Resolutions I Refuse to Break as an Artist


I absolutely love the idea of a fresh start! There is just something about beginning with a clean slate and new opportunities! I typically get this feeling three times of year – the first of spring, the beginning of autumn, and finally – of course – New Year’s. And while I’m constantly making lists of resolutions I wish to complete – aka run a mile every day, or cut sugar, or paint/draw every day for 30 minutes. If I’m really honest with myself – most of these goals fall short after a couple of days or weeks.

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And while I have a list of resolutions I wish to complete (and mostly will fall short on) – there are a couple of goals I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO BREAK this coming year.

  • This goal can be taking in many different ways – but for me I’m starting out on a new journey for the new decade. I’m going to be starting ALOT of new projects for work and also just life. I’m currently working on a story, I’m trying to beef up my drawing and painting skills, as well as work on my health. Oh, and launching a HUGE project late on in 2020. So, yeah there is ALOT on my plate. And even though I might not necessarily be where I want to be in each of these areas – I’m still going to celebrate my beginnings and my willingness to get out there and just TRY. Which brings me to my next goal…
  • I’m a creature of habit. I love to play it safe and tackle only things that I know I will succeed at. But over the past few years I’ve come to realize that mindset doesn’t encourage growth. Sometimes the best way to learn is to fail and to feel a bit uneasy because you don’t know what the outcome will be. I’m trying to change my mindset this year – especially when it comes to my art. Instead of viewing my art as a pass/fail test filled with anxiety and pressure – I want to view it more as a learning experiment of whether something that I tried worked. And if it didn’t work – then exploring why? I purposely want to start breaking the rules of art and understanding more why they were created in the first place. PLUS – who doesn’t like being a little rebel at times. Which lead to my next goal…
  • YEAH YOU HEARD ME RIGHT – this GIRL has a bad habit of tearing herself down when things don’t go according to plan or I just plain fail. I can confidently say – I AM MY OWN WORST CRITIC – aka TROLL. Any negative unkind thing you could imagine I’m sure i’ve already told it to myself hundreds if not thousands of times. While it’s good to view your art through a self improvement lens – tearing yourself down negatively is NEVER HELPFUL! Trust me – I know from experience. So – this year I’m going to start changing my self talk into a more positive tone. Such as – instead of saying “WoW! YOU REALLY BLEW THAT PAINTING!” I want to say “OKAY, IT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER -BUT YOU STILL GOT YOUR GLAZING AND COLOR SCHEME SPOT ON.” You see how much different that sounds! I mean really – would you want to hang out with the first person. We would all say – HECK NO! But yet we allow that person to take residence in our head. So – this year – be more kind to yourself. For crying out load – life is already hard without a grumpy troll knocking around inside your noggin!
  • And finally number 4! I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO COMPARE MY ART TO OTHERS! And I’ve got to admit – it’s SOOOOOO hard to do now a days with all the social media out there! I find it really easy to get bogged down when I see someone easily whipping out a painting in a matter of seconds – meanwhile I’ve labored on my drawing for several hours – only to get the rough sketch completed. Yeah – been there… It hurts and you feel like such a loser sometimes. But I have to STOP DOING THIS! FIRST, it’s not healthy! And SECOND – I’VE GOT MY OWN JOURNEY TO WORRY ABOUT – NOT SOMEONE ELSES! This is why I recommend comparing your current art with your old art. It will boost your confidence and allow you to see progress as well as room for improvement!


About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?


  • Jakki
    January 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Wow! what a fantastic set of resolutions – If you don’t mind, I’m going to print them out and hang them in my art room. I came to art journaling and, indeed, any art practices in my 60’s never believing in myself or having any artistic background at all, so the pressures I’ve put on myself to LEARN IT ALL have been tremendous and very limiting. Very, very slowly I’ve come to accept my limitations, and I’m beginning to love experimenting with what I can do – it is amazing how my journal pages have improved and how my play with water colour has become more, well, playful! I realize I don’t need to paint realistic landscapes, animals, people, etc – I can just let the paint and me just play together and we will make joy!
    Hugs – Jakki

  • Lisa Nisbet
    January 2, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Happy 2020 Carrie! Sadly, I broke the wrist on my dominant hand right before Christmas, so my painting journey has slowed to a crawl:/ But, I watched a short video on successful mouth and feet painters!! It was inspiring and made my left handed attempts at painting seem ok. Its all relative:) Which speaks to my favorite of your resolutions, dont compare your art/journey to anyone elses. We are all so different.
    Thanks as always for inspiring me. Cheers to a healthy, creative and positive 2020!?
    Best always, Lisa Nisbet
    Ps-i know you are busy this year, but if you ever decide to host any painting workshops-Ill be there!(Live in Charleston:)

  • Carrie
    January 2, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    I’m totally on board with these as I’m guilty of getting easily upset at myself. I need to let go of mistakes and go with it! Like you said, live outside your comfort zone some. Cheers and happy new year!

  • Cathryn Hess
    January 2, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Love your resolutions and I definitely hear you on the negative talk and the comparison of my art work compared to others.
    I didn’t exactly set resolutions this year as they are always broken fairly quickly and easily. Rather I decided that would do 30 days at a time or 31 if that’s how long the month is. I am going to paint, draw, watercolour, gouache or any other medium I have everyday in January. It won’t count until it is complete, whether that is in one of my sket hooks or on a canvas watercolour paper or any other surface.
    I also am going to do every free course I can. I have a long list of free resources I have signed up to and never fully completed. Some are watercolour, some mixed media and some colour theory. So tjat should help to complete an item a day.
    I wish you luck on your resolutions and by the way, Happy New Year to you!

  • Jenni
    January 2, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Okay love and adore each of those words. ThamKS for the transparency. Helps others a ton. Love getting out of the performance art into playful curious play without self judgement but it’s work hey? Wishing you positive words inside and around you. Jenni

  • Debbie Finklang
    January 2, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Those are awesome goals and they can be applied across the board, not just to art.

  • April
    January 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    So happy that you are here in 2020. Happy New Year

  • Tamara Romano
    January 2, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    You hit the nail on it’s head. I believe most could use those 4 resolutions in their lives,especially in learning to paint with watercolors.

  • Donna Woodhouse
    January 3, 2020 at 12:12 am

    I have always been about intuition in my art- letting my pen take me wherever it may. While this has been hugely beneficial for my art practice it has a big downside. I don’t know where it is taking me. This year I want to find the balance between intuition and planning.

  • Shannon
    January 3, 2020 at 5:16 am

    Those are great resolutions! I am trying to make art a priority and actually schedule some time in weekly.
    Wish I didn’t have to have a “real” job!

  • Anita
    January 3, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Such words if wisdom happy new year ?

    January 26, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Happy 2020, Carrie. I’m a ‘misfit’, too! I’m very hard on myself and I truly get frustrated most of the time. However, that being said, I’m doing some things I haven’t tried before and loving it. Alcohol Ink Painting on tiles gives me the option of wiping the tile clean before I seal it if it isn’t what I’m good at. You have no idea how many times I wiped this one tile clean…lol. But, alcohol is cheap and I am keeping busy learning a lot about myself. I decided to clear clutter in my craft room by getting rid of all my ‘maybe I’ll use this and this and this’ but never have in years. So, this Spring I’m having a craft DESTASH sale in my yard (like a garage sale) and purge all that S T U F F and concentrate on what I have now. You’re an inspiration, and like Jakki said in a comment, I’m going to print out your resolutions and add a few of my own. Thanks again, and many Blessings to you!


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