Friday, February 5, 2016

Thinking About Artistic and Personal Goals

Jacquiline Calladine - photo by Tanaya Caim
I have come to know a lovely artist named Jacqueline Calladine (learn more about her and her wonderful ideas and artwork at  She is currently working on an inspirational and motivational journey she's referring to as Wild Creative.  In it, she challenges us to look within at our true motivations for what we do.  

I love the process of being introspective and thoughtfully reviewing the choices I'm making both in my personal life and my artistic/business life!  I find her methodology unique and it provides some interesting insight about myself.

One of the first questions she asks is:  "What are the core values that drive your creative practice and/or business?"  

Most of us set goals for ourselves that are based on what we deem to be success, but often success is a somewhat nebulous thing which is in reality, defined by societal norms and NOT by what our soul is really searching for!  So when our goals are forced to change, we often see that as failure.  If your goals are set with your core values as the focus, then if a goal has to change, it will change within the framework of the core values you have... giving you the opportunity to see it as acceptable change rather than damaging failure.
For example, I've had a goal to start teaching silk painting etc.  And my assumption (prior to Jacquie's inspiration) was to have my goal be that I MUST have a large studio outside of my home, big enough for many people to be taught in.  Having that large studio MUST prove that I'm successful.    However, upon reviewing my personal core values, I've realized that my real goals are more along the lines of teaching with the idea of connecting with other people - providing them with something they would see as valuable (knowledge) and in reciprocation, providing me with the feeling of being valued for my knowledge and skills.  I am now better able to understand that I don't HAVE to have the large studio outside of my home to teach (yes I would still love one, but it doesn't make me a better, more-successful artist just by the virtue of having one).  

Jacquie challenged us to find our 3 main core values (and trust me, it is hard to narrow it down to just 3!!).  But after a good deal of thought, and a quick perusal and use of the worksheets in Danielle LaPorte's book Fire Starter Sessions... I have finally settled on what I feel are my current core values for my personal life, art practice, and business.  Those values are:

  • Creative. (sounds like a "duh"... but I have found I MUCH prefer creating new things rather than producing the same thing over and over again!
  • Bio-centric/Eco-centric.  (I'm torn and not sure which of the two is the best... so I'm making them into one value!).  My art is almost always inspired by nature, and my business/art practices honor eco-friendly practices whenever possible. 
  • Reciprocity.  Originally I had the word value here, but I want more than to just be valued. As I said above, I am looking to be valued, to have my art be valued by society and the world as a whole, but I want to add value as well.  I want to connect to others and use my art to help to connect to them, but also to provide ways for others to connect with me through my art and business. 
I plan on posting these words around my home and studio, and I may even carry them in my purse or tote bag.  Making my life, art, and business decisions through the filter of these values, should help me make better, more confident choices!

If you decide to walk down this soul-searching path, I'd love to hear what your 3 values are and why you chose them!  

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