Part of being successful is defining what success means to you. In my Creativity Blog entry posted, August 31, 2014, “ Defining Success in Art,” I wrote about how artists set their definition of success.
Once you have clarified what being successful in art means for you, the next thing usually involves setting a goal. The steps to achieve that goal include supportive objectives and strategies.
The fields of business and marketing have a variety of ways to help us track activity and behavior so we can reach our goal. An excerpt from my latest workshop in January and one that I implement in my own life is following the acronym, SMART. The SMART acronym is still popular today and it is appearing in social media, blogs that write about goal setting and marketing workshops and coaching that emphasize creative success.
For our purposes we’ll use the acronym SMART for setting personal goals related to art.
SMART stands for the following:
S stands for simple or specific. I prefer to use the word simple because I like to refer to another acronym KISS…Keep It Simple Stupid. Keep your chosen objective to just, one sentence. For example, my goal simply put, is to organize (curate) an exhibit for three artists.
M is for measurable. What is measurable? The objective should be quantifiable. For my goal, I would refer to the steps it takes to (curate) organize the exhibit, which are: 1.) Assemble each artist’s information 2.) Write a proposal 3.) Research appropriate venues 4.) Locate an exhibition venue. Then just proceed down the list. If I get stuck anywhere and things are not moving along, I need to reevaluate the steps.
Another way to look at the objective is by checking to see if it is motivational, manageable, and meaningful. Some of the questions I might ask in planning for my exhibition are listed here. Are my artists motivated? Are the exhibit and the theme chosen, meaningful for them? Can they all manage this within a set amount of time?
I can measure their progress by noting if the material needed from my artists is obtained within a set period of time, let’s say, six weeks. If they don’t have their packages ready to go, I need to ask why? It’s possible they may be unhappy with the theme and therefore not motivated to get their materials together? They could be involved with other obligations and unable to fit this project into their schedule and so on. In any case, this means the objective needs to be reviewed and changed, then measured with new criteria so it is more attainable.
A is action oriented. (Or who will be assigned to do the action/work) In the example I am using here, I am the person who is organizing the exhibit. I am taking quantifiable steps to get this started and underway. I am researching possible venues. I am writing the query letters and putting together a proposal.
R is for realistic and and/or relevant. Is the plan or action taken, reasonable and do- able? Will the objective be reached within a reasonable amount of time? Some goals are short term and others long term. Some questions to consider would be the following. What results are expected from this work? What can be expected based on research? Who has managed similar projects?
For my objective, my artists should be able to commit to a new body of art for this exhibit. I’m basing this on their professional experience including past exhibition history. So it is reasonable and realistic for them to have their packages and images together in the time allotted. Relevant means this project fits in with their overall goals of a professional exhibiting artist.
T is for time sensitive-based. Set a date in which this objective can be accomplished. Most galleries and venue calendar their events two years in advance. My group needs to have their artist packets into the exhibition directors or gallery manager to be considered for an exhibit within the next two months. That means the artists need to be ready to send these out to venues within the next six weeks. This time-line gives several venues a chance to respond. Then we just choose one, shooting for an exhibit within two years.
Need help in curating an exhibit? Fingado Art Services can assist you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org For Coaching, mentoring and marketing services…Fingado Art Services (c) 2015