I fear the unknown.
Though I think everyone does in some sense. But I feel like I am especially afraid because I constantly worry about my future as an artist, success and stability. This fear is so deep I’ve even had reoccurring nightmares about murky water or black water which is probably connected to this phobia. Whats worse is that I really don’t have a way to confront it because sadly, I’m not a psychic, nor can I time travel so I’ll never know whats truly waiting around the corner regardless of planning. So I guess I’m just in this perpetual state of suppressed panic. But aren’t we all just a little? Luckily, I’m learning how to cope with this with good ol’ goal setting.
I think it’s just a generally good idea to be thinking ahead all the time. That way you have something to motivate you or to look forward too. Sure you can make mental notes, but all the minor details get lost along the lines or you totally and completely forget about them (which I can consistently guilty of). But there are a lot of things that we see and think “I wanna do that!” but forget we even wanted as time passes because life happens and distracts us. Which is why I’m grateful that my sculpture professor assigned us to write out our personal goals from this upcoming semester to 20 years in the future. There’s something about writing ideas down or typing them out that makes it seem official. Like the thoughts are right in front of me, I can see them in a physical setting so that means I actually have to take them a little more seriously. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
• Start a solid series of new work
• Travel to a sculpture conference or artists expo and actually talk to a featured artist
• Speak Arabic at a comfortable level
• Be in a group show
1 year goals
• Graduate with a BFA in sculpture
• Be in Egypt learning about restoration while making a body of work
• Get accepted into grad school of choice with a scholarship/fellowship
• Upgrade kyu levels in aikido to 5th kyu
5 year goals
• Graduate from grad school
• Secure a job in restoration or teaching at a university
• Continue making art in sculpture
• Get black belt in Aikido
• Become successful enough with art that I can quit my career and just be a studio artist
• Get married somewhere along the lines
• Gain gallery representation and show internationally
• Travel around the world
• Maintain contact with peers
• Start a jazz big band
• Meet Beyoncé`
• Pet a dolphin
• Go in a volcano
• Hang glide
• Donate at least $1000 to a charity
• Live by the sea or some large body of water
• Be healthy and take good care of myself
• Be happy with my life
I like this a lot because if I even get caught in the question of “where do you see yourself in 5 years” I can have an answer that’s definitive instead of a flustered “uhhh…. well making art hopefully… why? I don’t know where are YOU going to be in 5 years!?”
This like that this kinda forces me to think and organize my thoughts to help me deal with that fear of the unknown and give me something to work towards which will motivate me if I stumble along the way or get distracted by something else. I understand these goals are no guarantee of my future, but at least I can’t say I didn’t try.