• Hannah Ghafary

2020 New Years' Resolutions for Artists and Creatives

As 2019 comes to a close, I am reflecting on where my journey has taken me in the past year and where I hope to go in the coming year. To say that 2019 was an uphill battle for me would be an understatement, but it was also a year of immense personal and creative growth.


In 2019, I set and successfully achieved my creative goals of supporting more fellow artists and growing my social media. Another resolution of 2019 I successfully completed was my goal to make more time to explore art museums and gallery exhibitions. In the last year, I have seen art across the Southeastern United States, from Julie Anne Greenberg’s sculpture at the CAM Raleigh to Kehinde Wiley’s famed, colorful portraits at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.


The goals you choose now will provide you with focus and stability as you maneuver the chaos that is life for the next 365 days. As you reflect on where you want to be twelve months from now, I thought I’d share some of the goals I’ve set as a creative and small business owner for 2020 with you:


In 2020, I will MAKE A BETTER EFFORT TO VIEW, LEARN ABOUT AND SUPPORT ARTWORK BY FEMALE ARTISTS, ARTISTS OF COLOR, NON-WESTERN AND INDIGENOUS ARTISTS, AND OTHERS TRADTIIONALLY EXCLUDED from the official art history scene. This starts with choosing not to support inauthentic, foreign-made indigenous artwork and supporting artists who represent and promote the beauty of diversity.


If there’s anything the past year has taught me, it is that growth can only occur when one steps outside of their comfort zone. So, in 2020, I will strive to continue to STEP OUT OF MY CREATIVE COMFORT ZONE, whether it is experimenting with new mediums and techniques, or simply trying a new warm-up exercise in my sketchbook before I paint.


This year, I want to SUPPORT MORE UP-AND-COMING ARTISTS, especially in my community but also around the world. I can personally attest that, when it comes to establishing yourself as a professional artist, every contribution makes a difference, no matter how big or small. So, in 2020, I will strive to support my fellow artists, not only by offering them exposure through sharing their work, but also financially (whenever I can), whether it means buying their work or buying my artist friend a coffee.

In 2020, I WILL INVEST MORE IN MYSELF. I will spend less money on Tobi and Chick-Fil-A (whoops), and more money investing in my art and my business.


This year: ART > SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT. In 2019, I focused on growing my social media platforms, which is a crucial part of establishing an online presence as an artist. Over the past year, I created a virtual shop to sell my work, I started an art + lifestyle blog, and I joined several online creative communities. But, through all of this, I also became aware of the difficult balancing act that comes with managing the full-time job of staying active on social media without allowing it to override my artistic process. This year, I will strive to rediscover the fun of simply creating, and I will aim to let go of the anxious worries to create art that is “like”-worthy. I WILL CREATE FOR ME.


In 2020, I WILL PRACTICE BETTER SELF CARE to stay sane, balanced, productive and creative. For me, this looks like less screen time, and more time spent getting back to activities I love, such as reading books or kayaking.


This year, I WILL KEEP BETTER TRACK OF MY WORK! I’ve learned that documenting these things is a part of valuing your work and improving your small business. Not sure where to start? Keep a spreadsheet where you document all of your work, including titles, dimensions, mediums and dates. Keep record of where your art is, who owns it and how much you sold it for. I’ve created a map documenting all of the states I’ve made art sales in, which can be a fun visual way to document your progress as a business owner!

This last resolution is truly a goal worth having every year: In 2020, I will aim to CREATE SOMETHING EVERY SINGLE DAY, no matter how big or small. This starts with scheduling undistracted time to create on a regular basis. But life happens, and most of us probably won’t have the time to create a full masterpiece every day this year. That’s why I keep a small sketchbook or Moleskin in my purse or backpack, so that I can take advantage of that ten minutes I have on my coffee break or the time spent in the doctors waiting room.



Regardless of what resolutions you decide on, I hope that the New Year brings you a year of health, happiness, and success. Words cannot express the gratitude I have to everyone who has followed my creative journey in 2019, and I am hopeful that you will stay along for the ride in 2020.


Until Next Time,









PS - I am planning to start a regular email newsletter in 2020, so, if you haven’t subscribed to my email list, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email so you can receive updates, discounts, and more!

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