Let me show you my best painting secret!
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What is holding you back from doing the work you would love to do? Self help books abound on this topic. It does seem that since the banks stole everyone's money and plunged us into the Great Recession that having any sort of income is nothing to complain about. Even when the governments gave the banks our hard earned taxes we still had to be grateful to have a roof over our heads. Many lost theirs. But this still does not quell the gut wrenching desire to reach fulfillment. We all need an outlet for our creativty.
So that question again. What is holding you back? The answer will come to each artist as soon as that artist decides not to be dictated to by a gatekeeper. What is a gatekeeper? Any person, institution or circumstance that stands in your way from you doing the work you were meant to do. Before you start waving a fist at someone remember that the decision to be held back is your own. Unless you are strapped to a chair you are free to move forward the moment you decide to do so.
There are many examples of artists who decided to forge their own path despite the gatekeepers in their path. Monet bypassed the Salon and paved the way for impressionism. Picasso went another direction and became a hero. Contemporary artist Jack Vettriano taught himself to paint then persisted in the face of scorn and vitriol from the establishment (galleries & critics) to become Britain's most popular artist.
The decision to persist against the odds applies to all artists and creative people. Recently I watched the trailer to a new movie called Chef. It is about a chef who wants to express his unique creativity, but is frustrated by his boss and his environment. Inevitably he gets fired. "Be an artist in your own time," screams his boss. That is exactly the invitation we all need to hear. So in desperation the chef ends up converting a truck into a restaurant on wheels. This is a big trend these days. Gourmet chefs serving their fans on their own terms. This reminds us that it is the freedom to create on our own terms that is so important in life. We always see freedom when there is nothing to lose. That is something to think about.
You be an artist in your own time! It's my restaurant.
Forget money as a goal. Freedom to make your own art will produce the rewards both financial and in personal fulfillment. What about recognition? I suspect that these days everyone is famous so no one is. What this means is that the avenues for expression are so many and competion so fierce that pursuing recognition or fame is pointless. Fame is now generic. What matters is keeping the focus on producing good work. This is what the world needs from us. We must strive to do our best work then let it go. Start another project and keep moving forward.
So what is holding you back?