Sunday, August 1, 2010

Developing a Personal Plan for Success as an Artist

I was rummaging around in my little studio at home and came across a chart I had saved from the Art Calendar magazine back in 2006.  I hadn't looked at it since. But reading it again today, it dawned on me that this may help me develop a way of using my time off from making art. 

The following chart summarizes a possible road map. I put a line through the things I have accomplished.  The author has developed "7 Goal Categories": 

#1: Solo exhibitions and showing in museums, 
#2: Setting Prices for one's work,
#3: Print media and image marketing,
#4: Teaching,
#5: Documenting yourself and your work, 
#6: Selling at Festivals and
#7: Exhibits and judging.

I put a line through the areas I had completed. As you can see I have nothing to show for Categories 3 and 6, but I'm not sure I am interested in pursuing all the goals.  I'll have to think on it............any suggestions out there?


  1. I think it is cool to look at where you have been, what you have done, to figure out where to go next. This was a handy tool. I think I need to make a chart, too. ;D

  2. Hi Valerie,
    I find this chart really interesting. Was it part of an article. I looked through my back issues and of course I have every issue in '06 *except* for October. Regarding your request for suggestions for items 3 and 6:
    1) I just started researching licensing. There are a number of good books and websites out there on the topic. A book I have found especially helpful is Art Licensing 101 by Michael Woodward (3rd edition).

    As for item 6, I have had my best success here. The first thing I would ask is what are you planning to sell. I take my dolls and hand-pulled prints to antique shows and juried art festivals. My favorite sources for venues are Quilting Arts, Fibre Arts, Art Calendar and my local intown newspapers which often list art shows. E-lists for my area have also been helpful. THe more festivals you do the more you will find that people will contact you directly about participating. Last, every year I choose 2 organizations that I really believe in to donate work. I have received a lot of support and a lot of leads from doing this too. Hope this helps. E-mail me if you want to chat more about this.


  3. Hi Valerie,
    I'm both flattered and thrilled that you've posted this old article, and elated that you've accomplished so many of your goals! The categories outlined in the chart are just samples, as each artist must determine their own ultimate career goal in order to calculate the steps needed to acheive it. Since writing that five years ago, I've dropped some of the categories from my own list, and added new lines to pursue that reflect the current economic changes. That's the nice thing about having career plans -- we can always change them as needed!
    ta ta,

  4. Thanks for posting these 10 year goals. Defining a plan provides a basis for retaining focus without becoming so myopically involved in day to day activities that one can risk losing sight of long range objectives.