In my first column of the year I covered New Year's resolutions by artists. Like many people this time of year, I love getting a new calendar or planner and noticed artist Dana Caldera promoting a planner just for artists on her Instagram page.
I introduced Caldera in Art Valet in the Aug. 1, 2020 issue of The Leader. Caldera is a Heights resident and mixed media artist. She combines found collage material, painting and drawing into intricately layered compositions to create her work.
I was excited to see The Artist Planner Co. is Caldera’s idea and company. The website (theartistplannerco.com), content, products, tips and ideas are fresh and inspiring and designed with artists in mind.
As Caldera explains on the website, “There is no step by step guide for becoming a successful artist, but there is one thing we all have to do: set goals and get things done.”
This is Caldera’s baby, so I’ll let her tell you all about it.
Art Valet: It is obvious you put a lot of thought and work into this project. How did this come about?
Caldera: “Thank you. Yes, I have worked hard on this project because I am excited about what it might become,” she wrote in an email. “When you're working as an artist, you are wearing so many hats, that organization is key to making progress. I have always been a list and planner person and I conceived the idea of creating a yearly planner for artists in December of 2020. Quietly, throughout 2021 I played around with a few different planner layouts for The Weekly Spread and developed The Studio Page. When I sent the first version of the studio page around for some feedback, people seemed to resonate with it, so I decided to jump in and see what happened. The startup for the project has been really lean, since most of the skills overlap with things I manage in my career as an artist.”
AV: You mention other artist collaborators on the website - are you working with anyone yet?
Caldera: “No, not yet, but I would love to see more artists get involved in The Artist Planner Co., especially as blog contributors for these early days. I did send the first product betas to artists that were interested in testing them and giving feedback. Their input was really helpful and from their notes I refined The Studio Page and The Weekly Spread. I will continue to test products with small groups of artists before I finalize them.”
AV: The website mentions 10 daily prompts for 15 minutes. What’s that about?
Caldera: “The 15 minutes refers to the 10 daily prompts for my 10 Days to Set Better Goals for Your Art Career workbook,” Caldera said. “The prompts are going to be posted on The Artist Planner Co. blog starting on Jan. 20 (Thursday). The prompts include reflection questions, brainstorming, guided goal breakdowns, and forward planning. The workbook was designed to be completed over the course of 10 days as a daily journaling/reflection practice. Each prompt takes about 15 minutes on average.”
AV: Will the daily prompts be free?
Caldera: “Yes! The daily prompts are going to be posted for free on the blog and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/theartistplannerco/) starting Jan. 20 (Thursday). The workbook is available now in the shop as a digital download that can be printed at home. The benefit to the workbook is that it is convenient to get everything at once and it is beautifully formatted with space to work through all of the prompts. The entire workbook is 23 pages.”
AV: What is your long-term goal with this project?
Caldera: “I see several possible futures for this project. Right now all of my products are digital downloads, so one likely goal is to produce physical planners and other helpful products for artists. Another thought is that The Artist Planner Co. becomes a marketplace for helpful artist resources, like Teachers Pay Teachers, where artists can share the tools that work for them and profit from it. I'd also like to see the blog become a resource in itself with informative and helpful content for artists.”
Caldera told me she launched the website in mid-December and plans to let it grow organically for the first six months and see what happens.
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.