The Dream Life (aka “The Art Bucket List”)

It’s probably no surprise that, as an artist, I follow dozens of other artists and creatives, several of whom are clearly much more established and successful than I am. One thing that the most successful art entrepreneurs do (along with a number of other inspirational people I’ve come across) is some form of what I’ve come to think of as manifestations, or affirmations of intent. Basically, they make lists or journal about some of their wildest dreams and goals related to their business and their life, or in some other way put those desires “out into the universe” which, most of them will swear, is the best way to make those things actually happen.

So, I’ve decided to give it a try, because, what can it hurt? Here’s a list of the things I’d like to manifest in my life. (These are fairly vague in some cases, and it’s not an exhaustive list, so bear with me).

  1. The ultimate, number one dream is to be able to support myself solely on income from my art. Not just “getting by,” but thriving. To me, it’s all about freedom — the freedom to work how I want, where I want, with whom I want.
  2. Since I can remember, I’ve loved Paris. I don’t know what attracts me to it so much — it is dirty, and touristy, and big and crowded — but it’s also beautiful, and historic, and charming, and inspiring. I would love to spend a year — just a year, not my whole life — living in and exploring Paris with Jake (and the kitties, if they want to come too). I should probably start brushing up on my French.
  3. I’d love to do licensing deals with stationery and lifestyle brands: seeing my art on journals, planners, and other household items with names that people recognize (and collecting those royalties…) would be amazing. I’ve never really aspired to “high art” — I’m much more interested in creating accessible, affordable works that add beauty to people’s lives. I think this is a great way to do that. That said:
  4. I would happily travel the country to do art fairs and festivals. I’d love to be the headliner for one of these events (perhaps a gallery showing/sale). I also think it would be fun to teach watercolor one-on-one, as I get better, or in small groups/workshops. I’d love to be able to try this overseas, too.
  5. I want to someday own an old Victorian mansion (or something similar) to run an artists’ retreat in a picturesque, inspiring location (similar to La Muse, a renovated 12th-century manor in southern France, where I spent a life-changing few weeks in summer of 2013). I would love to give space and time to artists of all mediums to come and live and work, distraction free, in the company of other artists for few weeks. There would be studio space and a library and lovely grounds and gardens for people to find inspiration. There would also be a spacious kitchen and dining area for meeting over dinner and good conversation. (There would also be space for me to work, too.)

I’ll keep it to these “top five,” for now, though even just thinking about these is opening the doors to other ideas and notions. It’s a fun exercise, and I’d encourage you (whether you consider yourself “creative” or not) to give it a try. What are some “big dreams” that you’d like to manifest in your life? I’d love for you to share one or two of them with me here. Have you already manifested some of those dreams/goals/ideas (or taken steps toward doing so)?

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