5 Ways to Prepare Your Art Career for the New Year

It is never too early to start planning for the upcoming year. However it can be late if you start on January 1st. Personally, I like to start in October making more solid plans for the upcoming year. In fact, I recommend the artists I work with to start around this time as well. Here are 5 ways to help you prepare your art career for the new year. Don’t wait until the holidays hit you. Before you know it, January 1st will be showing up in your calendar.

1. Evaluate What You Have Done So Far

You should not start planning for the future without taking a hard look at what you have accomplished thus far. Sometimes you may feel you have not accomplished much until you take inventory of what you have done so far. Make a simple list outlining everything you have done this year. Include your solo shows, group shows, talks, projects, sales, studio discoveries, ideas, new relationships, and any other highlight worth mentioning. Look at it and celebrate your wins!

2. Disconnect to Reconnect

Sometimes we need to disconnect from the work in order to reconnect with ourselves. This is quite challenging to accomplish these days due to all the noise that comes our way through the web, social media and mobile devices. This past summer, I was a few days away from the country isolated from electronic devices. I used this unplanned time to reconnect with myself and do some planning. Instead of using my computer, I just used old fashion pen and paper to write down my thoughts and future plans. You may not need to go miles away to disconnect. However, it helps to disconnect once in a while to recalibrate and reconnect with your source. It is so important in the planning stage.

3. Write Down Your New Goals

This may seem like a no-brainer but you will be surprised as to how many artists don’t actually write down their goals. I am a big fan of using Evernote. Check out my review of the app here if you have not heard of it before. Evernote pretty much is an app that helps you stay organized. If you use Evernote or any other project/self management application, simply create a note where you start jotting down your goals for the new year. Identify short term and long term goals. Prioritize the list, assign deadlines and identify small actions for each goal. The idea here is that you come to this note every week until the end of the year to finalize your planning.

4. Plan to Learn

Just because you are out of art school it does not mean that ongoing learning is no longer important. in fact, you should plan time to learn new things. Chances are if you don’t plan it, it may not happen. What do you need to learn that will help you grow your art career? Do you need to learn Photoshop or how to create an email newsletter? Do you need to learn better marketing strategies or how to create exhibition proposals? Plan for it. How? Jot down a list of the things you want to learn and spend some time finding the resources necessary to achieve your annual learning goals. Click here to see all the amazing learning video courses included in the Art NXT Level membership program.

5. Join a Brainstorming Team

It is proven that two are better than one. When you connect with other like-minded artists to share your career plans, you get a better perspective about your own plans. You also get feedback and ideas that otherwise you may have not come up with on your own. There is incredible power behind a brainstorming group. Where do you find one? You can either create your own with a few trusted artists and mentors or join an existing one. We have designed the Art NXT Level Strategic Group to brainstorm with the artists we work with. We are serious about strategic thinking and focus on designing powerful roadmaps. Through our monthly virtual meetings, members have the opportunity to brainstorm with other like-minded artists. Check it out here.

To end this post, I just want to encourage you to take action. Self-help guru Tony Robins said “Knowledge isn’t power; it’s potential power. Execution trumps knowledge any day of the week.” If you want to make a substantial growth in your art career for the new year, you’ve got to take action like you have never done it before.



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