Over the weekend, I was thinking about art. I got to thinking about how we have admired art for centuries. As I let my mind drift, I wondered where art comes from. And I concluded that it comes from the heart. For many of us, it starts as a hobby, an evening or weekend project, or as a solution to a problem.
TIME AND EFFORT ARE REQUIRED TO MASTER YOUR CRAFT
You know you’ve tapped into your unique gift when you are willing to work on your craft regardless of the amount of time and effort you have to put in. You feel that if you could just do that all day, it would make your heart sing. Of course, it requires time and effort to master your craft. The beauty is in the enjoyment of doing it.
Art comes in many forms, such as furniture or jewelry. In reality, art is everywhere. Any object you see or use has a form, a shape, and specific characteristics. Take a computer mouse, a home, or a car; they are all works of art that someone created.
WE ARE ALL UNIQUE AND OUR GIFT IS WORTH SHARING
Most of us are unaware of our unique creative abilities and we tell ourselves that anyone could do it. We mistakenly believe that our unique gifts and talents are not that special. Unfortunately, some artists don’t even feel their craft is worth sharing with the world.
I heard this first from Oprah, but when I searched online, I discovered that David Viscott was the one who said:
"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away."
When I first heard that quote, I felt warm and fuzzy inside and somewhat concerned at the same time. I thought, yes, “helping others” is what I aim for. Then I thought, do I want to give away my “gift”?
I understood its meaning when I read that J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, has given a lot of her money to charity. Isn’t it amazing what one person can achieve? And not only did she achieve, she generously gave to others. Imagine how many people would have “less” today, if she had chosen not to write her books. This is what it means to “give it away.” It simply means to share it, just as I share my stories.
ART TIES EVERYTHING TOGETHER
For the longest time, I thought I was in the science business. I studied textile dyeing chemistry and worked at a dye house. Focused primarily on troubleshooting problems, I didn’t view my work as art. However, turning a piece of garment from white to turquoise is an art in itself, especially when the garment needs to meet rigorous quality standards. Have you ever purchased an expensive shirt that lost all its vibrancy after the first wash? Or worse, that stained everything else you washed with it? Even with my textile background, I’ve managed to turn my son’s white socks pink.
When I started developing the skincare creams, again I saw my work from a chemist’s point of view, in terms of the process of blending each ingredient in the right sequence and having the correct emulsion. The more I got involved with the process, however, the more I realized creating beauty product requires more than just science. It also requires a business mind, heart, and art. The heart supplies the purpose and motivation. The mind is necessary for profitability and feasibility. Without heart, nothing will start. And the art ties everything together. There is a lot of creative art needed to promote a brand, especially in the sales and marketing area.
Art is where imagination and creativity come in. With anything I do, I love to experiment, using ideas from different sources. I create without the confinement of a box. I always keep my mind open and see every opportunity everywhere.
THE ART OF FRIENDSHIP
There is also another type of art worth mentioning. This one doesn’t require any blueprint. It’s the art of friendship. I believe having a true friend, someone with whom you can deeply connect and share even your craziest ideas without fear of judgment, is one of the greatest gifts life can bring.
I was very fortunate, 20 years ago, to have met Nixza. She became a true friend who will always have my back no matter what.
Over the weekend, I saw Nixza, and she was so excited to show me her latest steampunk creations. If you’re not familiar with steampunk art, it’s a collage of all sorts of metallic pieces, usually old, recycled material. But it can also be new pieces. There are metal gears, chains, clocks, and all sorts of other items.
Sadly, Nixza has had her fair share of sorrow. Ten years ago she lost her 33-year-old son, Louis. And in 2016, she lost her husband, Bob. While coping with her losses, she discovered a passion for creating amazing steampunk art.
For the past two years, I’ve witnessed her progression with creating steampunk art and her excitement when she comes up with new ideas.
EXPRESSING & HEALING THROUGH STEAMPUNK ART
Nixza shared with me that when one of her art pieces is completed, an extension of herself is created, mending her soul in the process.
Nixza, like many others, including me, struggles with promoting her art. Not long ago, she pushed herself out of her comfort zone and stopped by a local bike shop to see if they had any discarded spare parts. To Nixza’s surprise, the man recognized her art. He explained that his teen son loves steampunk art. At that moment, they connected, allowing the man a moment of vulnerability.
He shared that his son was struggling with depression and he didn’t know what to do. Coping with depression herself, Nixza felt compelled to do something special. She went home and created a unique piece for this young man with the hope that he would know inside his heart that he mattered, too.
