Goals: Looking back, looking forward

Be strategically optimistic. Imagine and implement advantageous conditions.

In 2012, I inserted these goals and attitude reminders into my rotating desktop photos:

  • Be active and injury-free.
  • Forgive.
  • Do six studio visits.
  • Enter [art] competitions.
  • Have a strong show of killer new work.
  • Make work that answers, “What would I do with a solo show?”
  • Be open [to new experiences].
  • Practice kindness.
  • Embrace adventure.
  • Practice gratitude, not garbage.
  • Be strategically optimistic. Imagine and implement advantageous conditions.

Most of these were attended to with solid efforts, to varying degrees of success. Many will require more time, intention and attention. I take it as a sign that these are good reminders for me, as they are not too easily achieved nor unrealistically ambitious.

All still seem like good ideas to carry forward into 2013. They’re what positive psychologists call “self-concordant”—rather than reflecting societal demands, they are aligned with my professional and personal goals.

If you’re thinking about making New Year’s resolutions, Creative Capital’s goal-setting tips might be useful. I have been using their goal-setting strategies for the past few years and highly recommend that artists espouse and maintain the practice. It is like plotting a course on an open sea.


sense-making, with a little help

In follow up to my prior post, have a look at “PTSD Nation: Our Nation Suffers from PTSD after Homegrown Terrorist Acts,” recently post on Psychology Today on December 16, 2012 by social psychologists Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip Zimbardo:

Let’s call upon the hero in each of us and focus on being brave by not allowing people to control us by fear. Let’s conceive of ways to stay safe in a rapidly changing world. Let’s make our decisions based on where we want to go as a nation rather than on past negative traumas – and move toward the light of a brighter future.

And for a little bit of heart-warming, check out BuzzFeed’s 26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year.

In this same vein, I’ve experienced loss this year, but I will try not to forget all the good things that happened too. I’m thinking about what a personal Top 10 of 2012: moments of joy, accomplishment, and new experiences. What would it look like for you?

Art & Development

2011 highlights

mirrorsblackportraittake charge of your happinesshopexpectationsleah v jessicajane v dantryn v marycwy v cwycreativity flowpositive signs 1symbolic ecologycreativity csikszentmihalyipossibilitygive thanks

mirrorsblackportrait, Rush Gallery, NYC. Thanks Hank, Natasha and Charlotte.
, take charge of your happinessJenkins Johnson Gallery, NYC & San Francisco. Thanks Karen, Teresa, Alyssa and Courtney.
Dialgoues, photographed in residence atWoodstock Byrdcliffe. Thanks Leah, Jessica, Jane, Dan, Tryn and Mary.
Positive Sign #1, 6, 31, 57, SFMOMA Open Space & Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco. Thanks Suzanne, Steven and Andrew.
Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Untitled Gallery, Manchester, UK. Thanks Mike and Katie.
Give Thanks, Untitled Gallery / Project Space Leeds, Leeds, UK. Thanks to Katie Rutherford and all the contributors who shared their gratitude lists with me.
Thanks also to Courtney at SoEx; Sally at Chinese Arts Centre; Christian at Invisible Venue; Hannah and Scott at DXDX Studio; Brandon; Fawn at Catskill Arts; Aaron and Jackie at MacArthur B Arthur; and Ruth, Whitney, Lauren and Jeanne at Seton Hall.

studiodovetail joint

360º view, studio and woodshop class. Residency at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock, NY. Thanks Katherine, Paul and fellow AIRs!


Advancing my research into positive psychology at the IPPA World Congress, thanks to the generous support of a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant.

art practical,should i stay or should i goart practical temporary art review art competition odds

Art Practical features: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” and “Portrait of an Artist, Wily and Engaged.” Thanks Patricia, Vicky, Stephanie, Mike, Woff, Pablo, Emma, Torreya, Amanda, Tattfoo and Lee.
Art Practical reviews: “Residency Projects II, “Under Destruction I & II,” “From New York: Curtain Call.” Thanks Matthew and Tess.
“Art Competitions: A Selective Comparison of Applicant Pools, Awards, and Odds.” Temporary Art Review & Rejected. Thanks Sarrita, James, Tattfoo and fellow data-gatherers.
Notes on Object-Viewer Relations.” Thanks Pablo, Brent and Alicia.

T H A N K   Y O U
~ for your support and interest in my work;
~ for reading;
~ for participating in the art community;
~ for sharing your enthusiasm!

Let me know what your 2011 was like, and what you’re looking forward to in 2012!