I just finished reading a book by an artist I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog. “Outside the Lines” is the story of Bill Worrell‘s personal journey as an artist. So many great stories and so many things that I resonate with at a very deep level. This passage – towards the end of the book – was one of my favorites:
“Unto God and myself I made a solemn vow. That vow was that I would come from a place of the greatest integrity I could; that I would create precisely what I wanted to create, acknowledging that I might never “make it” as an artist, but if people liked what I created enough to purchase it, then that would be the perquisite. That would be the gravy. That vow was extremely important, because from that point on I was immune to harsh criticism that came my way. I engaged myself in an art form wherein I simply ‘could not make a mistake.'”
When I originally wrote this blog, I thought I was there. Nope … I’m not. I do work hard at making quality art. I pay attention to details a client may never see. But I am thinking about whether it will sell, who is my demographic, will they like it/buy it, etc.
I beat myself up about minute mistakes. I set myself up for criticism, being judged. I take it personally. I am in resistance about doing any marketing. My true artistic voice is quiet, barely audible most times … but roaring still on a those few occasions. I know I can be there.
To operate at the level of integrity that Worrell talks about, I have to be aligned with my authentic self. To do THAT, I have to find out what is at the bottom of why I need to make these things, why this piece, why bother? Where does heart and spirit collude to come forth with the visceral drive to create? A better questions may be: how do I keep the demons at bay that want to keep me from true artistic freedom?
This is going to take longer than I thought. But I can say this: I am not going to quit and will ferociously defend my right to make the art that I find inside.