Goal setting when projects are over

I’m in a curious space at the moment. I have been working on project with external deadlines (like my Community Spirit and Criminal Quilts projects) for years, and finally, by the end of October, all of them come to an end. I had applied to do another big project this winter but that didn’t happen, so here I am contemplating the autumn and winter with no ongoing things with external partners. I still have my ‘own’ projects like my Maker Membership which will keep me busy and inspired, but I won’t be working with anyone else, project-managing, delivering workshops, designing print or moving exhibitions around. It’s both WONDERFUL to have a break and quite disconcerting to have the space.

I’ve been on this project-to-project rollercoaster for so many years I can’t even think about adding them up. There was a bit of a pause at the start of the pandemic when my exhibitions got cancelled and I stopped doing anything external, but I soon got stuck into Textiles in Lockdown and then other projects happened and have continued, until now.

I usually do my planning and goal setting in January but there’s no point in waiting, so here I am heading into autumn, the new academic year, thinking about my annual reflection and figuring out what I want to be doing at least for the next 6-12 months.

I’m starting this process with a week-long artist retreat with the wonderful Gillian McFarland so I can really think about my creative goals for the next while, separate from my more business-focussed plans. Because of the way I work, I find it easier to separate the two, although my long-term intention is to bring the two more closely together.

During this break I will be working on my own Gentle Goal Setting workbook, really digging into what matters to me, why I do the work I do, what my goals, hopes & dreams are and how I can be working towards them, steadily but crucially – gently – over the next year or so.

My Gentle Goal Setting process is designed to be responsive to your needs, energy, creativity and working life. I believe that goals should be more like guiding lights, directions to follow not a time-restricted set of things you must do or you have failed. I create goals which take me towards they kind of life I want to live, not goals that make me feel pressured, exhausted and risk falling behind before I’ve really got started. The self-study workbook is available here for £20

Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of my goals that I’ve been working on this year and how I’ve made progress. You can also, if you wish, look at my 2021 goals in two blog posts here and here.


If you are looking for a creative community with ongoing support and resources to challenge your thinking and take your creative practice further, have a look at my Maker Membership. It’s a monthly rolling membership that you can join any time. I create workbooks, blog posts and videos about all kinds of things including research, creative development and reflection. There’s also a lively community who share their work and their thoughts via the members chat and we meet monthly on Zoom for a group mentoring session which is always really inspiring and encouraging. Find out more here. It’s £25 per month to join with no minimum term. Find out more here or click the button below to join.

Talks and Events February and March 2018

I have a sudden flurry of talks, events, training and other activities coming up in the next few weeks, starting with a talk about my work at the lovely  Atelier Stroud on 24th February, 2.30pm. Details and booking here.

 

On Monday 26th February I am taking part in Process, part of DMU Cultural Exchanges programme with a workshop about my genetics residency project with Gillian McFarland and Professor Turi King. This is a FREE event at De Montfort University and will include the chance to extract DNA and make a creative petri dish.  Find out more and book here.

I’m sharing my project development and funding experience as well as launching a new Pain-Free Project Planning toolkit at Craftspace’s Made in the Middle Pathways to Making II Symposium on 9th March.

For Leicestershire artists and makers there’s a free workshop on funding your creative practice on Monday 12th March.

And later on Thurs 15th March 6-7pm I’ll be giving a FREE short talk about Criminal Quilts before a film show with Unseen Cinema (film has a charge, talk doesn’t).

 

I am also giving talks to students and graduates of De Montfort University, Loughborough University and Wolverhampton university in the next few weeks. I am always happy to talk to university course leaders and enterprise teams about delivering professional development sessions.