Projects vs. Goals | 2014
Okay, be prepared to read my thoughts; I apologize in advance if this becomes long-winded, but I hope you stick with me to the end.
Now that all the general disclaimers are set, let’s get into it!
These last 7 days have been a time for me to gather my thoughts about the direction I will be going artistically for the year, and I made it a point to not to pick up any official projects since I have been doing those for the last two years consistently and I am finding them to be less of a challenge and more of a routine. There is no true joy in that for me. So, the last seven days have been about looking at the lessons learned from last year, and how I can apply them moving forward in the new year.
I am going to begin with a few thoughts about removing negatives and bring about “positivisms” :
I have uncluttered myself from those negative people and unhelpful internal dialogues. I have removed the people who only wanted to bring drama and turmoil into my life because they cannot let go of the past or the people who like to cause mischief because their life is not complete without it. I have to say, “Isn’t the world and the internet a big enough place to create space?”. But, there is a silver lining and a way to create those positivisms.
Owning up to my grudges and mistakes brought about two wonderful things: 1) I was able to forgive those people for who they are and what they represent; and 2) It allowed me to turn off some of those internal dialogue demons that had me second guessing my approach to art and life, in general.
It was not easy to have someone personally attack me and a few random pieces of art that managed to make it onto the internet because they just didn’t like me simply due to path-crossing circumstances created by themselves. I did not handle the situation as I could have by feeding into the words of others, but I tried to be above it all, which actually allowed for those damning words and hurtful browbeating to fester more. Though, falling into the trap of listening to others in the past is one of the lessons that helped me through 2013’s shenanigans and aided me towards that positivism of forgiveness.
Now, this is not a post about being victimized or wanting the reader to feel sorry for me. This is purely matter-of-fact. Things have transpired, shit has happened, and it is over and done with. This is working towards a point, I promise.
The second negative block of the two was the internal dialog that perpetuated fear in pursuing my dreams. Some of the negative critics in life took me back to a place when I was majoring in art during my youth where I cultivated those negative thoughts about my work and skill level. Looking back now, it was silly, but because I did not create “Florida-inspired” work (I worked heavily in mixed mediums, comic design, and anime), I was not taken as a serious budding artist by judges when my work was submitted to showcases. It wasn’t that I didn’t receive high marks, but I never received recognition beyond the words of my classmates and teachers. Every contest was an honorable mention ribbon and the internal destructive dialog began.
“I’m not good enough”, “My style sucks”, etc.; Robin Griggs Wood is someone I wish I would have known in my teens to shake me from that kind of cycle.
Alas, with age comes experience, and something I was able to do over the last two years was create good habits by critiquing myself based on real, tangible avenues instead. When I set up a shot or take test shots, I say to myself, “Is the light dramatic enough?”, “Do I think the viewer will receive the intended message?”, “Would framing this make for a stronger piece?”, etc.
In addition to critiquing myself in a positive way, I have had the chance to take part in critiquing in school and in an online format, which has helped me grow. When you can think positively about a critique and remove anything personal, then you have this amazing ability to learn. The positivism here is opening up yourself and your work in a constructive way so that you don’t see the feedback as damning, but as a step towards getting better.
So, the moral to this section is don’t perpetuate negativity (as this is the last time I am bringing it up in 2014 and within this post), forgive, let it go, and focus on how you can sustain positivisms in your life and your work.
Now, you have the positivisms I am embracing as I go forward, so now we are going to look at the meat to this post…
Projects vs. Goals
Projects are absolutely awesomesauce if you need structure to help harness all that creativity into something productive. I started out 2012 with a 365, added a 52, and completed 2 additional 52-projects in 2013. I have proven to myself that I can and will meet any structured challenge, but where will that leave me in 2014? Let me tell you:
I am going to set goals this year. Very broad goals to not stifle creativity, but to help enhance the flow for the year. These goals, which I have carefully considered over the last 7 days, are going to allow me to still have the freedom to do whatever the hell I feel like, but it will give me certain checkpoints along the way to delve into other things and not get too lazy. Plus, there are one or two that will get me in the practice of being a good internet housekeeper, so to speak.
So, here are the goals for 2014:
1. I will create at least 5 reconstructions this year;
2. I will create at least 6 images using a cell phone that parallel my DSLR standard;
3. During 2014, I will create no less than 5 tutorials. There may be videos involved (1 tutorial will definitely have one for sure), but there will definitely be enough information in the post to recreate the style;
4. I will try at least 3 new techniques in 2014;
5. Beginning January 8, 2014, I will begin creating organized folders for my images to be placed in on G+. There will no longer be an out-of-control array of images;
6. I will be sure to post at least 1 image a week. The goal is quality over quantity. This means I will make a concerted effort each week to create something;
7. The word for the year is composition. This means that I may take more shots because I want to attempt capturing the best angle for each piece of artwork. Composition is going to be key;
8. I will make no less than 6 shots with the specific intent of being monochromatic or grayscale;
9. I will shoot at least one project for a commercial reason;
10. I will regularly participate in critiquing sessions online or locally;
11. I will make an effort to capture at least 3 candid or street photography shots;
12. There will be no lapse in my participation with SSP or The Art of Self Portraiture community;
13. School work will be a priority, and it will be shared with an open critique policy blanket attached – though, school work (in whole) will not count as one of the 14 other goals, but parts of them could if done prior to the class assignment;
14. There will be at least one epic landscape this year; and
15. I will learn something new each week and report about it here or on my blog; consider it a weekly reflection to decompress and move toward the fresh week.
That is it.
I have 15 goals, which are not limiting; they are actually loose directions to keep me growing and learning productively. As I wrote each one out, I felt the positivisms jumping for joy!
So, that pretty much wraps up this extremely verbose posting, and as a reward for reading so much and likely killing your retinas, I have provided something like an image-type reward.
I am really looking forward to tomorrow and kicking this year’s goals into gear! I hope you will all stick with me until 2015! ♥