Monday, December 28, 2015

Learning to Say No

We are at that time of year again where we consider what we did during the previous year and what we want to accomplish during the coming year.  Perhaps some people shy away from making the big New Years Resolutions.....I want to lose a million pounds, fly around the world and make friends with .....fill in the blank with the most outrageous person you can think of......etc.   But like most traditions, you can use this opportunity to make plans that will move you ahead in many parts of your life including, of course, your art career.

I'm always thinking of ways to meet more people, make more and better artwork and get that work shown in places and situations that matter.  I'd also like to sell more work which is a challenge in my part of the world with the type of work I make but there is one thing I can do for sure.  I can say no to opportunities that don't help me meet the goals I set.

When you first begin to show your art, unless you live in an art aware urban setting, many times the opportunities you have are along the lines of a show at the library, the coffee shop or some similar setting.  There isn't anything wrong with these places as long as the work is secure and you are comfortable with how the work is seen.  It is a great way to introduce yourself to your community and maybe meet some other artists and sometimes sell something but after years of exhibiting your work in galleries and museums these opportunities may not be the ones that are most important to you.  It takes just as much time to make work, prepare the work to hang, and deliver the work to the library as it does to a museum.  Also, most often you will be ask to install the work at the library.

So the point of this is to learn to challenge yourself and think about what moves you and your work ahead and say no when an opportunity isn't going to support your goals.

Happy New Year to all.


  1. I say no to anything that does align with my goals. It works.

  2. Amen. I resigned from our local Art League last year to honor my commitment to submit four large works to Color Improvisations II. It was then that I realized how much effort I put into making small works specifically for the Art League, and how many hours I worked as the shop host selling artwork and dealing with league politics. But it was the marketing job for our major art show, the begging for contributions from in-town sponsors, that was the final decision-maker. Thanks for writing this reminder to say no.

    1. Your description of all you have been doing is so true. Sometimes it's just time to move on and say no.