I suppose I can feel good that I got a great start on my major studio goal for this year - creating a body of work based on my bird photographs. I have two pieces that have been well received that used my bird photographs but I've been somewhat stymied on how to expand on this start. So, this is my first and most ambitious goal. The two pieces I've already done are Backyard Bushtits #3 which I posted in the year in review and Quantum Lake seen just below this text. Quantum Lake is now matted and framed so the binding doesn't show anymore.
I have some ideas about how to pursue this series and trying them out will bring other goals to the forefront. The other major issues in my goal setting for the year are my various health issues. I have knee & back problems from injuries that are decades old and will probably continue to decline. What that means right now is that I need to focus my effort in ways that do not require me to personally travel extensively or lift lots of heavy things. So, I came up with goals that minimize my physical effort and travel time. Here's the list of those related goals.
- Using my new camera which will allow me to take photos in RAW mode
- Learning to use Photoshop to more precisely manipulate and enhance the photos
- continue creating my own cloth using dyes and various surface design techniques
- experiment with different styles of work using my photography as a major component (this might include adding text elements or even doing things that are primarily writing)
- Explore online ways of teaching or sharing my experience in various techniques
- Explore other ways to market my work that minimizes my physical effort
These goals don't easily lend themselves to measuring so I also came up with a list of easily measurable items that will set my habits and give me some sense of accomplishment no matter how the exploration in the studio goes.
- Put in 700 hours in the studio for the year. Aim for 10-15 hours in the studio per week on average.
- Blog twice a week. I did that for a couple of years when I started and once I got the habit going, it worked well. My knee replacement surgery and moving disrupted that habit so now it's a matter of getting it back in place.
- Write my newsletter at least every other month, aiming for 6-9 times a year. Shameless self-promotion: Send email to email@example.com if you'd like to get it. I mostly use the newsletter to talk about the shows I'm in and new galleries that show my work so they're short with lots of pictures.
- Submit to at least 6 relevant shows. I want to more tightly focus my marketing efforts so I'm going to be looking for regional and national shows with thematic relevance.
- Do one marketing/admin activity each day, Monday through Friday.
- Read art related magazines or other material on Sunday afternoons. I have a huge stack backed up, it's time to whittle that down a bit.
Then there are the personal goals.
- Work the back pain issue. It's time to get another look at just what's going on; is there still a bulging disc or is it just the leg length difference from the knee replacement surgery irritating things?
- Exercise regularly and do this first. If I don't do it first, I tend to skip it.
- Meditate daily. This too got irregular over the last few months when I was putting more energy into working at a co-op gallery and traveling enough to really aggravate my back.
- Lose weight. Aim for 4 pounds a month on average.
So, now I have a list to check back on and help keep me on track.