Resolutions? Nope. Planning? Oh Yeah!

New starts have always appealed to me, so it’s no surprise that I look forward to New Year. I do like the revelry and fireworks but I also love spreading big sheets of paper out in my studio and having a brainstorming session. I relish setting objectives for the year – its like starting a new painting and seeing the endlessly exciting possibilities. So although I don’t want time to fly by, I am always ready to ring in the New Year and start planning for the 12 months ahead.

Artist Alison Nicholls in a new year planning session.
Thats me – enjoying a planning session!

Excessive planning?

When I started my career as a full-time artist in 2004, I read all kinds of marketing newsletters and soon I had created lists of daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks and annual tasks. For several years this worked well for me, but the more I learned, the bigger my marketing/exhibiting/admin ‘to-do’ list became. I grew tired of the structure, and found that my painting was suffering, so for the last couple of years I’ve gone in the other direction and mostly ignored my annual objectives and tasks lists. But that hasn’t worked for me either, as I’m the kind of person who needs some structure and organization to be productive. So in 2019 I’m going back to ‘my’ basics – a New Year planning session and a slimmed down list of objectives for the year.

Over the years I’ve discovered that this kind of planning helps me set achievable goals, advances my career and even offers me ways to evaluate my art, but I need to be aware that too much planning can lead to very little action!

I have a theory that excessive planning particularly plagues watermedia artists because our medium requires so much advance planning to be fresh and expressive (more on this coming up soon).

Does any of this sound familar?
Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Resolutions? Nope. Planning? Oh Yeah!

  1. Chloe Fenech

    Totally agree, I am an obsessive planner and list-maker (but rarely a sticks-to-the-list-er) and have aid out some objectives for the year. Of course there’s also room for unplanned ideas and the inevitable muses! 🙂

  2. Alison Post author

    Absolutely, Chloe!
    And I haven’t forgotten about my promise (on which I failed to deliver in 2018) to write a blog post for your blog too. Lmk if you are still interested in having me do that. Happy New Year! Ali


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