Sunday, September 19, 2010

Objectives and secret hideaways

Yesterday I attended a free workshop called Creating a One-Year Strategic Plan for Artists, part of Austin's Cultural Arts Division series. The session was led by Ben McConnell of Ant's Eye View, using a visual organization technique to help focus our objectives, goals, strategies, and tactics (in that order). And I've got a lot of ideas rattling around in my brain and populating multiple 'to do' lists, so it was a real challenge to organize it onto one page. I'm going back over it today, now that the workshop information has settled in a little bit. But it's extremely helpful to have this easily read chart of what I want to accomplish this next year, how to do it, and how to measure success.

One of the biggest revelations about my objectives came when we partnered up with other attendees; as I was describing what I do art-wise, my partner suggested (in a friendly way) that becoming comfortable calling myself an artist might be an objective. And it's true. Whether it's because I don't have an art school background or because I came to art and illustration late (or rather, I didn't create art in the decade between my freshman year in college and when I started this blog), I'm always very tentative about calling myself an artist or an illustrator. The latest podcast on Escape from Illustration Island addresses this a bit, how students go into art school believing themselves artists but leave calling themselves 'aspiring artists'. As if you can't be the real thing until you are published or have a show. And no one will believe you are an artist until you believe it yourself.

Food for thought. As for the hideaways part of the headline, I saw these little secret garden type benches on my morning walk at Mueller, and I want to go back with a sketchbook and watercolors to do some plein air. That is if I can brave the bees swarming on all the blooming things. (Speaking of Secret Gardens, how awesome is the new Puffin designer series of classic kids books?)
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