10 Ways A Goal Can Make You A Better Artist

Sometimes, the most challenging part of being an artist can simply be finding time to create. Between work, family and household obligations, freeing up space in a jam-packed schedule can seem downright impossible.

But what if it is possible?
What if, with some planning and intention, you can make creativity more routine and reap all the positive side effects that go along making art?

Like many of us, ArtResin co-founder Rebecca Zak had the best of intentions when she set her New Year's resolution this past January. Her goal was to create 52 paintings in 2022: as of May, her count was at zero.

Rebecca says, "I love to paint, it's something that really means a lot to me and that's why I made the goal. So I guess I had a reckoning with myself last week and I said 'Am I doing this or not?'"
Rebecca wanted to be able to look back on 2022 and see that she'd been productive in a way that made her heart happy, so she started her own art challenge.

Whether you've got a specific goal in mind, like Rebecca, or you just want to make more art, here are 10 ways a goal and a timeline can help you get there:

  1. It encourages you to prioritize time for art.
  2. It can break a creative block.
  3. It will keep you on track.
  4. It creates a new habit.
  5. It helps improve your artistic skills.
  6. It can help you focus.
  7. It holds you accountable.
  8. It helps you finish projects.
  9. It gives you a huge sense of satisfaction.
  10. It has the potential to open up new possibilities.

After establishing a few guidelines to keep her on track, Rebecca invited the ArtResin community along for the ride to hold her accountable.

Here's how she's going to do it:

How does a goal help you make more art?

Let's be honest: we could all do with a little nudge from time to time. Setting a clear, structured goal with a timeline attached gives us incentive to make it happen. Whether you're just getting started or you're starting all over again, here are 10 ways giving yourself a challenge can help achieve the goal of making more art:

1. It prioritizes creative time:

Whether it's an hour a day or an hour a week is entirely up to you, but dedicating specific, realistic time blocks in your schedule is key. A clearly defined schedule helps you identify (and say no) to less important things in order to focus on what makes you happy.

2. It can break a creative block:

An art challenge is the perfect opportunity to explore project ideas you've been thinking about, but have never put into action. However, if too many choices cause option paralysis or, conversely, you find yourself staring blankly at the canvas, a notebook with some prompts can help you get inspired. You may find that one of your ideas acts as a springboard to create an entirely new project or series!

3. A plan keeps you on track:

Having the art materials you'll need on hand as well as a dedicated space to work in is just as important as a game plan and a schedule. Embarking on an art c hallenge is an effective way to keep track of all those moving parts which, in turn, helps to keep you on track. Plan to succeed and you will succeed!

4. Creativity will become routine:

Consistently making time for your art will create a new habit, which will eventually make creativity a routine part of your life. The more often you prioritize your art, the easier it gets. Over time, you'll move seamlessly from one finished project right onto the start of the next. Yay for more art!

5. It will improve your skills:

The more you do something, the better you'll get! An art challenge provides a great chance to focus on areas you'd like to improve or to try out a brand new medium or style altogether. Getting outside your comfort zone can help expand your skillset.

6. It allows you to focus on your art:

The idea of finding time for art can seem difficult because we tend to live in a state of constant multi-tasking. Studies show that focusing on one single task at a time can increase productivity by up to 80%. Establishing dedicated creative time and working without distraction allows you to focus all of your energy on your art.

7. Sharing your goals holds you accountable:

Whether you join an online art challenge or start your own and invite others to take part, sharing your goals with others helps to keep you accountable. Don't forget to involve your family and friends so they can help support your efforts - you might even inspire them to get creative too!

8. An art challenge allows you to finish projects:

Sometimes knowing we can't finish a project means it's just easier not to start in the first place. An art challenge not only provides consistent, dedicated creative time to start and finish a piece, but it also gives you the opportunity to finish up artwork that needs to be completed.

9. It gives you an immense satisfaction:

When we complete a task or a project, our brain releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which is why you feel a rush of happiness. The satisfaction from finishing a piece gives you motivation to move onto the next. When you reach your goal and see the results of your efforts, you can relive those feelings of joy and accomplishment over and over again.

10. An art challenge opens up new possibilities:

Share your goals and your work online through your social media, website, or blog. Engage your audience and bring them along on the journey with you.  Create a hashtag for your challenge and use it to attract new followers, new fans and potentially, new customers!

How are art challenge guidelines helpful?

Establishing a few guidelines before you start an art challenge helps to create structure and removes the need to make decisions. This means you can spend your energy creating art instead of deciding what to make or whether your piece counts towards your challenge goal.

Feel free to tailor the rules to what works best for you, but these are the guidelines that Rebecca put into place:

1. Size Doesn't Matter

Variety is good: the painting can be a large panel or it can be a mini canvas, as long as there are a good variety of sizes in the mix.

how does an art challenge help me to make more art?

2. Variety of styles:

A challenge is a great opportunity to play around and try different styles and mediums. Get out of your comfort zone and explore something new!

how to finish off half completed artwork

3. Diptychs and triptychs count as multiple paintings:

A diptych or a triptych are made up of 2 or 3 paintings, respectively, but function as one. Rebecca established that each component will stand on its own and count as a single painting.

painting more art with an art challenge

4. Family can help:

If your kids want to help you paint something for their room, or you want to create a joint piece of art with your spouse, Rebecca agrees that not only is this allowed, but should be encouraged.

creating art with family

5. Finishing abandoned art counts:

If you're inspired to finish a painting that has already been started, it counts as a contribution towards the challenge. In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to finish up abandoned projects.

how can i make more art?

Making art is good for the mind, body and soul. All you need to do is just make art - and the more you do, the better your art will become and the better you'll feel.

Whether you do it on your own or with a group, art challenges are fun and inspiring.  Are you up for the challenge?

ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

About the author: Rebecca Zak

Hi, I’m Rebecca, and I co-founded ArtResin with my husband, Dave. I’m a serial entrepreneur! As an artist and a former teacher, I've been able to leverage my creativity and experience to start multiple business ventures. In fact, there's nothing I love more than seeing a good idea turned into...