The Artist's Journey: Goal Setting for Going Pro
Updated: Mar 16
Hey! Good news everybody! I've decided to switch around my whole thing between day jobs and making art!! Instead of working full-time for a day job and doing art and adventuring on the side sometimes, this month, this exact day, actually is my first day of full-time art/ adventuring and part-time day job! I'm so over-the-top excited, this is literally 8 exclamation points in one paragraph!!!
Now, I'm not only really excited and a tiny bit anxious about this change, I'm also getting super organized around all the things I need to do to give myself the best chance for success. I thought it'd be cool to share some of the things I'm working on, and keep a little adventurer log here to reflect on the whole process of becoming and being a full-time professional artist and taking those dreams and turning into goals!
I'm starting with some SMART goals to help keep me focused. I tend to get excited about lots of things and then get super distracted so that it's hard to complete projects and unfinished things end up piling up. That can be really discouraging, and I don't think it's uncommon among creative folks.
SMART Goals are effective because they are designed to be achievable. Since I'm just starting out now, I'm making SMART Goals around building up my productivity and holding accountable to project timelines.
Here are some of my Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely Goals for March:
Goal: Fully-active Patreon page by April 1, 2020
Artist bio - with art
Page intro - with art
3 posted art images
2 prepared art images to post later
Original header art
Original profile art
Goal: 5 new original illustrations in portfolio by the end of each month - March 31
Equipment/ food illustration
Full scene illustration
Goal: Create Project calendar - week/ month Determine continual deadlines for recurring projects/ activity:
Salted Caramel illustration
New fantasy/ adventure illustrations
Measurable: be consistent with schedule for one month, or make adjustments as needed
Timely: First trial schedule drafted by March 14, 2020, evaluate
These goals are really important not only for keeping me on track, but also for keeping my expectations realistic. Especially now when I'm full of energy and excitement about doing something new, it'd be easy for me to set too high expectations for myself. And the problem with too-high expectations, of course, is that I'm not likely to be able to actually achieve them, and that can be really discouraging. I'm setting goals that I can build up from, they seem simple now, but they're the kind that are sustainable.