Artist Goals – What Every Artist Needs to Do to Become Successful

There are many artist goals that a beginner artist should set and achieve in order to become successful. In this post, we will cover the key goals that any artist, beginner, or experienced needs to focus on. Starting with a summary of 5 examples of artist goals below we will then expand on these and additional topics such as finding out why you want to be an artist, defining your version of success, how artists set goals, making smarter goals, and much more.

With that, let’s get into it.

Art Goals Examples

  1. The first goal would be to make art consistently. This means creating at least one piece of artwork every day, not just on the weekends or holidays!
  2. Creating consistent work will help an artist build their portfolio which is very important for getting jobs as well as selling your work online.
  3. Another artist goal that beginners should have is to create multiple styles of artwork so they can diversify what they offer clients.
  4. A third artist goal that beginners should try to achieve is making friends with other artists who might want to collaborate with you on projects or ask for your opinion about their works-in-progress!
  5. Finally, artist goals for beginners should include marketing their art. There are many ways to market an artist’s work including social media, blogging about your artwork, and experiences as a beginner artist! Do not forget to promote yourself offline too like visiting local galleries or fairs where you can speak with professionals in the industry about how they might be able to help you meet other artists who share similar styles of artwork that could potentially collaborate with them in future projects!

Now that you have an idea as to what artist goals are, I would like to impart some more of my own experience as well as that I have picked up from fellow artists that have enabled them to become successful as an artist.

Follow some or all of these and you will be already setting yourself apart from the usual beginner artists who spend their days wondering why they haven’t had any success yet.

artist goals 5 key goals 1

Get clear about your big picture – why do you want to be an artist?

How would you like to be known as an artist? What artist goals do you hope to achieve?

Why do you want to be an artist? The true answer will help you set the right goals.

If your ‘why’ is to be famous then the goals would be different from those if you want to be wealthy as an artist. And again, if you want to just make a living as a working artist then the goals will again be different.

Work out why you want to be an artist and you will be able to better plan your goals. For example, if you want to be a famous artist you can focus mostly on the promotion of yourself and your works.

If it is about the money you can focus on high-quality works with a small group of fans or benefactors.

If you want to be a working artist you can focus on quality affordable work for regular customers.

Set artist goals that are stretching but achievable that are the baby steps needed to achieve the image of what you want success as an artist to look like.

For example, I want to be known as a prolific artist who creates a large body of quality work and I want an exhibition of new work every year.

To achieve that I need a mini-goal of creating one new piece each week (because let’s face it, we all need deadlines!).

I have goals for the week (create at least a piece of artwork), then bigger goals for the month (complete 4 works and plan a theme), and a final goal for the year (get at least 5 works in an exhibition and to sell all of my works).

Don’t forget about the details either. You may have set out some amazing artist goals for yourself but what else can help bring these dreams into reality?

Do you know how long it takes on average to create a full-length book cover illustration from start to finish including concepting and revisions with feedback etc?

Or an interior scene in comic format plus storyboard thumbnails? If you don’t know what it takes to realistically achieve a goal then you are just guessing or at worst, dreaming.

You need to start measuring how long it takes you to complete a piece of artwork and be honest with yourself.

Keep a diary or spreadsheet or a whiteboard to help you keep track. Information is king when it comes to success.

Before you make your goals you need to define your version of success.

“Success to me is making a comfortable living as an artist”.

“Success to me is to be well known in my country”.

“Success to me is to have my own studio and support myself”.

“Success to me is to be able to paint on weekends and slowly quit my day job”.

It could be one of these or something totally different. What is your version of success as an artist? Have a think about it.

Everything starts with this goal.

How do artists set goals?

Most artists have just one single big goal and they fumble their way towards it without actually thinking about the baby steps required to achieve it.

Many will write it down as some affirmation on a mirror using Post-It notes, most though write it in an artist statement and don’t actually realize they have set a goal.

So what are these goals?

It is the artist’s goal so it can be anything! It might be a painting you want to create, a gallery show or even just to create an artist statement that highlights what you wish to happen in your life as an artist.

You need to write down all of this stuff and then review them regularly.

Set up some deadlines for yourself – don’t forget these! Put them somewhere where you’ll see them daily – like on your wall next to your sketchbook. If something doesn’t get done by its due date then move it into another column. Maybe there was too much work involved with that artist task so instead, put it as “future” art tasks

Make your goals “smarter”

What do I mean when I say make your goals smarter? I mean, make them achievable.

Think about the artist goals you have written down and ask yourself these questions:

– How long is it going to take?

– What steps do I need to be able to achieve this artist goal?

For example, if one of your artist goals was “In six months, my art will show in a group exhibition” then that’s great! However, what are those next steps needed for that artist’s goal? Maybe needing some works completed before applying would help with achieving this artist goal – so breaking up the larger goal into smaller ones might work better. Also thinking about deadlines for small tasks could prove helpful too as well as setting specific times where you can fit in more work.

Keep yourself accountable by keeping a journal

Keep yourself accountable by keeping a journal of artist goals. Your artist journal should contain all your artist goals, deadlines to milestones reached for each artist goal you have set. Also, keep track of anything that blocks you or slows you down and how you overcame each one. Chances are these may be recurring issues that you will need to factor in when you set some new goals and if you remember how you overcame them, you can better estimate your ability to achieve them.

