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Measuring Progress

At the beginning of our lockdown in 2020, I made a "Vision Board" of goals for my art business. I was in a business group and we were all floundering around trying to figure out how to make business happen, and lacked direction. My career in advertising was at a standstill, and I decided to focus my energies where they made me the happiest, my artmaking. When I'm creating I am happy and lose the sense of time. Painting is a great de-stressor.

My Vision Board

Here is my board, which I put together from a template in Canva.

My main goal is to pursue art full-time. Did I achieve that goal this year? No, but I did make connections that will help me get closer. I also did increase the amount of art I sold, and improved how I sell it.

How Did I Do?

Let's take a look at all the other goals and see how I did:

My Main, big audacious goal, is to do Art Full time, so that statement sits in the middle and everything else is trying to support that pursuit of that goal.

My Mini goals are:

  • To sell my art

  • have fun

  • get represented

  • be followed on social

  • and be an influencer

Reflecting on these goals, I did begin to sell quite a few pieces. Interestingly, this ties in with my "be followed on socil" goal. The more followers I find on Social media, the increased likelihood of selling my art. The more I post, the more people see what I am doing, and they inquire about purchasing. I did three commissions this year and they all came from social media posts. I also sold some pieces right off of Instagram posts.

I did gain followers, in fact over the last 90 days, I added 10% more and reached more than 13,000 accounts. Of those 612 were engaged. I have diligently been trying to post updates of my works in progress and people have liked my watercolors when I paint outside.

Did I have fun? You Bet! I became active in several groups this year. A drawing group in Durham that originally was meeting over Zoom and then started in-person meetings at Golden Belt in Durham. Another group meets to draw in Downtown Raleigh and another visits locations around the Triangle.

I did not get represented, BUT I did reach out to a local brewery and they agreed to show my art in their front room. I put that together earlier this month and they also bought a piece I painted of their business and plan to make t-shirts using my image.

The piece above titled "Cotton House" was purchased by the brewery to be used on their tshirts. Nine of my acrylic paintings depicting historic Cary buildings are featured in their main tap room.

Did I become an influencer? Not in the art world, but I did make many valuable connections with fellow artists with many different styles and levels of professionalism. I hope that I can gain knowledge on selling and also in practice to become a better artist over time.

When I look at the steps I took this year to further my career and get closer to my goals I can see I grew. I took on the role of a board member of an arts organization. I was asked to be on a podcast to help other artists get their art into shows and pop-up markets. I tried doing this blog, and while I got a good start early last year, I did fall off the wagon on posting, so I hope to get back into that habit.

Ditto on making videos. I hope to spend more time doing that as the weather gets colder and I spend more time inside.

Looking Ahead

As I look ahead to 2022, I want to make 3 big goals:

Sell more art online- be that on Facebook/ Instagram, my website, or on Etsy

To get into shows or to have my work shown in businesses

Launch my Pop-up Art Business

If I keep up with my vision board and move towards those goals, I might surprise myself.

How about you? Have you set some big and little goals for the coming year? How do you plan to measure them?

Happy Creating!

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