looking forward to 2012

 |  January 5, 2012

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up. -J.M. Power


So here is where I look ahead and set my intentions for the year. Funny how it has taken me all week to get to this, when it really should be done on the first of the year. Well, that is indicative of my life. Family comes first, then art, then everything else. I have to say that looking at what I was able to do last year, I can’t help but feel proud, considering I really only have 1 day a week, and if I’m lucky 2 days a week in the studio. I do my best with what I have and that is all I can ask for of myself.

So, let me look at what I set for myself at the beginning of 2011 and how I did:

1. Redesign my art website I did this! Woohoo! It took me about half the year, but my website was completed in the middle of summer. Switched my website over to wordpress for easier updating. And I reorganized how my work was presented by year. I also started editing what I have on my portfolio site since I really don’t have to put everything. I am much happier with this layout and design.

2. Relaunch my Etsy site– I set this goal because I was interested in pursuing getting in Chicago’s One of A Kind Art show in the etsy emerging artist section. I did “relaunch” it but then never really did anything with it. I don’t know, Etsy just seems oversaturated. And I think to myself, but I have my site amanobooks.com to sell things so why put my work someplace that is so crowded?! I have never seemed to be able to figure out how to get etsy to work for me. I experimented with double-listing: I would list the same item on amanobooks as well as on etsy. It always sold on my site, rather than on etsy! Which is better for me because I don’t have pay etsy their fees. So, I think I may have to let etsy go, but still reluctant for some reason.

3. Submit to shows on a regular, scheduled basis. I’m expecting to only last 3 months, but I’ll give it a go. I just don’t have enough work right now for revolving submissions and I’m aware of that. I may have to readjust at one point and do every other month. Well, I did this until May and I actually did pretty well with getting into some of the shows, but it became very apparent this was not a realistic option. First of all, I just didn’t have enough work to constantly be submitting. Second, it gets expensive with the submission fees adding up. Third, so after you get in, you have to pay for shipping back and forth. So there is all this cost and of course, there is the fact that your work may not sell. So, considering all of this and feeling like I didn’t have my best work to keep submitting and that it was kind of stressing me out with keeping track of all the deadlines, I stopped by May. I also had several non-juried shows lined up and so I felt ok with letting the revolving submissions go. I may try this again at some later point, and I learned from it, so I’m not disappointed by the experiment.

4. Start teaching workshops. Done! I taught 3 workshops at Perfical Sense Studio in Evanston, and 3 days of workshops at Encausticamp in Oregon. This was HUGE for me and I’m so glad I did this. It’s opened up a new world- on so many levels.

5. In order to attempt all this I need to be super-organized. Enter work into my workingartist database as soon as it’s done. Keep resume up to date so it can be printed out when needed. Get paperwork things organized- the business side of artmaking is really time consuming. Must streamline so that I don’t go crazy. I actually did a pretty good of this most of the year, thing kind of slid downward around September. But I figured out some good ways to stay organized, it’s just a matter of upkeep.


Keeping it simple this year:

Show up and paint.
Teach for the connection and to share what I know.
Be in love with the process. Always pushing, always learning.
Keep on keeping on.

Actually I forsee this year as a refining of last year. I feel like I hit upon something deeper in my artmaking. Gained more of an understanding of the things that I do during my process that help me get across what I’m trying to say. I gained more of a handle on paperwork and organization, but there is still improvement there. Knowing that when it comes down to it, I can dig in and get what needs to get done, done. Learning to accept where I am on my art path and what I can do at this moment and time. I am getting better at quieting the inner gremlins of comparison. I want to keep connecting with the outside world through my art. And of course, I want to be able to be profitable with my artwork- that entails producing artwork, staying open for opportunities, and taking risks. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

Life is a garden, Dig it- Joe Dirt

(yeah, I know it’s a horrible movie, but it cracks me up and just saw it again the other night!)


  1. by Ann Somerset Miles on January 6, 2012  5:36 pm Reply

    This is so perfect and so honest, and it's what I need to do for myself for time ( age wise ) is running out and I still have so many places to go . Thankyou, Thankyou for sharing these thoughts; I am encouraged to press on.

  2. by Tricia on January 6, 2012  5:37 pm Reply

    you amaze and inspire me! bravo for all you accomplished in 2011! i like the simplicity and focus of your 2012 goals and hopes as well.xo

  3. by Rosie Kearton on January 6, 2012  8:29 pm Reply

    I agree with Ann - so honest - a pleasure to read - well done for all you have achieved and wishing you many creative adventures in 2012

  4. by Carole on January 7, 2012  12:58 am Reply

    I know you can!

  5. by Leslie Avon Miller on January 7, 2012  1:47 am Reply

    What is working for me is the advice on your side bar from Brenda - (apparent) idleness and solitude invite the muse.
    Happy New Year!

  6. by windrock studio on January 7, 2012  8:48 pm Reply

    Hey Bridgette, sounds like a wonderful way to ease into the new year. You are an inspiration.

  7. by Hazel Terry on January 8, 2012  4:13 am Reply

    Made me smile Happy New Year Brigette!

  8. by Oil Paintings on January 29, 2012  4:44 am Reply

    Absolutely perfect and honest. Amazing collection.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.