Photograph by Carrie Brummer Copyright 2010

The teacher in me feels it’s time for review.  There is no test in real life, but you can take a moment to think about if you are achieving your goals.  Let’s look back at previous Artist Strong posts and see what we have learned and outline strategies for creative success.

 BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Elitist Art: We Are All To Blame

What can you do to help? Retweet this. Share my e-book, ArtSpeak, published this July 2011. Read How to Discuss Art.

 BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: The Creative Process and Automatic Thoughts

For 1 day carry a small notebook with you and each time a thought pops into your head write it down.  Put the list away at the end of the day and look at it in 1 week’s time.  Do your thoughts reinforce self-worth and artistic production?  If not, what can you replace these thoughts with the next time you have them?


Make a list of activities you trialed but gave up on after you struggled with them.  Are there any you wish you never stopped?  Well, today is as good a day as any to get started again.  Mistakes don’t equal failure!


What do you REALLY want for yourself?  Review the article How to Measure Success to help you create a goal to meet on your way to success.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Goal Setting and Getting Organized

Go to one of the template sites and select one template you know will be helpful in your everyday and download it!


Consider your creative discipline.  How do leaders and innovators break the rules in your discipline?  Can you observe a pattern of choice or action that may help lead these individuals towards success?  What can you do with your work to help create the same prosperity?!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: The ABCs of Traveling: What I’ve Learned

How many times have you heard yourself say, “Someday I will go here,” or “When the kids are grown I will do this?”  Do you always want maybes in your life or is it time to start planning for a trip?  Pick one place you have always wanted to see and start creating specific goals to help you reach for your maybe!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: The Age of Easy Information

What resources do you use everyday to inform your life and the choices you make?  What kind of agenda might their creators have and how might that affect the information they present? Make an effort to research tweets or social media shares that present information as fact.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Choosing Wisely: Putting Artwork on Facebook

How does Facebook’s role in the arts (unintended but real) affect you?  Are there other social networks who share the same intellectual property rules?  What would be a positive take on the intellectual property rights of FB?  Share with our readers so we can all become more informed.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Creative Spirit: Patrick Ross and iCivility

When you read opinion editorials or hear political discourse, do you really give the “other side” a chance?  The next time you find yourself in such a debate, really sit down and consider the other perspective, maybe you will learn something new!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Are you using the resources around you?

Make a list of the resources you use in your creative development.  Now make a list of organizations, institutions, people, technologies, etc. in your area.  Can any of them support your creative goals?  Incorporate a new “resource” into your strategy for success!


Write down the names of everyone you know who could help support your creative success in some way.  Choose one person on the list to connect with and ask for help.  Who knows what doors this could open.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Lessons from Artist Joshua Allen Harris

What materials or resources do you have at your disposal?  How can you use them in a different way? (Examples: paint with a spoon, write in a new space in your home, or try to interpret your idea in a new medium: draw out your story line of the novel you want to write).


Get a calendar and choose one goal for the month of February, two if you are feeling especially ambitious!  Begin documenting the tasks you work on to achieve those goals!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: The Importance of Context

Reflect on a memory that has a direct relationship to your town or city.  How does that memory reflect your impression of your home and the people in it?  Has it led you to future decisions based on those assumptions or belief systems?  Are your beliefs with justification?

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE:  New Experiences Lead to New Ideas

Try walking home from work in a different route.  Or go for a walk in your neighborhood and really look at your surroundings.  What do you see and hear?  Have you always noticed the objects and spaces around you?  See if it opens your eyes to your city and home.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Getting Started: Beginning Creative Endeavor

Write down the excuses you use to avoid creative endeavor.  Reason each excuse through and ask yourself, is it really more important than the creative task at hand?  Am I creating avoidance tactics to avoid activities inherent to my happiness?

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: The Reason for a New Year’s Resolution

Don’t like the idea of a New Year’s Resolution?  Then set monthly goals or weekly goals to work towards something important to you.  Create a calendar that will help you measure out and balance all of your tasks so you can realize your dream!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Opening Minds with Art – Stan’s Cafe Theatre Company

Can you think of ways to create positive social change through your art?? Check out Stan’s Cafe’s own link discussing their project!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Through Michelangelo’s Eyes

Want to learn more about Renaissance art?  Check out this thorough and interesting website called Web Gallery of Art.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Harnessing Creativity through Yoga

Do you think yoga may be an idea generator for you? (Not to  mention the LOADS of proven health benefits…)  Don’t be afraid to look into your local yoga classes like I have with Zen Yoga.  The first time is the scariest, but realize everyone who chooses to participate in yoga wants relaxation and peace.  This is the most welcoming environment one could hope for!


Check out Everett’s books mentioned above.  Or check out Tammy Strobel, who I interviewed for my first Creative Spirit Interview.  These are people worth hearing, you won’t regret it, and you will be better for it.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Setting Creative Goals for the New Year

Think of your “ultimate” goal and write it down.  Now come up with two strategies/tasks that are easy to  measure that will help you reach that ultimate dream!


How often do you practice skills that will help you achieve your creative goals?  Time to get out that calendar and start making time.  New Year’s Resolution anyone?

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Caring for Your Original Artwork

If you are a visual artist, take these suggestions and make a handout for your clients.  When you sell your work, present them a sheet describing these strategies.  Your clients will be impressed and pleased that you care about the future of your work.


Take the time you need and give yourself rest.  BUT, if you find yourself making excuses and ultimately avoiding your artwork, it is time to jump back in.  Make the work without judgment and remember you are more likely to meet success through the sheer number of hours you place in an endeavor versus waiting for that perfect “piece.”


Do you know of an organization selling products for the greater good of artists?  Email me and share at or leave a comment.  We could create a resource of worthy charitable groups and artisan websites for people to refer to for gifts or just in shopping for themselves!


We think about mass production and quality of product in our ever increasing commercial lives but have we forgotten the artistic traditions and creative endeavor that generate such ideas?  Support artisans who remember your traditions or that of others.  There is no better gift this holiday season than an original artwork and supporting the innovators who help create and sustain our cultural heritage.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Facing Your Fears – Swimming with Dori

What really scares you?  Are you nervous to try new things?  Is there a fear that prevents you from doing something you want to try?  What steps can you take to face those fears?  Dive right in, or maybe try some small step towards empowerment.  For me, that baby step would be proper swimming lessons.  What would it be for you?  Share your strategies for facing fear!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Creative Spirit: An Interview with Chris Conti

Take a minute and think about your goals.  Are they realistic?  Is it truly something you would love doing, even if it means long hours to get there?  Realize looking for short cuts may only lead to failure.  Remember Chris’ advice: Focus on what you’re best at. Don’t try to do everything. The old saying “if you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing well” really is true.


Take some time and make a list of those things you truly wish to prioritize in your life.  What really matters to you?  What are goals you wish to achieve in your lifetime?  Make a bucket list of wishes.  Then look at your current lifestyle and see if it really allows you to do those things.  If there is a discrepancy, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your lifestyle.  Go minimalist, teach overseas… find whatever it is that will help you prioritize what matters most!

Now, looking back, have you taken any of these actions?  What can you do today to work towards that dream of yours?  Don’t let it waste away.  You WILL regret it.