You’ve heard the phrase “the big picture,” right? It’s basically a broad, overall view or perspective of whatever you’re looking at. Well, here I’m talking about your Creative LIFE!
Do you have one? I mean, for your creative life…??
If not, I hear ya! Life gets so busy sometimes. We get caught up in the minutiae that we often forget to consider the “big picture.” Or maybe we have an idea of what we might want but, goodness knows, we seldom sit down and think about what we need to do to get it. It’s tough!
Welcome back to our mini-series From Concept to Completion. As a quick review, last week’s blog was a general overview of the entire series. I shared the 5 basic steps that I follow to turn my creative life into a reality. This process allows me to translate my plan for the year into smaller, manageable pieces. At the end of the process, I have a full-year wall calendar outlining a color-coded roadmap to keep me grounded and on track.
I break my planning down into these 5 steps:
1. The Big Picture (today’s topic)
2. The Big Rocks
3. The Resources
4. The Strategy
5. The Daily Implementation
Today, we’ll dive into step number one, The Big Picture. Each week we’ll talk about the next step, all the way to the end.
Think about The Big Picture as your basic, 30,000 foot view of your creative life over the next year or so. It’s the global map of what’s ahead of you. It contains all the special things you want to accomplish and why you want to share your creative gifts and wonderful artwork with the world.
You’re not there yet and you need to take deliberate steps to get there. The Big Picture isn’t a set of goals. It’s what you ultimately want – your north star – your BIG PICTURE! It’s the fundamental, all-encompassing vision of what you’d like to accomplish and how you’d like to feel this year.
To make this more understandable, let’s look at some examples of goals (as opposed to a Big Picture):
I have these goals:
- Release two mixed media collage collections
- Design two surface pattern collections and set up shop on Society6
- Launch my online course three times
- Learn watercolor painting and start doing florals
- Get my Instagram page running and start building a following
- Find a place at home to set up my own creative space.
- Maybe have something to sell by Christmas
These are great as goals for the year and are very specific. But they are different from The Big Picture. These are great for Step 2 – The Big Rocks – so we’ll revisit them next week when we move onto that step in the process.
For now, so we can stick with The Big Picture, we need to zoom out and go a bit broader to include your desires, your inspiration, your reason for wanting what you want.
Your Big Picture is holistic, and is grounded in what you want, what inspired you to pursue creativity in the first place and what impact you want to make with your work. That’s a big difference, right? Your Big Picture looks beyond the tactical steps and focuses on how you might want to feel and how you want to contribute in the years to come. Envision yourself in a few years. Where in life do you want to be? What do you want your creative life to look like?
To help you narrow it down, ask yourself some questions and keep in mind that there are no wrong answers.
- Is your Big Picture driven by a financial goal or an emotional goal?
- Does your Big Picture include others or is it a solo adventure?
- What items, products, or creative services make up your creative life?
- What type of inspiration and exposure are you looking for?
- What ultimate impact do you want to make and for whom?
We’re impatient by nature, so this Big Picture Thing is hard to do but is easy to skip. We want to jump right into our to-do lists and clutter. But your Big Picture, in some tangible form, is essential. It’s what will help you see opportunities for improvement and progress. Knowing the Big Picture will sustain you when change is needed, or things take longer than expected. It will help you stay motivated and stick with your creative journey.
Take some time this week and really define your Big Picture. Figure out what you want and why. If you feel daring, let us know what that is and why you chose it. Saying it to someone will make it feel real. It’s perfectly fine if you want to keep it quiet. I’m all for private celebrations! Either way, define your Big Picture – don’t skip this step!
Join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday to ask me questions and talk creativity.
We’ll have plenty of time to dive into Your Big Rocks next week. We’ll take those big goals and start making plans! See you next week.
Find more purpose and meaning in your day!
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