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On the goals I set myself for 2011, and how I did


It's the first day of the new year, 2012, and I spent the first part of it taking a walk on the shoreline of Vilano Beach, Florida, with the fog rising off the Atlantic Ocean and all kinds of birds swooping and circling above the waves. Technically, I spent the first minutes of 2012 standing on the balcony of our rented house, a glass of wine in my hand, watching some fireworks scattering in the air a mile away. On my morning walk, I took that picture above of a starfish, and I am trying to think of a way to make it an emblem of a new year. Maybe this creature, like a star, lights up the way forward in the darkness of night, leading us towards an unknown and yet promising future.

Hmm. In the first blog post of a new year, it's the custom to look back as well as forward, so I've retrieved my post from a year ago, reviewing the completed and unfinished goals from 2010. The link is here:

http://philiphartiganpraeterita.blogspot.com/2011/01/on-goals-i-set-myself-in-2010-and-how.html

And the list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2011 was as follows:

  • Get the mailing list up to at least 200 useful names (I find this the hardest thing to do, probably given that I haven’t really made sellable work for a while).
  • Get 500 postcards printed and sent out to the museums, galleries, art consultants and potential buyers on my mailing list.
  • Start sending out a newsletter.
  • Take a class at Columbia College Chicago (I get a discount as an adjunct faculty member).
  • Obtain at least one more public art project.
  • Meet a Chicago museum curator.
  • Get at least one gallery and one art consultant to handle my new work.
  • Create a printed and online PR book about me and my work.
  • And by the end of 2012, earn all of my (very very small) income from art and art-related activity.

I've only done one of those things, shockingly: obtain another public art project. And it was a good one -- the Envision 365 grant from the City of Urbana. I think one reason that I didn't tick more of them from the list is that they are things I could do in a day (like the online PR kit), and of course I just kept postponing that day until the year ran out.

On the other hand, there are things I achieved in 2011 that were not even on that list, and which are a good substitute for the list unachieved. For example:

  • Obtained more teaching gigs, which puts me on the road to the last item above (earning all of my income from art related activity).
  • Starting to post regularly for Hyperallergic.com (and by the way, they pay for each post).
  • Meeting and interviewing even more artists.
  • Completing The Lucerne Project and discovering the possibility of future collaborations and residencies.
  • Being invited to be one of the earliest users of G+.

The last one was totally unexpected. It didn't even exist until June or July, and like many people, I liked the idea of it but didn't get the point of it at first. But in just six months it has transformed how I use social media, put me in touch with lots of very interesting artists who I intend to meet in real life, and opened up a way for me to completely change how I blog. Oh, and indirectly it led to my already being offered a show at Art on Armitage, a cool non-commercial gallery in west Chicago, in August 2012.

My aims for 2012, therefore:

  • Complete the 2011 list!
  • Get another public art project/grant.
  • Use the G+ Hangout feature more.
  • Gradually make G+ my main blogging platform.
  • Obtain a residency for one month or more.
  • Start going out again to Chicago art openings (mainly for Hyperallergic, partly for my own ends).
  • Go deeper into the 'personal narrative' aspect of my recent studio work.
  • Work on an 'Artists of Praeterita' group show.

Fingers crossed. Ready? Then I'll begin.

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