Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Career Goals

I am, first and foremost, a caricature artist by trade.  This means that I travel from corporate event to wedding to after prom to college event drawing funny faces for the masses.  This, by its nature, makes me a small business owner.  I work for eight different agencies as an independent contractor and file my taxes as a sole proprietor.  For those of you playing the home game, that means I fill out a few additional forms along with my usual taxes and pay quarterly taxes instead of having a base amount subtracted from each paycheck.  It's crazy being on that end of the business game, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Despite the catastrophe at our rental property and moving, I still managed to get a lot done in 2016.

I got some signs made for events.  I like the functionality of these displays because it works three different ways: Gigs that are booked by other agencies, gigs I book and gigs where I charge rather than get an hourly.  I can sort the signs however I need based on the kind of gig I have.  So that's pretty neat.  I do wish I had something a little more professional than this but it's not a terrible start.

I like where my style has gone this past year.  These were taken within minutes of each other during an event in January...

And this was taken at the last event of the year last year.  Not too bad.

I even managed to work in commission work despite being constantly busy last year.  This one is, hands down, one of my favorites.

While I love my job and would consider myself a fairly adept artist, there's a lot I could work on.  Here's where my chart comes in:

According to the career portion of my chart, I need three attainable goals for 2017 to become happier with my work.

According to my pentacle chart, I have three goals I want to work on, which is perfect!  Let's start from the top and work our way down.

Live Digital Caricatures

This is something I had planned on tackling in 2016 but I never got a chance with all the moving and fighting the property management company.  This has to happen this year.  It's important to any advancement in my career.  Here's what I think I'll need to do to get digital ready at my job:

Expand Agencies, Venues and Reach

This is also something I wanted to work on last year but never got the chance.  As an entertainer for parties, how you market yourself is everything.  It's how you get jobs, make new connections and fuel your business.  It's also something I am positively horrible at.  I'm confident in what I do, but I haven't mastered the "tell other people about it" side very well. Probably something I carry from my old theme park caricaturing days where (a) you didn't really have to tell anyone about it outside of when you were present at work and (b) the staff discouraged individual marketing through the job.  I mean, you signed a non-compete at the beginning of the year, so personal marketing really wasn't a priority.  I should probably make it one.

In addition to last year's goals, some of which were variably completed, I'd like to add in some celeb caricatures I can work on in my detailed painterly style each month.  Enjoy!

Keeping Better Records + Signage

Last year, I partially completed both digitalizing my records and procuring signage - about 50/50 each.  So this year, my third goal is a combination of what's left over from those goals.  This list also gives me a chance to reevaluate my current signs and see if I want to make them a bit more professional.

And so concludes the 2017 career goal planning!  Let's now sum this up in a way that I can track my progress:

Career Goals - 0% Complete for the month.
Complete monthly digital live caricatures goal. – 0% complete
Achieve x goals for expanding reach. – 0% complete.
Achieve monthly records and signage goal. – 0% complete.

Coming up:
2017 Financial Goals

To my audience:
What are your career goals for 2017?


  1. I always find it interesting how much our lives line up. I guess it is just an age thing. We have very similar financial goals this year, however, I am on a crusade to curb my husband's spending and get his and my credit cards paid off before all my student loans come out of deferment (looking at $700/month when they do). My credit card has only a small amount on it, as I had to pay out of pocket for a course last semester and over the summer. My husband...ugh. I try not to think about it. I think I have gotten through to him though when I had him sit down and look at our budget and talk to the rep in charge of my loans. When he realized I was right in my estimation of the monthly payment and showed him where all the money is going, he realized he needed to stop spending excessively. I get it; we both work hard. Its nice to buy yourself things, but there are more important matters to take care of. However, I think we can pay them both off in 8 months tops then its back to rebuilding savings and moving forward with projects on the house!

    I wish you both the best of luck this year! And the good news it, with a house that you own, if something happens in the next couple of years and you have to move, you are sitting on equity! Much easier to buy a larger home when you have $50k in equity!

    1. My husband and I actually hit a similar wall when we were first married. Having never lived on his own, he was used to just buying things whenever he wanted them. I don't think it really hit home until his student loans kicked in. Seeing that money drain from your bank account really puts it in perspective. Of course, his loans kicked in during the recession. We couldn't afford to rent and ended up staying in his grandmother's house while it was being sold (that's actually when I created this blog; I needed a new project because I felt like we had solidly failed at being adults). He's so much better now with managing money. He's just hugely forgetful, which is frustrating. We're working on that part though.

      Time and experience are the best teachers.

      Thank you so much, Willow! And good luck to you and your husband on your goals this year. I'm sure you'll rock them!