For many years I’ve had a tradition of lining up all the sketchbooks from a year and flipping through them on NYE. This year I wanted to do a more serious review and so I’ve been taking all week to go through them. I’m looking at every page carefully and reading every word. I’m also assessing my work in regard to the goals I set at the start of the year.
This morning I asked three questions on Instagram:
1. Do you set yourself any art/sketching goals?
2. If yes, can you share your goals?
3. What aspects of your art do you want to work on in 2022?
It’s been really fun to get some responses… so I wanted to ask the same questions here as well.
At the moment on Instagram, 30% of people do set art goals for themselves (which is a good number!) and one of the recurring themes in the answers for questions 2 and 3 is wanting to create a daily practice.
This is a topic that I love to think about and discuss! Practice is very important but it’s only part of the picture. To see real development in your work you need to add some research to your practice – it must be deliberate practice. Otherwise, it’s easy to get a little stuck and do the same thing over and over (get into a holding pattern). It’s even possible to cement bad habits.
2021 has been a really great year for me in terms of output – I’ve never done as much everyday sketching!
As I look through my work I see a lot of repetition. Part of that is inevitable, as my daily life IS repetitive and my intention to sketch 6 days a week does mean that some days I just go through the motions. Daily projects, such as my 100+ teacups during our Sydney lockdown, also have this tendency as simply sketching the same subject every day can be a struggle.
But it’s really interesting to see how much my sketchbook work has been impacted by the Group Run-throughs of my SketchingNow courses. There is no doubt that the weekly livestreams keep me motivated to do the work and to explore the concepts for the current course in a new way. I always have to have something new to show the group. This is a vital way of adding some deliberateness to my practice. So thanks to everyone who has been a part of the Group Run-throughs this year. Your inspiration has been huge in 2021 and I can’t wait to go through Foundations (starting next week) with you! One of the things I want to work on in 2022 is to sketch more objects from my life in order to tell better stories about my everyday life… and I know that Foundations will be perfect for that. But I’m getting ahead of myself as that is what I want to share more about tomorrow when I do my yearly review.
And in terms of goals (more about this tomorrow as well)… in recent years I’ve been more focused on developing habits and I’ve been influenced by James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. In fact, I just discovered that he has a great article on deliberate practice here. Ah! this is another big topic that I could write more about. 🙂
But for now…
I’d love to hear from you and your response to these three questions. So if you have time I would love to hear about any goals or areas of your art that you would like to work on in the comment section below.
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