The shop owner gave Nixza more than just some spare parts. He gave her faith that her artwork was valuable and worth sharing with the world. And in return, her art may inspire his son to share his gifts with others.
THE STARVING ARTIST AND THE THRIVING ARTIST
What if by getting ourselves out of our own way, we could let go of fear and let our greatness shine?
I’ve found that creating meaningful art is not for the faint-hearted. It calls for courage, patience, persistence, and a dose of tenacity. At the core, it requires love, faith, and belief.
I came across this blog post written by Jeff Goins: "Why the Story of the Starving Artist Needs to Die.”
I'm sharing some of his blog posts here because he has a valid point, which ties to art. We were taught that most artists struggle to make ends meet. According to Professor Hatfield, Michelangelo's fortune was worth roughly $47 million in today's time. Why are we taught to believe that a great artist like Michelangelo was broke most of his life?
In my opinion, false beliefs are encouraged by religious leaders who want to make us feel guilty by putting the idea in our head that living a comfortable life is a sin. Or perhaps religious leaders don’t want people to know how much they paid to have the Sistine Chapel painted. Getting rid of centuries-old false beliefs or going against the norm takes courage.
I love how Jeff draws a parallel between a Starving Artist and a Thriving Artist. Here’s how he described “the principles every Thriving Artist lives by—the Rules of the New Renaissance”:
- The Starving Artist believes you must be born an artist. The Thriving Artist knows you become one.
- The Starving Artist strives to be original. The Thriving Artist steals from his influences. (I’m not keen on Jeff’s choice of the word “steals.” I’d rather say the thriving artist models from his influences).
- I notice that when I hear the “divine truth,” the message is the same. So in the end, it makes sense that we are all influenced by someone. What’s unique is the story the teller shares when experiencing his truth.
- The Starving Artist believes he has enough talent. The Thriving Artist apprentices under a master.
- The Starving Artist is stubborn about everything. The Thriving Artist is stubborn on vision but flexible on details.
- The Starving Artist waits to be noticed. The Thriving Artist cultivates patrons.
- The Starving Artist needs no one. The Thriving Artist finds a scene. (We have so many free platforms not to choose from. Take Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube, for instance).
- The Starving Artist always works alone. The Thriving Artist collaborates with others.
- The Starving Artist does his work in private. The Thriving Artist practices in public.
- The Starving Artist works for free. The Thriving Artist always works for something.
- The Starving Artist sells out too soon. The Thriving Artist owns as much of his work as possible.
- The Starving Artist does one thing. The Thriving Artist does many things.
- The Starving Artist despises the need for money. The Thriving Artist makes money to make more art.
Posted from <https://goinswriter.com/die/>
VALUING ART AND VALUING WHAT YOU ARE WORTH
I think my biggest struggle has been learning how to promote myself. Again, we have been taught that bragging about ourselves is not polite. In one of the seminars I attended, James MacNeil said,
“If you had a cure for cancer, but were not willing to promote your knowledge, what good would it do to this world?”
From that moment on, I realized selling is simply sharing with someone the problem you solve. If the person has this problem, great. If not, you move on.
ART IS PRICELESS AND SO IS YOU
I think the main challenge with unique art is how to price it. To artists, their creations are simply priceless. However, for an artist to thrive, it takes a buyer. The value of art is determined by the quantity available, the channels of distribution, how many people know that your art exists, and how desirable the item is to the collective buying public.
GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF APPRECIATING ART
This brings me to share my views from a buyer’s perspective. I will say that I love art; however, I denied the joy of it for many years. When I moved into my apartment, I bought new furniture. As I was shopping, I came across an antique dresser that had been refurbished. This work of art spoke to me. In the past, I would think, “This is too expensive,” or I would say, “It’s not for me.” However, in that instant, I chose to buy it. I felt it was time for me to enjoy beautiful things in life.
Not long ago, I came across an artist who creates fantastic paintings. She admitted wishing to paint every day, yet cannot do so because of a lack of financial security. Her dreams of painting full-time have been put on hold for 40 years, just because she isn’t sure that she can sustain her life if she chooses painting over her current career.
What if we could open our minds, increase our self-worth, and focus instead on believing that our art is worth creating and sharing?
I realized life is short and precious. And I now allow myself to enjoy each moment as it comes. I’ve learned to appreciate my talent, as well as the talent of others.
How about you? What would you create if you had no limits?
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