The image associated with this post is a single screech owl, but two photos taken successively. In one shot the owls’s eyes were closed and in the other they were open. So I put them together because there’s a lot of symbolism in there that applies to my approach for 2023 art goals and life goals.
Since I began Wild Ozark, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, pretty much fumbling around with my eyes closed. For many years, I wasn’t sure what I was trying to build. But since I found the Ozark pigments, my focus has gotten much clearer. That began in 2018, and while I’ve had art goals, they focused mostly on figuring out how to make paintings with these beautiful, earthy pigments. I still have a lifetime’s worth of learning to do with how to paint. So far, though, I haven’t learned enough about how to build an art business.
For 2023, I’m going to learn and implement some things to do with art biz. Here’s a bullet point summary of my art goals for 2023, in order of priority:
- Regular market hours
- Oil paints & Oil paintings
- Increase Online Sales: Education about Marketing
- Art story & catalog print version
Art Goal #1: Regular Market Hours
It was a tossup as to whether this or my #2 should have been top priority. But without regular sales, there’s no point in continuing to make art that doesn’t get sold (although I wouldn’t be able to stop anyway, I might have to put more effort into getting a ‘real job’ if I can’t get better at the business of selling my own art. Once I decide which market this will be, I’ll make a blog post about that and send the schedule to my mailing list subscribers.
While a market in somewhere like Bentonville might be more lucrative, the travel distance and setup would be more difficult. Harrison is in the opposite direction and has a less affluent profile of visitors, but it’s less of a hassle to go to and set up. Over the next several years, the amount of tourists going through or to Harrison is likely to increase. Dogpatch USA once was the lifeblood for Harrison. If the nature park Johnny Morris is putting at the old Dogpatch location goes forward, then it might well become a tourist layover again. For that matter, Kingston itself might be a good place to reach tourists traveling through to the park and I can just set up closer to home. That would make a nice and convenient way to reach some art goals.
Art Goals #2: Oil Paints & Oil Paintings using the Ozark pigments
This art goal actually competes for first place with having a regular market venue. To continue to have something to market, I have to continue making paintings. And for 2023 I am going to focus on making oil paints and oil paintings.
Art Goals #3: Increase Online Sales – Marketing
While I do want to build a marketing plan, I’m not sure yet what this will look like, lol. However, I’ve bought into some art marketing educational materials specifically for artists, so we’ll see how this goes. Right now I’m learning how to make a sales funnel. I actually hate funnel landing pages I’ve seen by other marketers. HOWEVER, even though I hate them, I’ve been convinced to buy things because of them. So I’ll read through the two different approaches (one by Lloyd Coenen and the other by Miriam Schulman) I’ve bought and pick one to try for the full year and see if it helps increase my online sales.
Final Art Goal for 2023: Art story & catalog
This is something I want to be able to mail to past collectors, or anyone who might be a potential collector. I’ve made a brochure before, but it doesn’t look and feel the way I want it to. The book will be about 50-75 pages and will tell the story of my journey with the Ozark pigments and showcase the art available at the time of printing. I’ll make a new one each year to refresh the art, but unless there’s something new to tell regarding the story, the prose will remain the same. Or perhaps I will just put different stories from my blog in future issues. It’s an experiment and if I don’t like it this year, I just won’t do it again. The cost will be affordable, because I’m doing my own layout and can do print on demand from Amazon. It’ll also be available through the Amazon catalog, so it’s icing if someone out there sees and buys it randomly.
- Exercise my body: Get back into my morning mile. Dance more often while cleaning house -lol, I do this mostly while folding clothes and it’s actually great exercise. But, no, you’ll never see this. I may make a video of my morning mile eventually, though.
- Exercise my mind: It’s important to be able to still the mind so muse and earth-whispers can be heard. And I’m way out of practice and want to get this ability back in shape as much as I want my physical self to be in shape.
If I focus on only these two life goals, it will take care of the other issues I’d like to address: anxiety, anger, stress, fears – things I’m very good at ignoring until it’s critical (here’s the closed-eye owl symbolism).
Taking care of these two items will spill over and influence every part of my life, including my art life. So it’s a win-win proposition.
Word of the Year
To reduce obstacles into smithereens – definition according to Madison 😉
This is the year I want to smash through barriers in my business life, to clear the path to my art goals.
And it’s the year I’m going to be smashing some eggshells. Do you know what I mean about the eggshells? It’s a quest to quit trying to walk on them without breaking any. A person who does this is someone who hates conflict and wants to avoid conflict at all costs. This part is a personal challenge, not a business challenge. And so my personal growth challenge for the year is to learn to smash a few eggshells without getting all bent out of shape over it.
This is where the symbolism for the owl with open eyes comes in. It’s so so hard for me to smash eggshells or cross boundaries, whether they’re self-imposed or societal. I have to open my eyes to see what can be smashed and what needs to be treated with more restraint.
But restraint comes so natural to me. It is my default mode. Allowing myself to override my own default is the goal here. Even adding this very personal section to this post has been an exercise in smashing some eggshells. Whew, and it was hard, but I did it. So that’s a little progress, even if I did revise these last few paragraphs over and over until I feel as if it won’t have smashed too many, haha.