Mercenartist-2013

2013 Resolution Herald

So, this time last year I actually blogged my New Year’s resolution for MOF, and tried to stick to it. How did I do?

  • Illustration; my artistic foundation. While I fully intended to do more graphite and ink drawings, more oil paintings and even digital work I continued to produce very little. Why, because photography still rules the world. I’m telling you, since digital photography became accessible to virtually everyone on the planet, there has been a considerably high demand to make, distribute and even license hard impacting and inspirational photographs; both recreationally and commercially. Usually, when there is a glut of an industry trend a die off is soon to follow but this trend has been going on for many years now and there don’t seem to be an end in sight. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to push myself back into executing more non-photographic illustration. As far as producing Sci-Fi and fantasy art based on my fictional world Rädën it will continue to be curbed until NASA’s Kepler research team is finally able to satisfactorily find an Earth analogue but I will produce other non-related work in these genres.

 

  • Photography. At the start of 2012, I set out to refine my approach to photography based on things I had learned in 2011. I believe I achieved that but not just by engaging in competitions and events of the previous year but from also re-examining what I have learned over many years while blogging The 12-Part Unrepentant Flâneur’s Guide to Street Photography. My refinements have resulted in improved commercial success in my landscape work. I will continue to use some tried and true methods to improve and market my fine art photography while seeking out new approaches.

 

  • Keep graphic design curtailed. No changes planned here. I like maintaining this aspect of my visual arts career this way.

 

  • Refine the main website. I failed to get this done in 2012 but I did manage to get much of the groundwork done. I’m quite sure now that this will be a marketing strategy that I will accomplish in 2013.

 

  • Refine this blog. I have changed the aesthetics to this blog twice. Each time, the change proved beneficial to my endeavors. I’m fairly certain that it will stay as it is for a long time to come. I did endeavour to blog more often, as planned, but it was certainly a monumental challenge to do so considering all of the other personal and professional aspects of my life that I must keep in balance (click here for WordPress’ assessment of how this blog did in 2012). As before, I will take some of the standard background pages that receive moderate attention, and repost them as ongoing blog series, just as The Unrepentant Flâneur’s Guide to Street Photography and Illustrated City are.

 

  • Exploit technology. I didn’t fully take advantage of the relatively new technologies that I had investigated for potential use toward improving my business relations with art collectors and other interested viewers. That objective is still a priority; nevertheless, and should be in place by the spring of 2013.

 

  • Launch an Artist Run Initiative. Flying Low was of moderate success, and definitely showed the growth potential that was conceived in the market plan. Learning from the pitfalls encountered in 2012, a new plan is being developed to continue the initiative.

 

  • Compete. This objective for 2012 was considerably consistent but not for the reasons I had planned. I didn’t enter as much competitions last year as I had in previous years because most of the ones I came across seemed to be untrustworthy scams, especially many of the photography competitions that were advertised. If they weren’t scamming money, they were scamming unlimited royalty-free use of pictures from talented and novice photographers that were simply hoping to make some success of their artistic pursuits. The increase in these types of cons is clearly a side effect of the aforementioned increase in popularity in photography. Fortunately I have never been scammed. I will continue to seek out competitions in 2013 but with evermore suspicion of their presence in the commercial arts marketplace.

 

  • Share the love. As in 2012, I will continue to seek out the work of more professional and amateur artists around the world to admire. Through Flying Low and other pursuits I still aim to collaborate more with other artists as I still believe that the respect we can achieve, especially as professional artists, depends on our ability to form alliances. I will continue striving to use my art to improve the lives of people who are in the greatest need. Art for charity campaigns are a tough sell in a world that seeks bigger means of acquiring more money faster but art for charity campaigns do still work where the others can’t, so they’re still an option. I will continue to seek out other ways to make my art improve the dignity of people in need besides myself or simply convey their stories.

The achievement of 5 out of the 9 objectives of last year’s resolution is a 56% success rate. It’s not great, but it shows that practicality has its place. 2012 turned out to be an okay year for Modes of Flight, and all of its patrons. I intend to strategically increase those gains by 20% in 2013, and I wish success for all other commercial artists everywhere.

At this time, I’d like to say thanks to all those who became the top commenters of this blog in 2012:

I very much appreciate your feedback.

Happy New Year to everybody!

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28 thoughts on “Mercenartist-2013

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never have been a New Years resolution person, I do planning for my full time job. Your blog got me thinking about setting up some goals for my photography and art longer than just next weekend.

    • I totally get that. I studied commercial arts years ago but foolishly relegated ultra simple business practices like setting documented annual objectives as a waste of time for many subsequent years.

      I began to get irritated from hearing other visual artists complain about “not being understood” and “how the world will forever fail to recognize artists as an economically viable industry” without trying to yield to at least some effective and internationally accepted business models.

      It’s true that most aspects of art are not quantifiable but some are, and the commercial arts is in fact the worlds largest industry. As professional artsts, not “starving artists”, it is up to us to find and use the points of our individual practices that we can continually measure. It’s not easy to improve on our crafts without looking back at how we did.

      We already compete with each other, we need to focus more on competing with ourselves. Start systematically working harder at doing better tomorrow what we did yesterday. I blogged about this quite a bit last year:

      http://themofman.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/guerrillartist/

      http://themofman.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/never-mind-the-starving-artist-stereotype/

      http://themofman.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/how-to-be-a-commercial-artist/

      I decided to finally put what I had learned into practice, and continually monitor my progress by as many metrics I can reasonably apply to MOF. It does work.

  2. Good luck with your resolutions. If anybody can do it…
    I am a top commenter? Either I really enjoy your blog, or I talk too much. Ahhhhh, I really like your blog. Let’s go with that. ;-)
    Keep it comin’. *Gem*

  3. I thought new year’s resolutions were meant to be broken ;). Allan, this is a remarkable percentage … I wish you the achievement of your next goal of 20% this year :)

  4. Laying it out like that is very inspiring, it’s something I almost never do. I also appreciate the honesty in the way you speak about your work. All the best for this year!

  5. Keep it up… and best wishes. Plenty to accomplish there..Glad to reconnect with you this year and many thanks for the blog support.
    •.★♥★Happy New Year to You & Yours!★♥★.•
    Eliz

  6. Best of luck with everything in 2013. I’d like to thank you for your posts in 2012. It has been a pleasure to follow your blog and I’ll be keeping an eye on your projects also in 2013.

  7. WEEEE! It’s such glee that I am one of your top commenter last year. You must know that I take pride just for that simple fact. Thanks for the guidance, Allan.

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