A giant leap of faith. 

A little over a month ago, after a lot of soul searching, I decided it was time to leave my day job and follow my art full time.  This was not a decision made lightly and was done with the full support of my family. I loved the work I was doing and still to thIs day believe in the importance of it. But it was time to move forward and embrace life with joy. 
I have spent the last 17 years always having some form of regular employment. To be honest I never imagined my life as a full time artist. I was always 50/50 artist/environmental professional. I am still coming to grips with the concept that I am self employed not unemployed. 

For now I am happy, at peace and full of inspiration. And very ready for where his adventure takes me.

Goals – Where I wanted my art to go two and a half years ago.

Do you ever make lists, only to loose them and find them later?
Me, I write things down all the time only to forget to ever look at them again.

A few weeks ago I found something in a book. Something that had been long forgotten. But now that it has been found has shown me just how far I have come and how much further I have left to go.

Back in March 2012 I was camping alone behind my artist tent at a festival in South Florida. There are two parts to these festivals. There is the part that happens when the public is around. Then the after hours festivities which have the own special magic. I turned in early, no longer able to handle being the lone mosquito magnet at the drum circle. Retreating to my tent, I read by flashlight until the drums and chanting began to lull me to sleep. The book I had brought with me was Art Marketing 101. I must have been reading about setting goals because I made a list of artist goals for myself on an index card.

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My March 2012 goals for my art.

Fast forward to September 2014. I had long since forgotten my list, but had pulled out the book because I was needing to reference some information for a project I was working on. In it I found a pink index card dated March 2012. It was my list of artist goals which I had set for myself. That one little piece of paper told me how far I have come and how far I still have to go in my journey. Some of the goals I have met, others I am still working on, and some still I have discovered are just not quite for me. I decided to take a look at what have accomplished and what I still wish to work towards.

Publish an Art Book– I am still nowhere near ready for this. One day I will but for now I am going to move this one to my list of long term goals. This is one of those that just needs time to develop and is best not to rush.

Illustrate a Children’s Book– This one I have just recently accomplished. I found to to be a challenging experience both rewarding and frustrating at the same time. I cannot wait to see the finished product, and look forward to future opportunities to work with authors to bring their characters to life.

Have my art in at least three stores by years end– At first I took this to be consignment type arrangements. I did have my artwork placed in two stores breifly. However I found this arrangement to be complicated and have not yet found the best fit for me. It has been some time since I have placed my art in a storefront. I am going to be revisiting this but think I will take a different approach to future agreements with store owners.

Illustrate Book Covers– So far I have done a couple of book covers. The first of which never went to publication and the artwork just sits in my collection. I have however been able to make some money selling the unclaimed images. This is an area that I look forward to the opportunity to do more of in the future.

Develop my Nature Art Line– The past few years my artwork has taken a much more nature centric focus. I am very happy with the developments I have made in this realm. My decision to focus more on the nature art and realism has made me a much stronger artist.

Steven Foster Folk Festival– I have not make it up there yet, but hope to at least visit it to see if it will be a good addition to my even schedule. I have drastically increased the number of events and shows that I attend and have also expanded my range further around the state. There are even plans in the works to start including some out of state events as well.

Take Larry Elmore’s Class– I have done this not once but twice. I could not be happier with how much I grew as an artist and on a personal level that first class. Not only did I gain valuable artistic skills I met some wonderful people who are now part of my art family.

Increase Licensing– I will admit I did not really look in to this much at all. In time I may revisit it but I want to grow more first.

Comic Books– I am not quite sure what I was thinking, but I don’t think that this is for me. But that is a whole other story.

Increase Level of Realism– On this I can say that I have made some really great strides. However I am no where near where I want to be. This is an area that I will continue to work at for as long as I am an artist.

My homework assignment to myself, and to you, is to make a new list of goals. Mine will be a bit more refined than that first list, and will include both short term and long term goals. As well as time frames that I would like to see things accomplished.