For the past couple of years I have chosen a word to inspire me rather than making resolutions. This year's word is "intention" and while it could inspire me to live with intention and work with intention, it is more along the lines of a reminder.
I find I sometimes lose track of what my intention for my artwork is. I need to remind myself to think about what the work is about—its intention—as I prepare, and then keep that intention in my mind as I work.
Is my intention to make the work a prescribed size by whatever means? Is it to use a particular fabric that I have fallen in love with? Is it to use a nifty new technique? Is it to slavishly and literally express a theme that was invented for a particular show? Is it to duplicate exactly a mental picture I have of how the finished work should look? None of these things are ever my intention when I start a piece, but these or other equally superficial concerns often distract me from my intention.
To tell a story. To express a feeling or a mood or an idea. To make a statement. These are some of my intentions. The rest is just logistics, housekeeping. And that one about duplicating my mental picture—that's where I have taken intention too far sometimes and made it too visually specific. Discovery and serendipity can certainly serve my intentions.
So I hang my word on the wall to remind me. It joins two previous words. "Thrive" helped me avoid stress and embrace a year of intense deadlines and obligation. "Appreciate" helped me savor the rewards of the previous year's work. I hope "Intention" will help me move forward and maintain focus.