Follow your instincts. Be who you are. Art-making, after all, is individual, intuitive, and personal. Creating of any kind.
There’s a different feeling when we’re being an original and when we’re copying someone else. There’s value in both, so this isn’t a judgment or comparing, or finding one or the other less-than. They’re different–and different does not mean wrong. It simply means another variety.
How impractical and boring, it would be if every pair of shoes in your closet was the same.
An artist, being originally themselves, has a style; and their work is often recognized as theirs–even before one sees a signature or artist’s mark. SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) jumps to mind; Lori Daniel Falk and Steve Hanks, and many others whose art graces my space.
Many greats–writers, musicians, potters, dancers, creators of all stripes–were also told by someone that they had no talent, or that their work wasn’t any good. … because it was different, original. Van Goethe, The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Michael Jordan; and countless authors–JK Rowling and her Harry Potter epic, George Lukas and Star Wars.
To know, love, and trust.
We get caught in listening to other people’s voices, above the one from our soul. We think they know better… They do–for themselves, certainly. They’ve not lived our life, though; we have.
We get caught in comparing our creative endeavors and products to those of others, and think theirs is better. It’s not; we have our own style and words and thoughts and creations to bring forward. It’s not a competition. Every Soul came here with their own work to do, life to live, legacy to leave. Not all perform on national and global stages; some influence much closer to home. No one’s’ work is lesser than another.
Another place we get caught is trying to be what we’re not.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.Albert Einstein
Self-discovery is an adventure, takes time, often trial and error, and requires that we honor and use our own genius areas (regardless of anyone else’s) to feel successful and that sense of doing what comes naturally for us.
Entrepreneurs and Business People
I was listening to my mom give a presentation recently where she made the comment that there are business people and there are entrepreneurs and that the two don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Entrepreneurs are willing to jump in head-first because they believe in their idea so much that they can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. The businessperson, on the other hand, evaluates an idea, determines its propensity for success, and then acts upon it if the outcome is promising.Sara Toliver, Where Women Create Work, Issue 8, p.68.
Another trap is the money / business person success standard. We believe we have to make a living somehow. We think that if we’re doing it right, financial success will naturally follow. Many creative souls, spirit-and-heart-centered artists, have sat with this one, disappointed, shamed perhaps, questioning their path, their worth and value, their calling to do what they do.
Is it true?
As noted, an entrepreneur is in it from the heart and Soul. They do what they do because it’s woven into their being.
They are original creators. Their legacy is the work they create. Our world has an expanded imagination because of Harry Potter and Star Wars, and Monet and Van Goethe, Albert Einstein, and the Beatles.
The value assigned and financial rewards come later; sometimes much later, or not.
For others, they are taken care of, have what they need, are provided for, through other means, not connected to their work. For some, their other work supports their art.
Still, there’s a need and desire to be successful financially from our art-making creative endeavors. It’s a self-esteem thing. And that’s how business people tell us success is measured–in dollars.
If we’re spending our time, it’s supposed to support us. For most, this support and financial element is one we have to sit with and ask, Is it True… for me? I’ve had to sit with this one.
Signs, vehicles, and truth (for me), so far…
I said yes to a spiritual calling. It took some convincing. I needed Signs, and Signs showed up–some in the form of cute guys (eye candy to a single girl). And then a silent prayer, If you want me to do this–quit my job and go back to school for a religious studies / education / youth ministry degree–show me how I’m going to pay for it…and the answer was provided almost immediately. And so I did; gave a 3-month notice on my job, and enrolled in college the following January. I loved it; soaked in learning–and new-found freedom–like a fish to water!
Parish work followed graduation and certification, several years, until it was time for me to move on. More Signs: I was told my job description was written wrong–inside-business-speak for “We want a part-time person in this role now, instead, because we’re reorganizing / budget-cutting / down-sizing, etc. etc.” … their way of changing the position; my road to entering corporate business playground world–in a human resources department of an international manufacturing company. A front-row seat to a growing global business and leadership. Did I mention how delighted I was to find how easily youth ministry training transferred to corporate human resources, training and development work?! The kids are a little bigger; they’re still asking similar questions, with similar needs. Corporate also had a tuition reimbursement program; I was on my way to an MBA–four classes shy–when company-wide layoffs everywhere happened.
A Sign to begin creating my own thing … with opportune, simultaneous timing of a What Matters Most training course I was enrolled in, mere weeks after a spiritual awakening epiphany. Timing, coincidence, is a powerful sign.
My thing turned out to be writing and WonderSpirit:
When you find your passion, the last thing you need is permission. And if there’s not an organization doing what you feel called to do, you create your own.Pam Grout, Living Big
WonderSpirit Soul Sistering is part of me that got stronger as I got older, and didn’t / doesn’t go away….and it hasn’t been self-supporting financially. And yet, somehow, financial support has been provided and needs have been taken care of.
The vehicle that takes us where we want to go isn’t always our own.Anne Wondra
We travel and go places, often in other people’s vehicles: Carpooling; we go along for the ride; a plus-one on a vacation or a road trip; company-paid training conferences, continuing education. Funds, experiences, education, adventures, and resources are provided on our behalf in ways my younger self could never have imagined. All of that has been support provided to me, to this WonderSpirit thing… noticed and in awe and appreciation.
The truth (for me) so far is: to be myself; that a creator’s work is not necessarily that of a business person; that none of us does this life thing alone–by divine design, others come into our life and help in unimaginable, delightfully surprising ways; that money and that whole financial world stuff is one of our teachers in the use and flow and harnessing of our energy–because it is energy; that looking back, I’m still here, have been provided for, taken care of–maybe not in the way I dreamed or thought it should–nonetheless, I see incredible grace and blessing and surprises.
And it comes back to:
Be yourself. There is something you can do better than any other. Listen to that inward voice and bravely obey that.Unknown
And Well-Being… Happiness.
We must have objects of attention that are ringing our bells, in order to feel the fullness of life flowing through us.Abraham-Hicks.com
Wellness was in my corporate wheelhouse, too; it was in my youth ministry work before that; and going back even more, it was growing up in a family where home remedies were used before doctors were consulted. Fresh air, play, rest, activity, love, and laughter. Happiness.
To feel alive, happy, healthy, and well; in the flow of a powerful River, actively engaged in experiences–feeling that fullness of life flowing through us–those elements of a creative life matter, too.
Other centering thoughts for my peace, sanity, self-care, and soul:
The Universe does things for me, not to me.
All cooperative components are being assembled.
There is only a Source of Well-Being.
I’m not in this alone.
Life is an individual adventure… with others … who show up when it’s time.