Happy New Year to everyone!

Do you write out New Year’s resolutions? I never do. I typically think of them as a waste of time. I know that I’ll commit to the same old objectives that I have been pursuing virtually every previous year. I guess I’ve just been lazy but there’s really no guarantee that the more lofty goals will be realized within a set January 1 to December 31 timeframe.

I’ve been thinking; however, that maybe not doing one is a problem. Perhaps, if I wrote them down in a focused, well thought out and well organized manner I would achieve more of the successes that I seek. I’m not just talking about the usual personal endeavors either, like wanting to travel more or get back into shape. I’m especially thinking of advancements in the artistic and business aspects of Modes of Flight which, by the way, are extremely personal to me. So, that’s what I’ve been doing; using my old commercial arts training to develop a business plan just for 2012.

I’ve written them before. An overall plan for MOF, and plans for specific initiatives that I go after within a year. They’ve been fairly successful so, it only makes sense to see if one meant to iron out objectives for just 2012 will actually benefit this small business artist. Here’s the short version of what I’m going to do:

  • Illustrate more; more graphite and ink drawings, more oil paintings and more digital work. Illustration is my main background and although I promised myself—in my head at the beginning of 2011, to do more of it I barely did any throughout the year. As I’ve stated in a previous post, producing Sci-Fi and fantasy art based on my fictional world Rädën has been curbed pending June 2012 announcements from NASA’s Kepler research team, but I will produce other non-related work in these genres.
  • Refine my photography. From participating in the first year of the Street Photography Now Project (SPNP), I learned much about how to improve my street photography without losing my own individual style. Most of all, I learned how to be highly selective about which images I display for others to see and how. Since the resurgence in SP, the genre has become saturated worldwide with photographers and new SP images, so I think it is more important than ever for me to be really picky with my work if I hope to create images that will stand out. If I fail miserably to convey a moment or story in a truly fascinating aesthetic way, I’m going to toss the image and try harder. There are other photography styles, genres and techniques that I will pursue. In fact, I already began doing that last year. 2011 really showed me better than any previous year which fine art photography people have been most interested in collecting from me, and which ones were simply not hugely marketable. I will certainly strive to make more of the profitable images for both them and me.
  • Keep graphic design curtailed. Nothing new, I curtailed my GD years ago and intend to keep it that way for much longer but I’ll always be available to do it if needed. Most of the graphics that I do now are for myself.
  • Refine the main website. I think the aesthetics of the MOF site could use some updating. I’m going to see what I can do about that. For one, I’m going to try to make it less wordy. I’ll save much of the wordiness for this blog.
  • Refine this blog. Last autumn I made a theme switch for this blog which seems to have worked out. I may make further refinements to its aesthetics but I will also endeavour to; as I also began to do last fall, blog more often. I posted many pages that got only little attention because they were pages and not the fleeting in-your-face posts. Just before last Christmas, I deleted most of them. I don’t believe they are dead articles so I’m going to re-post them as actual posts this time, not as background pages that wait indefinitely for someone to explore the blog and find them.
  • Exploit technology. I’ve already been investigating new and relatively new technologies that I may be able to use toward improving my business relations with art collectors and other interested viewers.
  • Launch an Artist Run Initiative. I’ve already put together the majority of a marketing plan for an initiative that I intend to launch by the summer of 2012. Look for more on that plan and the progress of the initiative in future blog posts.
  • Compete. I can’t definitively say that entering art competitions in previous years has been good for business but I can say that I’ve benefited from them creatively; especially the photography competitions. Each time I learn how a jury can see my work as being just a bit more impressive or less impressive than that of other artists at a specific time. The competitions I won did some good for my confidence. The competitions I lost helped to keep me grounded. Unfortunately, having to stay intensely focused on personal issues and marketing matters kept me from getting involved with competitions in 2011. Although 2012 is already shaping up to be a hectic year I may still be able to accept a creative challenge or two.
  • Share the love. As I’ve always tried to do, I will seek out the work of more visual and performance artists all over the world (professional and amateur) to admire. I will let those artists know how much I appreciate their efforts and how they continue to inspire me. I hope to collaborate a little more with other artists as I believe that the respect we can achieve, especially as professional artists, depends on our ability to form alliances. A fairly big challenge given how competitive the visual art world actually is. I will also try to use my art to improve the lives of people who are in the greatest need. Whether it’s through art for charity campaigns, other ways to improve dignity or just using art to convey the stories of people in need and that they are important, I will look for ways to make my art benefit others besides myself.

I hope to make 2012 a top-notch year for Modes of Flight, and all of its patrons. I wish the same for all other artists everywhere.

At this time, I’d like to say thanks to all those who became the most active commenters of this fledgling blog in 2011:

  1. Joshi Daniel;
  2. Michael Banak;
  3. My beautiful wife Kim Hamilton;
  4. Apostol Cornel; and
  5. Katies Camera Blog

Happy New Year to you all!


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