Setting and writing down goals for ourselves is an important practice if we are serious about success. I have found that writing down goals helps me be more accountable, thus increasing my chances of success. As your trusted painting teacher, I would like to suggest that you make 1-3 goals that relate to you as an artists. Being a teacher for over 20 years, I can confidently say that making SPECIFIC goals is important and yields to better results. Below are a few methods to write specific goals for yourself.
Write down your general goal, and 1-3 actions you will take to get there.
Goal: Master my paint streaking technique.
How I will Achieve My Goal:
1–Follow artists on Youtube, Instagram or Facebook that also do paint streaking.
2–Experiment with paint streaking weekly.
Method 2: Set a SMART Goal
In my opinion, setting SMART goals leads to a higher chance of success in achieving them. SMART goals were created by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their article, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives (1981).” Let’s dive deeper!
Specific (simple, sensible, significant). Answers Who? What? Why? Where? Which Resources?
Measurable (meaningful, motivating). How much? How many? How will I know it’s achieved?
Achievable (agreed, attainable). Is it realistic and attainable?
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based). Is this the right time? Is my goal worthwhile?
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive). When will I achieve my goal? How frequently do I take action to achieve it?
Here’s an example of an art goal written in the SMART goal format:
SPECIFIC GOAL: Master my Streak Painting Technique
HOW WILL I MEASURE IT? When I can see obvious and substantial improvement from my current streak paintings to the ones created afterwards. My streak paintings will have stronger compositions and will have more color/value contrast.
HOW WILL I ACHIEVE IT? I will experiment with different ways to master this technique. I plan to be more conscious about composition before streaking. Also, want to experiment with various color values to keep contrast in the piece. Will also look for inspiration from streaking I see in nature (sunsets, stones, etc), and record these observations through photography.
IS IT RELEVANT? Yes! I’m feeling inspired by this technique, but also feel frustration when I do it because I don’t have a lot of control over the process, and often the painting looks too muddy and busy.
WHEN DO I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS? WHAT IS MY TIME COMMITMENT? By June. I would like to dedicate 30 minutes weekly (Sundays) to practice and experiment with this process.
You can see in these examples that I went into more detail about the how, why and when after I used the SMART goal method. This method also has a check in place to be sure this goal is realistic and relevant.
So go ahead and give it a try! What are 1-3 art goals you have? Write them down with the SMART method, share with a friend (and me!), and start taking steps towards achieving them! Feel free to reach out and let me know if I can help you reach any of your art goals!
I am an artist out of Santa Fe, New Mexico who has been painting for almost 30 years. I love to teach first-timers as well as experienced painters who need a creative reboot. My work has been displayed in several galleries around the country, and I have a Bachelor’s in Art History, a Master’s in Art Education, and had my work in a show juried by Judy Chicago. The idea of getting more people painting makes me light up as I want to inspire more people to express their creative selves and tap into a place of joy and calm.
Good method. I like it because it’s a layering process, just like painting.