I sit here tonight quite moved by all the artists I have had the pleasure to speak with this past week regarding my Art2Life Mentorship Program. I feel very filled, humbled and honored that I not only get an opportunity to meet so many artists, but that I also have the privilege to share and help actualize some of their goals and dreams in the coming year.
Because I have read so many applications, talked and listened to so many artists over the years, I now realize I possibly have gained an added perspective, an awareness as to some of the common challenges and limiting beliefs that surprisingly, almost all creatives share. None of these are particularly new, but what is helpful, perhaps, is to realize that you simply are not alone in these challenges. It is so easy, especially when toiling away, somewhat isolated within the walls of a studio, we can so easily forget that…
We need to listen
It is a very common occurrence at some point in one’s life to develop the need, the desire, to feel your own creativity in a stronger way. This can take many forms of course, but almost without exception this desire, this fire, begins very quietly. It might be a small voice just beginning to stir within you, but make no mistake, this is only going to grow louder. Having seen what can happen first hand when people actually begin to listen and follow their intuition is remarkable. Not only is it important to listen to this calling but also to know that you are not alone in this quest. This exploration, this query, into this creative side of who you are and who you are becoming is very worthwhile.
Nobody is sure
Nobody is brimming with self-confidence. I have worked with outright beginners as well as highly successful artists…it doesn’t matter where you are on the continuum or how far along you are, the self-doubt always seems to ride beside you. Everyone is a little unsure, unconfident and a tiny bit terrified. No amount of success and accolades seems to quiet this visitor. It looks to me like it will always be present. Maybe it is helpful in keeping one’s ego in check or maybe there is nothing helpful about it – I am not sure. However, I do know that it is not going away anytime soon, so best to just get used to it and get on with the important work that is waiting to be made.
We all have what it takes
It feels so good to be able to say with some authority, as I have now been teaching artists for many years and I have the personal experience to go by, that I no longer believe some people have it and others don’t. Anyone who desires, anyone who has passion to develop their creativity can do so and in the process make authentic, unique artwork.
I know it is hard to believe with all the limiting beliefs swirling around, but it is true. If you don’t believe me then come to an Art2Life workshop. There are many excuses one can conjure up to not do what might be calling you, but don’t let the one about talent and not being good enough be one. It is simply not true.
You expression is needed
When you postpone the making of your art because “everything has already been done by everyone else” then all this simply means is that you are actually not making your Art. The convincing occurs by simply paying attention and beginning to make Art. The possibilities are endless and as varied as you. Once underway, once it begins to form, it finds it’s way to those who appreciate it and need it. Your efforts, your faith in yourself simply gives others permission to do the same. This is reason enough for you to begin.
Change occurs when Intention is set.
It seems like every part of your journey must be fought for, every step a hard one, but actually much of the Journey is effortless. The tailwind that inevitably begins to blow once underway comes from the setting of your own intentions. Saying out loud, declaring what you intend to have happen sets in motion occurrences and synchronicities that help lift you in the direction of your desires. In my life I had often experienced this but just thought it was coincidence. However, after seeing it occurring in the lives of so many creative, I now need no further proof. It is just a fundamental, benevolent principle of the universe that surrounds us.
Once you think about it, there actually is little in our way. The path is clearing and we have time. Inspiration, curiosity and passion come along for free. The odds, when you really think about it, are entirely in our favor.
In gratitude, Nicholas