Karen's Studio Blog

Greetings and salutations,

As each year winds down I begin to take stock of my accomplishments and best laid plans. I was taught in my college painting and drawing courses to look at my pieces in terms of what’s working and not working in them. If it doesn’t work, fix it. It’s a strategy that still works (thank you Professor John Hull!). One that I used in the classroom when I taught. I also apply it to non-studio activities including when I do my year end review.

I always start with the positive of what worked. What did I accomplish this year. Then I list why it worked. Why did that particular goal get completed? What steps did I take that worked. What were missteps and how did I get back on track. Then I repeat with what didn’t work - what didn’t get done and why.KarenLynnLink.Journal1.JPG

I think the ‘why’ is the most important part of this exercise. It can be a compass for the upcoming year. To help clarify that a project may have needed more time, more money, outside help, or simply abandoned because the interest was never there. If completing the project is still important, the why can help with how to accomplish it this year. The why also helps clarify strategies that work and where energy is positively, or negatively, spent. But the one thing I’ve learned from this exercise is that it takes a great amount of focus and tenacity to get the most important things in life accomplished. A great resource for this is Steven Pressfield’s website and many of his books especially The War of Art. I’ve been a long time subscriber to Pressfield’s blog and I highly recommend checking it out.

Do you do a review of what's working and not? How do you go about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Take care and have a beautiful day,
Karen

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