For starters, we all tend to make goals in the new year and a new year often means new goals. There's a lot of soul-searching and coming up with new directions, new plans and sometimes even new techniques. This is also a good time to take stock of where last year went, what worked and what maybe needs a bit of tweaking.
Often we need to clean up and get organized and this can be even more difficult for artists, since our studios hide a multitude of "organizationally challenged" sins. Admit it, we're a messy lot-more often than not keeping old paints about and having strange stashes of flash memory piles, that sort of thing. The new year marks a good time to clear off some of this clutter and help clear the way for our new projects. Sometimes, even just cleaning off our desks is a good start and can go a long way to helping clear out some of the clutter.
Then there is all of the paperwork involved. We have to get setup for 2013. We have to get rid of old catalogs. We have to doing things like track invoices and get ready for new projects. Maybe the website needs an update or you've got some digital files you've been meaning to back-up but never got around to? This is also a good time to do those sorts of things.
It's also a good time of year to connect with clients and keep in touch with those on our mailing lists. Thank you notes, holiday cards, new year announcements, and the like all happen now and this is a wonderful time of year to highlight some new work but also keep in touch with old friends. You know, reach out, touch base, rekindle, that sort of a thing. It's good to do, isn't it?
Finally, there's the gear aspect to all of this. The new year is a great time to assess what gear you have, what you want, what you really need, maybe even purge some of what you don't, that sort of a thing. Personally, this year marks a big gear up year for me, as I'm moving over to the new computer and also updating some lighting and other parts of my shooting rig. These are all things we need to do and the change in the calendar year marks a good time for planning what to purchase over the course of the year. Even if you're thinking about getting something in September, this can be a good time to start budgeting for it or to start thinking about how to fold new gear into your existing setup. Gear doesn't magically happen overnight, we often have to work with it and work to get it into the fold of our day to day shooting-there's a comfort level involved and some items have a learning curve, so it's nice to plan for that as well.
It's also a great time of year to go out for a walk and just clear your head or start the process of booking travel for the next year as well. It's a good idea to think about locations where you want to go and maybe plan out how you are going to spend each season of the coming year. It's always hard to narrow down locations and think about eliminating this trip or doing that trip "next year instead" but a lot of that goes down this time of year as well.
I hope the new year finds you doing some or all of these things. It's sure to be crazy enough once things really get rolling so this is a good time to reflect, to clean up, to clear up, and to gear up if you haven't done any of that already.
Until next time...