this year everything has a purpose

Well hello there 2017! I’m not really a New Year, New Me person, but I appreciate the motivation it gives me to become a better version of myself. The last few days of 2016 made it so clear that I didn’t do a lot of things with Art & Ambition that I wanted simply because of myself. I wouldn’t call it being fearful but more so just being drained from personal issues. If you know me I’ve always tried to live by the motto “if it doesn’t kill me then I’ll try it at least once”. This was the ultimate year of trial and error from marketing to merchandise. With the mixture of good and bad, I survived another year and I know it only made me a stronger artist.

2016 was a weirdly successful year for me and I think the secret was being intentional with the moves I made. I purposely surrounded myself with people that could help build me up. This may sound selfish but giving your time to dead end friendships/relationships or business relations will only drain you. Being successful sometimes means being selfish. Think about your circle of ‘friends’, are they truly helping you accomplish your goals? Are they supporting your dreams? If not, it’s ok to find a circle of friends that do. I joke about this but I have two groups of friends, Adrienne friends & Addie friends. My ‘Adrienne’ friends are the ones who know me personally and are my shoulder to lean on when the world gets heavy. My ‘Addie’ friends are the creative circles I’ve built. They’re the ones I exchange ideas with, the ones that can call on me if they need some advice or I can reach out to when in need of a random photoshoot. Altogether I made it a mission to intentionally be consumed with only good energy and positive minded individuals. I shared my ideas with only those I could trust. Having a few go-to people to throw ideas around with is refreshing. There were times I’ve caught myself smiling with expressing an idea to friends and getting their honest feedback before I showcase it on my website/social media. Not everyone can be a strainer to your ideas, choose wisely and share when you’re ready.  I accepted opportunities that would allow me to be a better artist. I also turned down a few opportunities that I felt weren’t right for me. That was probably the hardest thing for me to do in 2016. You have to figure out what you want and how to get there. You don’t have to have the exact directions, just be true to yourself and go with your gut.

This year is a lot different. I want this to be the year of yes for me. I want to say yes to more inquiries about commission work. I want to say yes to art shows. I want to say yes to more collaborations. I think we all need to start saying yes a little more. Saying no can make you feel powerful, but it can always hold you back from growing. I’ve been saying no way too much the past two years. 2017 will be a year that I do something new every month, stepping outside of my usual routine and comfort zone. I’m already prepared to have a few anxiety attacks because I’ll be forcing myself to ignore everything I already know about my brand so that I can be open to new concepts and projects. But I’ll have conditions of course, and I guess that’s where it gets sticky. I will not sell my soul. I will not do things that are against my mission. I will not become a cliche artist. I will continue to be innovative. I will do this while being a team player and saying yes as often as possible.

We all know that if you want different results you have to change your actions and sometimes your mindset. That’s why creating yearly goals or “new year’s resolutions” are necessary for guiding yourself to perform the change. It can be hard to pinpoint what you would like to do different but try recapping last year. I went through my goals from 2016 and highlighted everything I didn’t accomplish. Then I made a list of things I did achieve and I tried to find the white space. The white space is the area that was missing between what I did and what I wasn’t able to do. Let’s use a pretty big goal of having a “Brown Girls meetup” event that I was never able to do last year. Even though I wasn’t able to execute the meetup, I had 5 unexpected features and interviews for blogs/magazines. What was missing was the initiative to collaborate with other creatives because I was so busy saying ‘no’ and building within Art & Ambition. That is the white space! Now I know that I have to partner with others if I want to create and execute my “Brown Girls meetup” plans. Finding your whitespace may not be that simple but no worries, it took me a few weeks to get down the saying yes again. I have high hopes for this year and I’m positive that we can all take big strides in our journey if we continue to be intentional with our actions and of course stay positive! If you’re looking for a good way to stay motivated, my new 2017 planners are available in the shop (with newly added budget sheets)!

Tips for an intentional year:

  • Document everything! Blog, write in a journal or take a picture. Whichever works best for you try to document your year. This is helpful at the end of the year to recap what you've accomplished.
  • Try to introduce yourself to at least 2 people who've inspired you. This is could be a total stranger but who knows what kind of relationship/friendship it could become.
  • Reflect! Reflect! Reflect! Give yourself time to reflect. Sometimes we get so consumed with living in action that we forget to sit down and see what we're doing.
  • Have a purpose with every move. If you're traveling for fun, try to squeeze in time to visit art galleries or meet up with local artists. 
  • Let go of things/people that bring negative energy or keeps you away from your goals. 
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