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GOOOAAALS! The World Cup is the perfect time to talk about goals.

Setting good goals is useful to not just artists but anyone who wants to achieve something.

When I graduated college and started my career, my goals were unfocused. Basically, I just wanted to get a job doing what I love, which in my case is of course drawing and painting. That was my whole goal. I didn't aim for anything more than that, and as a result, my career went nowhere.

Then, after reflecting on my career and examining the careers of people I admired (again, not just artists), I developed a master plan for my success that basically boiled down to four things:

1. Recognize the importance of setting goals.

Let's say you have the extraordinary ability to kick a ball farther and more accurately than anyone you know. As a result, you want to become a soccer player. But then when you're on the soccer pitch and the ball comes to you, you just kick it as hard as you can in whatever direction you're facing. Just being on a pitch and kicking a ball doesn't make you a soccer player; at this stage, you are just someone who can kick a ball.

To be a proper player, you have to know the rules and of course, recognize which goal you're kicking at. Only then will your natural kicking ability be applied towards becoming a successful soccer player.

This brings us to:

2. Target specific goals.

In life, there is usually some "goalkeeper" (such as lack of education, experience, exposure, etc.) that obstructs your progress to your goal. To succeed, therefore, you have to overcome the keeper.

If your goal is very broad, you won't have a focused target to aim for; it isn't enough to just kick the ball in the general direction of the goal and hope for a lucky bounce. Don't put your life in the hands of chance and luck.

In my case, instead of peppering the keeper with shot after shot, I examined my goal (to become a professional artist) and aimed intently at a focused point like the upper corner of the net (to become a professional concept artist for movies).

Kick after kick, I attacked my specific goal. Sometimes the keeper got to them and kept them out, but slowly I started scoring more and more often until eventually the goalkeeper realized that it was futile to try to stop me and left the pitch.

3. Loose route, firm objective.

From one end of the field to the other, you might know where you're headed, but there are defenders in the way. To get around them, you and your teammates have to run plays to set up your scoring chances. But what if an astute defender disrupts your play? You can't stop the game in order to come up with a new play, so instead you improvise until you can come up with something else.

We have many ways to get to our goals. Making a specific plan is an excellent start but it's vital to remain flexible enough that you can alter your original plan to go around or overcome new, unexpected obstacles.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "plans are useless but planning is indispensible." Plans are rigid, but planning is loose and flexible. Grow your habit for planning—your ability to think ahead and lay out the steps in your play, and if you're impeded, devise a new route or play to the goal, all without stopping.

4. Aim high.

I don't have a soccer metaphor for this one, haha. But I don't think aiming high really needs one, does it?

As far as rules go, it's pretty straightforward: go for the highest level job you feel you can reasonably do, based on your talent, skills, and experience. If you don't get it, go for the second highest, and so on. The traditional convention of "climbing the ladder" is inefficient because, not only is it a waste of your time toiling away at a job that you're overqualified for, your company is also robbed of the true value of your services for that whole time.

When I wanted to be a professional artist, people told me that an artist's life is too hard and I wouldn't be able to do it and support myself.

But I set a specific goal, made a plan, and became an artist anyway, and things have worked out.

When I wanted to start my own studio, people said I lacked experience as an artist and as an entrepreneur and I was doomed to fail.

But I set a specific goal, made a plan, and started my own studio anyway and things have worked out.

When I wanted to work on Hollywood movies from my studio in Toronto, people said no one would let me work remotely, that's just not how things are done.

But I set a specific goal, made a plan, and wound up on feature films anyway. Clearly, there were others who felt that the way things are done isn't always the way they should be done forever and ever.

So, keep learning and making yourself really good at whatever it is that you do, whether that's art, music, computer programming, or whatever.

Humanity has thrived because of our ability to recognize and elevate amazing individuals for the benefit of the group, so keep getting better and inevitably, the world will have no choice but to notice.

Good vibes to you all!


For art education -->
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CaliforniaClipper Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, helpful. :)
AtticCreationz2 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Such a great and simple metaphor, thank you for helping people in this way!
JujuBearSama Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
ahhh, how lucky I was to come across this journal! I like how you explain everything and I found this very helpful!

Thanks! I'll always keep these in mind!
l3onnie Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the great tips! :) Keeps me motivated working towards my goal and improving my plan along the way!
Puriimochi Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Such words! //sobs//
GwyniesArt Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, this was a great and enlightening read! I don't know much about soccer, but understood it nonetheless :).

One thought though. With "Don't put your life in the hands of chance and luck", I don't fully agree. I've learned not to put my life into the hands of others, since others don't always have the ability to see or experience reality as you do (as you've pointed out too). But I do trust in life itself. Sometimes things head your way because you're ready for them (or need to learn from it). 'The teachers comes when the student is ready' and I consider life a teacher as well.

Anyway, stay true to yourself, not to what others what you to.

Thanks for sharing your 4 keys, they're inspiring.
Kajenx Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Professional Artist
I have trouble with number 1, so the rest of them don't seem to apply. :P
selk-e Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014   Digital Artist
This is so helpful.  :) 
KetsuoTategami Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much, Bobby =)
sora1589 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just the motivational hit I needed. Thankyou:)
Lyth Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks! :)
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Photographer
This is actually some pretty good advice.  Thank you!
fableweaver55 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014
This is so motivating. Thanks for writing this. Heart :D (Big Grin) 
MistahPete Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
This is good, Bobby. Thanks.
ArtofJefferyHebert Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Great words of wisdom!
eleysegottman Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014   General Artist
Loving the analogies!
MPFitzpatrick Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014
Fantastic, thoughtful post! It really helps to see what kinds of things to really think about when setting these goals. And it's so encouraging to see someone successful support the idea that someone can set goals that are outside the normal expectations, to work for what you want your life to be. I've known that I need to set a solid goal, but keep thinking that I don't know what I want to do - but reading this I realize that what I want isn't one of the "normal" goals, and that's OK.

Thank you for this post.
Chari-Artist Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, this was just what I needed to read. Graduating Art school in about a week with hazy goals, I need to work on that now. ^^
Addy-Boo Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Inspirational as always, thanks Bobby!
CharlotteHintzmann Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much for these uplifting words!
Reixma Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for that little bit of inspiration! ^_^~x
Noxmoony Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Student Filmographer
True to the core <3
hoschie Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I doesn't like the The World Cup, but right words at the right moment for me :-) Thanks for the motivation !
jgordinho Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014
Thank you Master
SGYu Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014   Digital Artist
Great tips. Fellow SGean here =3!
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Excellent tips, Bobby, thanks for sharing!! :heart:
qaimnaqvi Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Wonderful and true tips. Thanks!
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Submitted on
July 10, 2014


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