Your Art Resolutions for 2021

  • Hey guys, as the new year looms into view and we all think about our projects for 2021, do you have any goals for your artistic development?

    For the last couple of years I've been working on my use of colour. But next year I'm going to take a step back and work on the underpinning drawing skill and push my shapes more, as well as getting braver with solid blacks and drawn material details. I want to shift the balance from using colour to make decisions, to it simply being compliment to an already functional illustration.

    That's my Art Resolution. What's yours?

  • @Jim-Algar I plan to focus on something specific each month. September was sketching, October was inking and November was character design. This month is landscaping - trees, water etc. At the same time I am going to practice what I've learned and still need to work on for the prior months. For example, I need to work on varying my lines and adding a whimsical element to my characters.

  • @deborah-Haagenson nice, loving the idea of focusing on a different thing each month. Maybe I should consider something like that too. Using a different subject matter (landscapes, vehicles, characters, architecture etc) every month to keep things fresh while still working on the principles I mentioned earlier.

  • @Jim-Algar great question. It’s nice to see others that think like me and look forward to using the new year for an opportunity to recreate myself as an artist and push some areas of development that are lagging.

    My focus for this next year is to do a LOT more digital work as most of my work until now resides in my sketchbook. I also plan to delve into more character design and colour theory - two areas that interest me greatly. If I have room/time for a third, it will be to learn how to do more with less. In other words, use fewer lines, nail the gesture more, live in the beauty of simplicity. I don’t want to take forever on minute details, instead I want to learn how to let the pencil flow where it wants to, work with a controlled speed and just dumb things down to their bare essentials. I want to do the minimum effective dose.

    I’m hoping 2021 brings me enough time to devote myself to my craft in order to get to where I want to be in a year’s time. I also hope the same for all of my family here at SVS. Raise your pencil’s to a great year on the horizon!

  • @DaveLeekArt that's a great goal. I've concentrated way too much on digitally painting details and not enough on gesture, pose, composition and storytelling. Some of my favourite work online is so simple, yet works perfectly. I want that efficiency.

  • Pro

    @Jim-Algar After staying pretty stagnant for the last several years in my artistic development, I have big goals for 2021! I've noticed my taste has changed quite a bit this year, and I wish to change my style to reflect this. I want to move away from my commercial vector style that's pigeon holing me in the younger market (baby books, board books) and go back to my love of watercolors, pastel, coloring pencils. I want to develop a new richly textured traditional mixed media style that will be suited for the 32-page picture book market.

    This means I have to do a new 12-piece portfolio from scratch and it's quite intimidating! But I met with my agent to talk this out, and recently hammered out the whole plan so I feel more confident. Since I have to do it while juggling my illustration contracts + keeping bills paid, this will likely take the whole year. But I'm very excited! I've ordered myself some new art supplies to play with and they'll get here during the holidays ❤

  • @Jim-Algar I really like this thread! I'm going to improve on my figure drawings skills so I can work on making human characters. All of mine are animals and I've been using "that's my style" as an excuse for it to stay that way. I'm also going to better at documenting and sharing, and to do this I'm going to post on Instagram 5 days a week for the year and hopefully into the foreseeable future.

    Thanks for this! I've been thinking about this a lot, and it's nice to put it out in front of other people making the same goals!

  • @Jim-Algar Hi!

    My major goal for 2021 is to work through and complete the SVSlearn curriculum (at least the drawing portion). One of last years goals was to start to develop a style so that when I got my skills up to snuff I knew I had a style that other people liked and I am confident I can develop further. Also in 2020 I needed to return to traditional mediums which was another adjustment I am glad I made.

    I am also going forward to write out some stories. By the end of the year 2021 I like to start a book dummy (encouraged by @NessIllustration ❤ ).

  • Hey--my big advice if you have the time is start your resolutions today, not on Jan 1. Go. Make it happen. Don't let an arbitrary date be the thing that kicks in your new good habits.

    Recently, my wife asked me to put her on a fitness/healthy eating plan and she suggested to start it a few days later...I was happy to help but we had to start it that minute, not wait until "Monday" or "after the Holiday Party" or "After the Packers win the Superbowl". Go. Just Go. Don't wait.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Moderator

    My resolution is to get two book dummies done, continue to focus my body of work and identity, and then finally start creating some prints for my shop focused on some classic stories or plays. And maybe after that's all done (LOL!) swing back around to complete the homework for some of the classes here at SVSLearn.

    It's nice to have this articulated. Really helps me center on just exactly what I need to do!

  • SVS OG

    I wrote a couple of stories which I have been meaning to illustrate. So that's on my to do for 2021, would like to self publish them but that depends of finances. Also would like to start producing more art in finished way in general. Most of my stuff is in the 'art practice', 'in process' or 'quick sketch' stage

  • @Jim-Algar Great topic! It's fun to read everyone's plans for the new year!

    My resolutions are:

    1. To practice more (anthropomorphic) animal drawings.
    2. Learn and practice writing picture books
    3. Finish at least one picture book dummy
    4. Make tutorial videos of my illustration process

    Woo it feels good to have this written down! 😃

  • SVS OG

    Good idea! Mine are:

    Push storytelling
    Improve speed
    Improve perspective skills
    Continue experimenting while style gels a bit
    Finish narrative sequence and publish a website!

  • Awesome goals!

    Next year I plan to:

    1. Make a painting every week
    2. Print a booklet based on Chinese Metaphors
    3. Email local children's book publishers every other week
    4. Email kid magazine publishers every other week

    I also want to up my game and post every week on Instagram but that's kind of a nice to have rather han a goal haha.

  • More consistency in my drawing! I’ve been juggling too many non-drawing projects this year that I’ve lost the art of making time to draw more, watch the SVS classes, experiment more.

    Another goal of mine for 2021 (and beyond) is to learn/accept failure in my drawings. I’ve fallen into the trap of expecting every drawing I make to be top notch 1000% awesome and done in 5 minutes 🙄 Not sure where that kind of thinking came from but it’s time it banishes from my brain!

  • Everyone's ideas are nice to read through. It's good that we have specific and achievable goals in mind! 🙂

    My main goals for 2021 are:
    A: finish the foundations curriculum on SVS

    B: start freelance work for something small (like pet portraits) to get the business ball rolling


    C: really hone in on my children's book style and start a picture book dummy! 😃

  • I only have one art resolution: Schedule time to play.
    I am considering the concept of "analog Friday" - basically, on every Friday afternoon, I will take out my traditional art supplies and mess around with them. I want to push my art to the direction which is less polished, more playful, more natural brush strokes. I feel like I need to do things on papers with real art supplies instead of trying to mimic the natural brush strokes on the computer all the way.

  • @NessIllustration Sounds Exciting!

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li that’s a great idea! I may have to copy that 😏

  • @Kat please do so! 🙂