3 Questions Every Artist Needs to Ask Themselves Mid-Year

Artwork Archive | June 12, 2018 (Updated September 20, 2022)

Achieve your art business goals this year by asking yourself these questions.

As mid-year approaches and the heat sets in, it’s time to reevaluate where you are at with the plans you set at the start of the new year.

Summer is a critical time for every artist to take stock of where they are at with their goals in 2018.

Whether your New Year's goal was to grow your art business, get your work into a national gallery, quit your day job, or get your business organized, July is an ideal time to take stock of your goals, measure progress, evaluate your tactics, and adjust your deadlines if need be.

Take advantage of the longer days by breaking out the business plans and ask yourself these three questions to see how you can refine your approach during the second half of the year.


Which goals have you made progress on and where are you falling short?

Ask yourself what is working and what isn’t working. Use concrete numbers or measures to track your progress.

If your goal was to grow your overall art business, take a look at your monthly sales. Are they more or less than the previous year? Which months performed better than others? How can you use those insights and apply that knowledge to grow the other months?

One easy way to get a quick overview of your art business numbers is by using Artwork Archive’s Insights tool. You can easily track your sales and production over time and get a sense of where you are with your goals.

If getting into an art gallery is your goal, how many galleries have you sent a catalog of your works? How many art fairs are you participating in and how many shows did you apply for? How often are you searching for new opportunities on call-for-entry sites?

Keep track of what you are doing and what you are accomplishing. This will inform your future progress, therefore helping you achieve your goals.

Look back at the goals you set at the start of the year. You should have made clear, measurable goals with distinct deadlines. If you haven’t, do it now. Take a minute to recognize the achievements you have made so far and then continue to look forward.


Why have I met certain goals and not others?

You know where you are succeeding, but it’s time to figure out why you are succeeding. And, more importantly, apply that to the areas that aren’t going as well.

If you are succeeding at a goal of making more income from art fairs this year, you probably had the tactics to get there. You most likely carved out time to research what fairs other artists had success at and set aside a few hours a week to apply to those shows with your best work. You probably looked at what work was selling particularly well in that area and responded by making more of that work.

On the flipside, if your goal was to get the business side of your art career organized, but you are still swimming in a sea of unpaid invoices and stray papers, think about why.

Do you not know where to get started? Do you have the right tools? Do you think you don’t have enough time? Do you get distracted by social media when you get on your computer?

If your goal was to quit your day job and focus on your art business, but you haven’t made the leap yet, what is holding you back? Is it financial obligations or something more abstract? Are you afraid to contact galleries and send out your portfolio? Are you afraid to quit your job for the fear of failure? Then ask yourself why you are afraid of these things and how you benefit from avoiding them.

Look back at why you were successful at making more money at art fairs this year. You planned and prepared in advance. You took the time to talk with other artists to see what works for them. You made a habit of searching and applying for new shows every week at the start of the year. You took a risk and applied to something you thought might be a reach.

Think about how you can apply these tactics to the goals that you didn’t reach.

Do I need to reevaluate my deadlines?

So, you didn’t make painting or sculpture—or whatever your main artform is—your full-time gig this year. Take a step back and acknowledge that that’s a big goal. The problem with New Year's goals is that they often get lost in the shuffle of everyday life because they are so big and can seem intangible without a roadmap.

Once you have identified high-level goals that you haven’t achieved yet, break them down into smaller, more actionable goals and put them on your schedule to check back in before the end of the year. Set a reminder from two weeks from now to see if you have made any progress. If your goal involves weekly maintenance like staying organized or sending out price lists to galleries, set a reminder for yourself every Thursday at 6:30 to spend an hour working on your goal.

Adjusting your timeline is the most effective way to learn about yourself and what makes you successful and how to stay on track.  


Checking back in mid-year is a motivator

Knowing now that you have six months left in the year to achieve your goals for the year will give anyone more sense of urgency.

Taking the time to access your goals and tactics will help you achieve more in the coming months.

Set yourself up for success by getting the tools that easily help you track your sales, gives you insights into your art business, and helps you present your work professionally and grow your career.


Try Artwork Archive free for 14 days to see how it can help you reach your art business goals this year.


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