Here’s a quick sketch I drew at a local horse stable. — at Lutheran Valley Retreat.
Any true creative which you admire had a struggle to get to where they are. Pick your favorite singer, or artist, director, or film maker. They all have a story of challenge and risk, of having to fight through insurmountable odds, of not knowing how to pay the bills, of people telling them they’ll never make it, etc, etc.
If your path is not easy, you are not alone. Be strong and courageous. Hang in there. Keep pressing forward. The fight, the difficulty, the trouble will be worth it.
What’s your struggle? What has been your journey to chase your dreams, develop your craft, and find the purpose that you were made for?
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
PS – I read this book and loved it. I found it insightful and encouraging for my own artistic journey. I highly recommend it to any of you who wants to achieve anything significant with your art or craft.
Nothing happens until you step out and take action.
Going after your dreams or pursuing your goals can feel like jumping out of an airplane or leaping off of a cliff, but nothing significant was ever achieved in life without making a risky move.
Do you dream of painting in a style you’ve never achieved before? Do you long to publish a book? Do you want to make movies that impact people and change the world? A dream that is bigger than you or that seems impossible to achieve was probably not your idea in the first place.
Often, the dreams that matter the most to you were put inside of you by the Creator and Designer of your soul. When you take the risk and step into those dreams, He’s with you in it and He’s got your back. When you know He is with you in it, you can know that the outcome is going to be good. Faith pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6) and He wants you to fully experience the joy of running after your dreams without fear.
Have you seen the crazy risks that children will take? They’ll stand on top of a table surrounded by people and loudly sing a song they didn’t even rehearse. They’ll jump off the top of the stairs and plunge into the couch below without fear of injury. They’ll create art that is far from perfect and proudly show it to you in full expectation of your praise and delight.
Children take bold risks with a huge smile on their face. They are not inhibited or hesitant in the way that adults are. Let the kid inside of you come out and take big risks again. It will put a big smile on the face of your Father, and after you press through the fear I am confident it will put a big smile on your face as well 🙂
What dreams are in front of you? What risks are you considering taking?
“Drawing is Magic.” – Marshall Arisman. I saw this quote at my local bookstore today in a book by the same title. I love this statement! When I read it, I was struck by it. There really is something that feels magic about just letting yourself free to express yourself without limits in drawing.
Other people or teachers or even your own thoughts may tell you that you’re not drawing right or to fix your work. There is a time to work over refining the details. And there is a time to just let yourself loose and not worry about it. I challenge you to take time to draw unedited. Creative writers need to do this as well, with their writing. Just let your creativity flow and explore the expression of your imagination. Let the kid inside you play!
As I looked further in this book it said that when kids are playing on a jungle gym that nobody tells them, “You’re not doing it right.” Nobody says that. The author encouraged artists to “make drawing your playground.”
When God brings a dream it’s never small. He has a dream that lives inside the heart of each one of His Sons and Daughters. It is often close to our deepest desire, passion, and longing. That dream is significant and it matters deeply. It may seem small at first, but there is often more to it than He is first revealing. Many times we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
If you cultivate that dream it will stay strong and alive. If you neglect that dream it will become faint and difficult to discern. But it is still there.
As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Some of you may be well into the journey to fulfill that dream. Some may be just starting. Some may be terrified to take the first step. Some may have neglected it to the point that you forgot that it’s even there. But whatever the next step is for you, I encourage you to be bold, to know that the grace of Heaven is with you, and to take that next step.
Know that your dream matters. Not just to you. It matters to God. The life and freedom of others depend on you fulfilling that dream. Yes that dream is significant and it matters deeply. Say “yes” to your dream, because you will be saying “yes” to His dream.
I love the stories J.R.R. Tolkien gave us in the Lord Of The Rings. The character Galadriel said it very well when she told Frodo, “If you don’t find a way, no one will.” The future of Middle Earth hung in the balance and depended on Frodo completing his mission.
Your dream is your mission. It’s your assignment from Heaven. Be bold. Be courageous. Take the next step. It could be as simple as asking for help to take that step, or saying “yes” again, or just doing something with what you have right now even if that doesn’t seem like much to you. Small steps in obedience are a very big deal in the Kingdom of God. Do not be discouraged if the road looks impossible. God will make a way where there is no way. But the next move may be in your court.
For your dream and for a thriving future!
When you meet other artists and creatives, if you catch yourself comparing yourself to them and analyzing whether you are “better than them,” or whether they are “better than you,” then stop it! This will only either feed your pride or it will make you feel worthless. Reject comparing yourself to them.
Every creative is at a different point in the journey of developing their craft. When you meet someone further along the path than you are, be inspired. Let that inspiration motivate you forward. You can learn from them and you will be better for it. But the spirit of comparison will rob you of that blessing. It will stop you in your tracks and stunt your growth. It will make you feel horrible, anxious, and worried.
On the flip side of the issue, when you meet a creative who is not as far along the path as you, remember where you used to be. Don’t let it give you a big head. Instead, encourage them. Offer to them the knowledge, wisdom, and keys that helped you get to where you are. As you generously and compassionately give like this, you will receive a blessing.
It is about “sowing and reaping.” As you sow into other artists, or writers, or musicians who are not as far along as you, you will release a momentum into the spiritual realm that will bring to you the blessing of help from those who are further along the journey than you are. It will also open up doors for you to opportunities which you wouldn’t have received any other way.
This lifestyle of generosity will create a future of abundance for you in numerous aspects and dimensions. Your choice to be generous like this will result in others being generous with you. But likewise, your choice to compare yourself to others and to be guarded and stingy with your knowledge will result in others being guarded and stingy with you. So reject the spirit of comparison and choose a bright future for yourself. It will bless you and it will bless others.
For a creative future!
Life will give you a million reasons to be doing anything other than doing the creative work you love to do. Will you allow that to sidetrack you? Or will you fight for your desires?
Make it a priority and spend at least ten minutes of your time doing that creative expression today. And if you can make room to do it for 30 minutes, even better!
Tell your other demands that you have an important appointment right now. It could be your love of drawing, or writing a story, or playing that musical instrument that has been collecting dust. Spend time investing in YOU today. You’ll be glad you did.
For your creative life!
To have a successful ART business, you can’t allow yourself to get discouraged just because things aren’t going the way you believe they should go. It’s trial and error. Learn from what didn’t happen, and then trial and error again. Treat it like a scientific experiment.
Thomas Edison experimented with a thousand versions of the lightbulb before he had finally succeeded with a long-lasting, sellable prototype. So don’t give up! Be confident that with persistence you can discover a working solution for your ART business.
What is your biggest creative struggle right now?
You were already designed and created be be unique. It’s not something that you need to work to achieve. Just relax, simply be yourself, and your DNA will kick in and do it for you. The legendary CS Lewis expressed this truth very effectively when he said, “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”