Last month I wrote about committing to your creativity, but the commitment is just the first step and the one that comes next can be scary. Because what comes next after making the commitment to your art and to yourself as an artist (even if that title doesn’t feel like it fits yet) is getting started. It doesn’t seem like it should be so hard, does it? After all, you just have to make a mark on a paper or put in the first stitch to get started on a piece of art. But the stakes feel really high, don’t they? When I think about taking action after making the commitment with myself to make my art, it feels so much more important now. I don’t feel like I am just making stitches, but making ART and that is daunting.
It’s so easy to get stopped at the point of crossing the threshold. It’s like there’s a motion sensor set on the door that starts blaring negativity as soon as you come near. “Who are you to think you are an artist?” “You’re not really an artist; you’re just sewing.” “You call that ART?” “Go get a real job.” “You’ll never make it.” “You are going to fail at this thing that you’ve decided is your calling and then where will you be?” Who wouldn’t quiver under such an attack?
But, I am made of much stronger stuff than I realize and so are you. As you stand there on the door step, listening to the onslaught of BS, take a deep breath and think about why you are making art. Are you making it for fame and fortune? I didn’t think so. Are you making it because you feel like you need to, because you feel like there’s something inside of you that you need to say even if you have no idea what your message is? Are you making it because you want to? That’s reason enough. Don’t get hung up on the idea that you are making art and that it has to have a purpose. (I mean, we can debate about the purpose of a shark in formaldehyde or giant steel balloon animals.) Make it for yourself. Block your ears to the noises at the door. Walk through. You are ready.
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