We grown ups are a funny lot. How often do we use words to convince ourselves that we cannot or should not do something? Plenty of times. We think we are wise too, becasue we have watertight rationalisations to back up these self-limiting ideas. At least that is what we tell ourselves. Eventually, if we repeat them often enough, we beleive them to be true. So much so that we will get into a heated argument defending our decisions not to pursue a venture. We will seek out others to back up our viewpoint and give examples too. That's too bad.
Since this blog is about art (mostly) lets look at the creative world. Children do not limit themselves - at least not until the adults have passed on their "wisdom". Children are born creative. They love to make their mark and delight in their spontaneous creativity. Some may like it so much that they keep on at it. Others my prefer some other form of expression and who knows where that may lead. The point though is that we all have a creative nature. Everything in the world is directed to create in one form or another.
The statement in the title is correct. The real question is what do you decide to do. If you went through your youth doodling at every opportunity (you should see my school books!) or could put a poem together and sing it beautifully or pehaps your essays always received a gold star. These will point to your passion. That which you choose to do to make yourself feel energised and happy. It should be easy to choose these activities. Problem#1 Cue those self-defeating words and advice!
Problem #2 You can be good at other things too. This is usually your safe career or job. The one you do to pay the bills and make others relieved that you are not challenging the status quo. This makes living your passion seem unattainable. (Notice I said living, not following).
What if you choose your passion? What if it is possible to succeed at your dream career? Is it too late? At an educated guess I believe that a vast amount of artists started out in a regular job. Certainly I have met very few who have not. The child stars are few and usually appear on TV then disppear just as quickly. Those that make a proper go of it long term usually follow another road. A long road of self-discovery and hard work.
I would say that there are three things a successful artist does:
1) produce quality work
2) in sufficient quantity
3) and persists in doing so
But then again success is just an opinion is it not?
The decision is all important. Do you decide to be an artist or not? If so then live and think like one. Keep your day job, but do the work before and after your regular job. Weekends? pursue your art. If you can make the sacrifice in time and energy then you will be in the game. Participating rather than standing on the sidelines wondering if you could hack it. It does not matter if you are not represented by the best gallery or making big bucks. Those are yardsticks imposed by others not you the artist. The artist does the work.
It starts with a decision that only you can make.