Moving Forward in the New Year

Episode 203 · January 8th, 2022 · 32 mins 52 secs

About this Episode

The New Year is a traditional time to reflect on the past, set goals for the future, contemplate your current situation, and identify ways to move forward. Even if you are not someone who makes formal New Years' resolutions, most of us feel an underlying urge to take stock of what we’d like to improve upon or work toward in the coming year. Today we’ll talk about evaluating how things are going in the studio and in your art business, and what role your goals and insights may play in 2022.

Goals or intentions tend to fall into two categories that evoke quite different emotions and involve different approaches to reach--things that are problematic and need to be improved, and things that are basically positive and exciting. The first category-- issues and situations that you know you need to work on---can make you anxious and self-critical if you fail to improve. This can lead to a self-defeating loop if you believe you really are not capable of doing better. Instead, realizing what you've accomplished in the past to make progress on these issues, along with small steps you can take to move forward can be helpful.

The other type of goal involves ideas and plans that are exciting, that will help you grow and develop as an artist. These tend to feel energizing and motivating and are the heart of a dynamic art practice. Yet these ideas can also be easily neglected if we don't take them seriously. and implement steps to make them happen. Consider what projects you have abandoned despite your initial interest. What threads in your current work could be pursued in more depth if you give them time and focus? Is it the year for a workshop, artist residency, or a collaborative project? Are there ways you can improve your time management or studio set up to facilitate some new projects?

We all have things we can work on going forward, whether or not we take the New year as that opportunity. As much as anything this is a good time to consider your individual approach to setting and reaching goals, how it works best for you to make changes, in addition to any changes themselves. It is easy to fall into an all or nothing approach with goals and intentions and then feel discouraged and frustrated if you fall short. A middle way in which you accept some change even if you don't entirely succeed can keep you on track and moving forward.

Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.

What's new at Cold Wax Academy? Rebecca and Jerry have an exciting Winter Quarter planned with a focus on working with cold wax medium using both abstract and realistic approaches. Members will enjoy opportunities to participate in portfolio reviews and critiques, and of course, engage with the ongoing weekly live sessions that explore featured topics in depth. Cold Wax Academy is the only online teaching platform devoted exclusively to deepening and developing your painting practice in every aspect. Lessons are centered on the range of uses for cold wax medium, but also include important insights and information about all other aspects of art practice. For information about joining this vibrant, international community of artists, and to learn more about cold wax medium, please visit

As always, members have access to recordings of all previous sessions including everything from the first year, so it's easy to join anytime. Winter Quarter begins January 5th. Please visit for details about membership levels and to sign up for a year of exciting learning experiences.

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."

Have an art related product, service, or event you would like to advertise on the Messy Studio Podcast?
Email Ross at [email protected] for current mid-roll advertising rates.

For more from The Messy Studio:

For more from Rebecca Crowell:

The Messy Studio Podcast is a Tick Digital Media Production.