Goals...Are We There Yet?

The question "Are we there yet? "  has come up regularly during the course of my life. The term "there" might have carried a different meaning  each time it was asked, but it usually meant that I had my eye on some goal that always seemed a distance away. When I was younger, for the most part "are we there yet" referred to a geographic destination ( just ask my parents about our family car trips!).  As a teenager and beyond, it was more often related to some personal, academic or professional milestone I wanted to achieve. Over the past several years, the milestones have been mostly about my art career.

The Babysitter -  Pencil Sketch

Whenever I set out to accomplish something, master a new medium or technique, create a specific piece or collection of art/writing,  I proclaim it a goal and proceed to create a plan. I end up with a list of smaller tasks that I need to perform in order to get me "there".  Once  "there", I should have sense of satisfaction that I've completed my list and therefore reached my destination, right?...sort of.  I find when I get to the end of that list, I am happy ...for about 30 seconds. Is it because, although I've finished what was on my list, I haven't really mastered what I set out to, or is it because my intended milestone was achieved, but I don't actually see it as the end game? 

Bird Character Sketches - Pencil

I recently heard that Michelangelo once said  "Lord, grant that I would desire more than I can accomplish."  I think this has always been engrained in my dna ( even before I learned that it came from Michelangelo!).  I  just love to learn, especially when it's related to art and creativity. And...I find that as I reach each creative  goal, it seems to trigger a whole other set of things I want to do and learn. I also genuinely try to never get so comfortable in where I am, personally or creatively, that I'm afraid to make an adjustment or completely change it up by trying something new.  I'm on a never-ending  journey of self discovery, with no final destination and I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing. 

Giant Lizard-Window Display - Foam Core/Spray Paint

I'm very open to new creative experiences, but in trying to build a career as a artist, while continuing to evolve, how are we supposed to hang in there through the long hours of doing client work while reinventing ourselves, keeping our work fresh, dealing with work that doesn't come out right, thinking it came out right but getting rejected anyway or worse...crickets (you all know the drill)? Always reaching "A" goal but, never reaching  "The" goal, if we really even have that clearly defined in our head. When do we actually "get there" and how do we prevent ourselves from becoming so worn down and discouraged by all the hurdles along the way, that we want to give up before we arrive?  

Cricket Character Sketches - Pencil

I think for me, it's been more about what I've learned (and still learning) from the journey and not necessarily from each destination. I survive it all by allowing myself to be human and feel badly in those down times, but not for long! I try to pick right back up as quickly as possible, with a positive attitude and action... maybe a new project or art piece or even shake things up bit by taking a professional risk. Sometimes it's just a matter of small accomplishment, like straightening up my creative spaces or cleaning my art supplies that moves me forward again with that feeling of new beginnings.

 I also have an amazing support system in my husband and kids, my close friends and, of course, my crit group! Sometimes, it's simply an encouraging word from my "people" that gives me the courage to try again. But more than anything, I've learned to rise and fall with the tides more, by developing an emotional buoyancy, that for me, is deeply rooted in my faith, the rush I get from learning something new and the ability to always see hope in creativity!

 Happy Easter Everyone!

Website: www.deborahcuneoillustration.com
Blog: Creating Out Loud  deborahcuneo.blogspot.com
Facebook: Deborah Cuneo Illustration
Twitter: @debcuneoart


  1. The only constant is change! I'm so proud of all you do.

  2. So very very true. Sometimes I forget to enjoy the journey. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Sometimes the journey is enjoyable and sometimes notsomuch! But it is important to take it All in, process it, and let the positive aspects continue to propel you forward in a smarter way!!