Sunday, May 20, 2012

Individual Development Plan/Art Development Plan

Recently I've had the opportunity to create an Individual Development Plan for an Aspiring Supervisor Program through my work as a health care analyst at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Since working on the development plan got me thinking about having an art life in addition to the analyst position, I figured I’d share some of my thoughts here. (I’ll write more on actually making art next time.)

The program helped me to think about my career plans in general. I have a dual career life as an artist and an analyst. I tend to prefer to focus my career plans on the art side, but I figured I’d take the Aspiring Supervisor course to find out if I would be interested in being a supervisor some day. I still don’t know if I’d want to be one, but I sure learned a lot that will help with being an analyst and help with having a career as an artist. I realized that I could not separate my art career completely from my analyst career at least for the purposes of writing an individual development plan. I’m certainly not the first to have a creative pursuit and a day job. According to Ellen Langer in her book “On Becoming an Artist” Wassily Kandinsky was a social scientist, Charles Ives was an insurance agent, and William Carlos Williams was a physician. I guess I’m in good company.

The cool thing about writing the development plan was realizing that the skills that I want to develop will help me in whatever career path I follow. One of the hard things about being an artist for me has been realizing that there are so many business and interpersonal skills required to be financially successful as an artist. So why am I telling you all this? I guess I would want you to think about what you want from your creative life. Would you feel more motivated if you had a plan? …if you thought your goals? ...if you worked on developing certain skills?

I’m considering taking the Individual Development Plan one step further and writing an Art Development Plan for myself. Do I want to try to have an exhibit every year or two? Should I  apply for juried exhibits? Should I try to keep a sketchbook more regularly again? Can I cut back on my TV watching and go to the studio more evenings? Wouldn’t it be nice to blog more often? I think making an art plan would be fun for me, but I tend to be a planner. I certainly wouldn’t want to it to feel like work. I think having a plan would help me to be more focused. It would be nice to have more concrete goals that I am working towards. Having a plan certainly doesn’t mean I’d have to stick to it.

 “Focused on process, our creative life retains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren.”
       From Julia Cameron The Artist’s Way page 139

1 comment:

Edward Colozzi Ed.D. said...

A wonderful post Sonja, and so evident of your amazing Holland A Code:) I love your idea of writing an ART Development Plan! Makes total sense, Feel free to call me if you want a few ideas re doing that on a single sheet, a form I use with my clients as they develop their Action Plans.

I am very proud of you for all the work you have put into the ASP Program, and your excellent artistic work on this site. I wish you the very best with your career-life journey. All the best, Ed Colozzi