Artists during a paint-out at a Plein Air Convention & Expo (2019, San Francisco)
Artists during a paint-out at a Plein Air Convention & Expo (San Francisco, 2019)

On Art Goals and More > One of my favorite things to say is, “I’m only comfortable when I’m outside my comfort zone.” Living in this space of the unknown helps us push ourselves to experiment, try new things, and feel good even when we fail big … all the things that successful creatives do.

So as we head into a new year, I’d like to invite you to join me in the fear zone and try something new in your art world.

  1. Visit a nearby park you’ve never been to and draw or paint there.
  2. Find the closest art organization and become involved with your local community.
  3. Copy your favorite masterwork to further understand it.
  4. Go on at least one retreat — these are invaluable to us creatives because they give us uninterrupted time to create and to be with others who share the same love of art.
  5. Visit an art museum you’ve never been to, or make it a point to see a traveling exhibition.
  6. Try a new medium. Consider oil, pastel, oil pastel, watercolor, gouache, or pen and ink.
  7. Try a different paintbrush, pen, or another mark-making tool (get creative — pull something out of a kitchen drawer and see what it can do for you!).
  8. Write down your most important art-related goal for the year.
  9. Visit an art supply store (in person if possible) and buy the thing you’ve been wanting to splurge on.
  10. Take at least one workshop. Continuing education is important for all of us, and with online and video workshops available, there’s always a way to find a method of learning that will work for you.
  11. Make a list of the people in your life who are the biggest supporters of you as an artist. Let them know you appreciate them and keep them close in your life.
  12. Enter an art competition. This can be a scary first step to putting your work out there, but there are many benefits, including the increased desire to step it up a level because you’re investing in the possibility of winning.
  13. Make art a habit. If you have a day job, are busy raising kids or taking care of parents, or have any other life commitments that are important to you, it can be easy to let the days and weeks go by without spending time making art. To stay in the creative habit, look at your calendar at the beginning of each week and note where you can spend even just 30 minutes painting or drawing.
art goals - Grand-prize winner of the PleinAir Salon, Jennifer McChristian
The grand-prize winner of the 11th Annual PleinAir Salon, Jennifer McChristian poses with her painting and her artwork on the cover of PleinAir Magazine. This could be you next year!

To help you get started, I’ll include some resources below. I hope you have a year filled with art in every way possible.

In the meantime, what are your goals for 2023? Share them with us in the comment section and inspire others!

Resources for Artists:
#2 – Visit and click on “Guides” in the menu bar.
#4 – For week-long art retreats simply painting with friends, check out the Publisher’s Invitationals with Eric Rhoads.
#5 – Browse our sister site,, for museum and gallery exhibitions.
#10 – Here at Streamline Publishing, we offer the world’s biggest online art events, including Plein Air Live, and plenty of art video workshops at For an event that’s part retreat with tons of workshops, join us in Denver this May for the Plein Air Convention & Expo.
#12 – The Plein Air Salon is a monthly art competition with cash prizes as well as the coveted prize of getting your winning painting on the cover of PleinAir Magazine



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