathervane" by Sara Ybarra Lopez. Copyright © Sara Ybarra Lopez

“I intend to try anything–any material, shape, theme, revelation and style.”

Sara Ybarra Lopez, Washington
Sara Ybarra Lopez

Tomas and Mary by Betsy LeVine. Copyright © Betsy LeVine

Tomas and Mary by Betsy LeVine. Copyright © Betsy LeVine

“My 2013 New Year’s resolution for my art is to look deeply into my soul and create a plan to execute a show that I have been formulating for most of the past year. I want to explore the different stages of life, beginning with death/darkness/stillness (because I feel that there must be an end before there is a beginning), creating images that display the beauty and necessary nature of each part of the cycle. This will be my first solo gallery show and my first show that explores a particular theme, and I am excited to take this leap into professional artistry!”

Betsy LeVine, Oregon
Betsy LeVine

Untitled by Loi Duc Nguyen. Copyright © Loi Duc Nguyen

Untitled by Loi Duc Nguyen. Copyright © Loi Duc Nguyen

“First I want to tell you my story. I graduated from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts. After I finished school, however,  I began to see that Vietnam does not have great potential for innovative, creative artwork because most people here prefer the souvenir market. I worked for five years in interior design and graphics, and realized that what I crave is to express thoughts and ideas through my art.”
“I came home and started a small studio and dreamed of a beautiful day in the distant future when I would be invited to exhibitions around the world. And you know what? A great thing happened to me because I have answered the question of what I love the most, what job would bring me the most happiness.”
“In the New Year, I will have a solo exhibition in Hanoi. I want people to know about it – especially those who wish to become real artists. Through the exhibition, I want to show people that doing what you love most is the most important thing. Money isn’t everything. The combination of art and what you truly love always leads to success.”

Loi Duc Nguyen
, Vietnam
Loi Duc Nguyen

Old Friends by Adi Parker. Copyright © Adi Parker

"Old Friends" by Adi Parker. Copyright © Adi Parker

“I resolve to be less apologetic about being an abstract painter, or better yet, to NOT be apologetic at all! It sounds funny, but sometimes I feel like I have to explain why I ‘don’t paint anything,’ which of course isn’t even true to begin with.
So, Explain = Good and Justify = bad, that’s the mode for the New Year.”

Adi Parker, British Columbia, Canada
Actual Paint

The thing I love best about New Year’s Resolutions is that it gives us the opportunity to consider our better selves. It’s like we get a “do-over,” while drawing on all our previous years’ experience. Writing down resolutions, or intentions, is a very powerful act and sharing them with the world grounds them in reality. I’m sure each and every one of these artists will find success in the New Year and for all of you out there who wish to share your resolutions and intentions, you may add your own in the comments below.

As for me, I’m coming to the end of a 365-Day Resolution that I made at the beginning of this year. It’s one of the only resolutions in my life I’ve actually kept, because I made it public. It’s definitely been worth it so far…..and I have more two days to go. (Oops! It’s actually 3 more days – Leap Year!). I’ll have a full report on New Year’s Day. Will I have another resolution? We’ll see…….

- SerenaK


For those of you who are new to Artful Vagabond, I have made a resolution to write a year-long series of daily posts: A 365-Day Tribute to Artists and the Creative Mind.

Here’s the story behind these daily “resolutions”:

A Juicy New Year’s Resolution


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