Thursday, December 26, 2013

Setting Goals for 2014: Art and Business

"Dew On The Web"
Christmas is over, the New Year is on the way, I've been cleaning up my studio and I'm about ready to get going on my next adventure in art quilting!

I've been in a rather negative funk creatively since my show in September.  I worked all summer creating many new pieces and filled the gallery with my work.  Unfortunately I base my success with a gallery show on the sales because that is what keeps a gallery alive and successful--and willing to book me again down the road!  I had one small sale.

Since then I have wondered about what I would consider success in regards to my art and evaluating what I hope to accomplish over the next year.  I don't usually make "resolutions" for the new year, but I do write down what kind of things I want to accomplish with my business and what I'd like to do next.  So far I've been rather successful with meeting those goals and getting to where I'd like to be with my efforts.  I have gotten my name and my work out there for people to see, I've won some awards, been published with images as well as how-to articles, taught a successful class, and sold quite a number of artworks over the past six years.  I already have a solo exhibition set up for 2014 and it is in a new venue outside of my local area which is quite promising.  I have a new gallery showing my work on the other side of our (rather large!) state, and the owner is enthusiastic about my work and so far very enjoyable to work with. 

Unfortunately this year my local gallery, River's Mist, is closing its doors so that reduces where I am able to show my work locally.  I do hope to find other representation in the area but the options are limited in this market.  I'm working on a proposal to another fine art gallery in the area and once I get my website somewhat updated I'll pursue representation with them.  They do not currently show any fiber art (could be good or bad...?) but they have a great contingency of artists that I would be proud to show with.

Currently I am considering the following for my business and art goals for 2014.  Sharing them with you could be risky, but they all seem doable to me so I guess I'll take that risk!

1.  Publish more articles in more magazines--at least 2 new ones
2.  Obtain another gallery either in the Bitterroot Valley (where I live) or elsewhere in the region, to replace the one in my hometown that is closing.
3.  Create more challenging pieces that I have ideas for but haven't taken the time to work on.
4.  Continue trying to get into one or more of the top fiber art shows in the country.
5.  Re-organize my studio and keep the business side of things organized.
6.  Start saving up for a trip to attend one of the major quilt shows or an art quilting workshop/retreat.
7.  Join Artist's Along the Bitterroot and participate in their studio tour.
8.  Try to teach on a regular basis, design new classes, keep in touch with potential students.
9.  Develop and maintain an e-mail list for people interested in my art and classes.
10.  Update and maintain my website with current work and information.

One of those items, #3, relates to what I actually want to do with my art and it will be a challenging one for me.  Taking more time with one piece from start to finish means that I can't turn out smaller pieces for my local galleries that need the lower priced work for sales.  I think I need to move into doing things that are more interesting and maybe even innovative--and possibly larger.  Many of the fiber art shows that I aspire to seem to like the larger pieces as they have a much bigger impact in a show.

Local sales versus national recognition.  I've been trying to work on both of these and it is difficult to find time for it all.  So this year I'll hope to change my focus and go for the national recognition.  I believe that will lead to more publishing, more teaching, and maybe even some larger sales down the road.

I'm ready to overcome my challenges of the past few months and change my melancholy attitude into a more positive and  foreward-thinking one.  I have had a modicum of success with my work in the six years that I have been pursuing this and I am proud of that.  I know that I can continue to get better and find more and even richer success in the coming years, so I need to continue working towards that.

Setting goals was never something I did for my life until I decided to pursue art quilting as a business.  Now I find it rewarding to review what I have done and see that I have been reaching goals, accomplishing what I have set out to do, and finding it rewarding.  Not every effort is successful, but in the whole I have been blessed with good fortune, a positive response to my artwork, and wonderful opportunities.  I thank all the people who have supported me along the way and look forward to casting my net even wider and creating an even larger circle of supporters.

Wish me luck! 
I wish you all the very best of health, happiness, and prosperity for the coming year!!


Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...