10 Must Do Activities for Artists at the End of the Year
There are 10 must do activities for artists at the end of the year that will make all the difference for you in your spiritual life and in your art business. So I’m taking you through them right now at the end of the year in the hope you take advantage of the benefits of the activities. At AEM we want to equip you to grow both professionally and spiritually- so let’s dive in!
Here are the 10 Must Do Activities for Artists at the End of the Year:
1. Celebrate Successes
It’s easy for us to gloss over all the amazing things God is doing in and through us as artists and creative professionals. It’s easy to forget all the incredible ways that God has blessed us and used us in his work over the past year. And the process of reflection is a helpful tool to understand what worked in our career and creative endeavors and to see spiritually how the Lord uses us in his grand plan to redeem all things.
So take some time and think on what worked this year for you in your creative work, in your art/creative business AND in your relationships— both professional and personal. Take stock of your progress and accomplishments. Also take some time to praise God for His hand working in you and in your creative work.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! “
Break out that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving or grab a Martinelli’s sparkling cider and celebrate your successes and how God is working His plan of redemption in your life and others.
2. Prayerfully Reflect
Take some time, an afternoon or even get away for a day to pray and reflect on not just last years successes but also the failures or as we like to say at AEM- what we need to do differently next time. It can be hard to face our failures or missteps. But honestly admitting our failures is a critical and necessary part of growth. If we don’t repent of our sins and failings and count on God’s forgiveness and grace- we simply really don’t believe the truth of the gospel. That we are sinners saved by grace and loved by our perfect Father.
So when you have a hard time admitting mistakes—ask the Lord to forgive you for relying on your own righteousness. Ask Him to deliver you from your sin of unbelief and return to Him. Because the raw truth is this— everything we are, and everything we have is in Christ, because of Christ and for HIS GLORY not our own. And failure and mistakes are part of the process to be a better… anything- fill in the blank— a better artist, a better husband, wife, entrepreneur, friend, etc. So the sooner you can look at your failings with Jesus at your side- reminding you, you are forgiven— the sooner you will experience the true freedom of grace- to create- and be a better… fill the blank- a better artist, business owner, husband, wife, child, friend. We have to learn from our mistakes and we can’t learn from them if we are unable or unwilling to look at them. Not as a doomed failure but as a sinner saved by grace in the process of being redeemed by their savior.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
-Hebrews 4:16, NIV
3. Set Goals
Set goals for the next year, for your career, your spiritual life, and your relationships. Just make sure you have a realistic plan to achieve them—based off of your reflections from action 1 & 2. Now that you have a realistic view of yourself and what God’s doing in your life and work- prayerfully seek Him to set your goals and to do’s for the next year. And be sure to make the goals- SMART- as George T. Doran wrote in the issue of Management Review. SMART Goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
4. Update Your Profiles
There needs to be a time each year you review all the platforms where you advertise your work: your website, social media platforms, and any other online portfolios (like an IMDB page or profile in a guild or art membership site). It’s important to make sure your profile and head-shot are updated and accurately reflect you and the work you are doing now. The key word is now. Making sure your online platforms accurately reflect you is often the difference between getting work/selling work or being passed over. Is your contact info current? Your head-shot? Resume? It matters and is often a quick fix, so it’s worth the time to update.
5. Grow Creatively
Explore collaborations and new projects that will stretch you creatively. Along with stepping up your game in business, growing creatively is always a key component to success. The best artists I know are always learning- learning more about their art and learning more about how to grow their business. So pray and think about where God is opening up new doors for collabs and/or new projects to stretch you and grow you creatively. And if you have the money invest in some courses to up your skill level in your art.
6. Practice Gratitude
Thank God for blessings, challenges, and his comfort amidst the struggles. We talked about celebrating successes- that’s super important. But equally important is having a regular rhythm of gratitude and thankfulness to God for all things.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV
It’s easy to get discouraged in this world of art and entertainment. Gratitude is a sure fire way to keep our heads on straight and battle discouragement. Starting and keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to cultivate a healthy understanding of God’s grace and mercy for you. And it takes only a few moments each day.
7. Grow Spiritually
Start considering what you want to learn more deeply about God and the Bible. There is nothing more inspiring than studying God’s word. Think I’m crazy???? Just try it. All of life is represented in the Bible. And studying it and learning God’s voice is critical to any artist who is a Christian who wants to grow in their faith.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV
Making time to meditate on God’s word and hear from him each day is an amazing spiritual adventure that not only feeds your spirit but your creativity. So pray and ask God to show you where you need to grow spiritually, and what areas you are weakest in. And guess what? We have lots of content right here on our website- blogs, videos and courses to help you grow both spiritually and in your business- so look around our website and check it all out- it’s for you!
8. Give Wisely
Your time, talents and work are precious. Don’t ever take that for granted. It’s hard work to be a successful artist and entrepreneur. You face many demands on your time and talents. So use your time and talents wisely to bless those in need. I talk about this a lot in my Catalyst Program.
God has given us everything, and He wants us to share in our bounty by giving financially, and of our talents. The key is to plan and be intentional about what we are giving and how much. Whether it is a financial gift or using our artistic talents to bless the church, nonprofit organizations or others in need.
“6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
-2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV
Have a plan so you are giving where God wants you to give and so you also have healthy boundaries and don’t get taken advantage of.
9. Strategic Networking
Networking, some of you love it and some of you hate it. But the reality is- it must be done if you are going to be successful in the art world or entertainment industry. So don’t just show up at every event you can, be strategic about it. Remember I just said your time is valuable? So let’s plan our networking. You need to decide how much time you spend networking, which events are worth your time, and which events are strategic for your career- both in person and online.
To do this, here are a few basic questions you need to ask yourself to get started as a strategic networker. Ask yourself these simple questions to flush out your objectives before you start networking:
1) Who is it you want to connect with? Let’s be honest, it’s easy to go to events and get nothing out of them, so instead be intentional about who you want to connect and spend your time with so you seek them out and connect.
2) What do you want to get out of it? Are you looking for a collaborator? Better understanding of something in your industry? Or are you in the place to sell your work? Your needs show you what type of people you are looking to connect with.
3) How can you make others feel valued and heard? Networking is relationship building not treating people like a vending machine. Remember you are looking to add value to their life and you want them to add value to yours. Often people hire or collaborate with you not only for your talent but because they enjoy you as a person.
So those are just a few reasons to get involved in professional organizations or workshops in this new year. This will give you access to new resources, learn from experienced artists, and network with peers.
10. Build Your Business
The end of the year is a great time for you and God to have a chat about what he is doing in your business and His plans for you moving forward. In the new year, it feels like a chance to reset and recommit your work to Him. So go for it. Take that time to seek Him for His plans for your career and art business in this new year. Renew your commitment to put him first in all that you do. Take time to access your business and see where you need help and resources. Go to the Lord for help. And see where He is opening doors for you! And if you want to work on your business to get real traction sign up for our next Art & Entrepreneurship Summit– we’ll be doing it in the new year, so get on the wait-list now to save your spot.
Ultimately, remember your life, career, family, business—everything is in God’s hands. And He is a good, faithful, provider and protector of His children. So spend some time with Him this week. Reflect, be thankful and look to the new year through His eyes. And know we are praying for you- for God’s blessings, provision and sanctification—for His glory. Here’s the verse we are praying over you in this new year:
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
-Isaiah 40:31, NIV
Let me know in the comments below which activity is the most important for you to do this year end. I’d love to hear from you!
Copyright © 2022 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.