What are some artist goals that would help me become a successful artist?

– How can I achieve my first major art exhibition?

– What’s the best way to start building an audience of collectors and followers interested in my work?

Learn to set achievable goals and learn how to use a Kanban board or Trello app to help you keep track of what you need to achieve each week or month.

Do a goal check against your ‘why’

Do a goal check against your ‘why’ to make sure you’re on the right path. It is way too easy to get distracted or diverge from your original path.

I suffer from Shiny Object syndrome. The Shiny Object Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals devote all of their attention to something new, current, or fashionable, but then lose interest as soon as something new comes along.

If you spot yourself suffering from this, then doing a regular goal check will help you assess whether you should keep focusing on your original goal or actually park the original goal and pursue something new.

At least this way, you made a conscious decision to divert your attention rather than just fumbling through.

Make quarterly goals instead of annual ones

Make quarterly goals instead of annual ones because it will give you just enough time to achieve them but not too long to lose focus.

During this time you can also come up with ideas, create something, and revise it. Due dates are also easier for most people because every three months is still only 4 times a year which isn’t too much of a hassle compared to 52 deadlines in any given year if you follow weekly goals.

I know that quarterly artist goals might sound like overkill but if you really want to finish your pieces then this will help encourage better habits leading towards artist success!

Decide on a style of art you want to create

If you have yet to develop a style or produce art that is recognizably yours then you need to decide on a style of art that will be your signature.

This is because artists who develop artworks in all different styles never tend to make it. The truly successful artists are the ones who pick a style and produce a large body of work in that style.

Yes, you can change your style once you get bored with it, but when you do change your style, then you need to pump out a large body of work in the new style before you change again.

Once you leave a style, do not go back to it. You need to show growth and progress as an artist.

Try something completely new and fun

Try something completely new and fun and learn to experiment. When you experiment you will uncover your limitations and you will learn what challenges you and what keeps you growing.

If you are unsure where to start then visit artist communities and workshops in your area. You can Google these quite easily.

There is no need to go at it alone. There are artist communities, galleries, and other artists out there that can help you along the way. The more experienced artists will be able to teach you techniques that they have discovered through their experiences as an artist.

In addition, many artist opportunities exist outside of classes such as visiting art shows or getting involved with a local artist group or club. You may even meet someone who can be instrumental later on when you look for a gallery representative.

– Join online groups

– Attend open studios & exhibitions

– Find a mentor

Find an artist who inspires you and study their work

Visit artist studios and galleries. Collect inspiration from the work of other artists.

Learn, steal or borrow from other artists until you develop something that can be uniquely you.

This can be through looking at their paintings, reading books about them, or attending artist talks/discussions.

The more you know about what inspires an artist to create art as they do, the better your understanding will be of how to make your own work great!

You may even discover some techniques used by these masters that could inspire a new technique for yourself!

Originality is key in any artist’s success; however, it begins with studying those who have already made a name for themselves within the industry! You don’t have to copy, you just need to get inspired.

Create original works & share them with others.

The most important thing as an artist (regardless if you’re just starting out) is producing art and producing art regularly.

Develop habits that support your artistic goals

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Seriously, don’t wait for inspiration, just do it

Being an artist is more than just creating pretty pictures – it’s a way of living. Be kind to yourself and discover what processes & habits work best for you so that your art can reflect who YOU are as an artist!

Commit to the long haul, but also allow room for self-care. Success comes from being true to our unique voice and vision; if we become paralyzed by fear or comparisons, we’ll never be able to truly shine! Share your art with others rather than keeping it all locked up inside.

Be honest about yourself as a person – do not go into debt over trying to achieve success in something you’re not passionate about doing.

It’s important when starting out as an artist that you know why you wanted to take on this career path and know that developing a habit is as easy as just digging deep and working even when you don’t feel like it or have no inspiration.

Successful people ‘just do’ even if the results are not the best, they keep working at it. Those who sit around looking at motivation memes or posters just get addicted to more motivation and use that activity as a form of procrastination.

Discipline is key to developing a habit that supports your artist goals.

Practice! There is no substitute for experience when it comes to creating art

Don’t be afraid of failure.

Keep going and don’t give up.

If you want to be a successful artist, then these are some of the artist goals that each beginner artist should set in order to become a success!

Remember – if you have an interest in something it is likely because there is talent there too so just let yourself shine through when creating your art.

Your inner artist knows what they need to do even though sometimes we get distracted by all the noise around us or other things not related to our artist goals.

Career coaching for artists

Lastly, if all else fails you then you may consider getting a career coach for artists to help you out. They will be able to help you set artist goals and give you tips on how to become a successful artist. You can also discuss your past experiences, artist successes as well as artist failures!

Remember that no one starts out being an amazing artist so it takes practice before getting there which is why setting high artist goals yet realistic ones for yourself are important.

Get started today – Get writing and make your artistic goals!

I hope I have given you some ideas and actionable tips to setting artist goals but these mean nothing if you don’t actually put pencil to paper and write something down. So go ahead and get started with artist goals today!

These artist goals do not need to be just for your art either. You can also use these techniques to set goals in other areas of life such as financial, social, or health-related ones that will help you become a more well-rounded individual so don’t let yourself turn into an “artist” only person.

What are some artist goals you have already set? Let us know! Thanks again for reading – talk soon!

Sources

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Reddit r/GetMotivated

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