Friday, December 17, 2010

Artistic Success? Who's to Judge...

Hello you wonderful magical and special people out there!

I have a treat coming for you very soon! Read on for a big hint!!

Have you ever noticed that typically, when you read an interview about someone in an art or creativity blog or a magazine article of the same type, that the person being interviewed is usually described as having achieved at least a small amount of artistic success? Of course, you say, or what is the point of interviewing them??? I'll tell you why.  By "artistic success", the author of the article/blog means that the person they are interviewing is probably a "professional artist'", so to speak, and they are getting paid to teach classes, are selling their artwork, or both, and in some way their success is measured by the fact that they are making money from their creative and/or artistic pursuits. Well, I was thinking about this yesterday. About how relatively small that number of people really is, and how large the number of people, some extremely creative and talented are, that either never reach that point or maybe don't choose to go that route in life, for various reasons. They maybe don't want to "go pro", don't know "how to go pro", or just don't have the supposed self confidence to even try "going pro"! Maybe they didn't know the "right people" and it has nothing to do with their abilities to produce art. Maybe life took them down a different pathway... But-many of these people are, to me, much more successful creatively in some ways than the "pro's" are! Bear with me here and I will explain my reasoning why...

All of the above prompted me to do a series of interviews with what most people would try to call  "average " people but they would be very wrong if they did! Why would I want to do this? Because each one of these people I interviewed is VERY active artistically and creatively, and are very talented, but they just haven't reached or possibly even pursued the level of "success" normally associated with someone that others usually think of spotlighting in an article. But, here is the deal-each one of them is FAR from being average! Each one is remarkable and extremely special, and I can't wait for you to meet them! They aren't "famous" for their art in any way but they are remarkable and wonderful and shine like a diamond in the dark, because they know how to allow their creativity to nourish and enrich their lives! They each one experience life to the fullest, and infuse everyone around them with good feelings! They are caring and supportive and loving and giving, and a good portion of that is BECAUSE they are creative! The good feelings they get from being creative are then shared with those of us who are lucky enough to be around them and be a part of their lives. I personally disagree with the whole theory of  professional, "creative success", because I feel that if someone receives extreme joy and happiness from their creativity, then oftentimes, they are actually MORE successful than the person who finds themselves one day slaving away at their art, unhappily making money from their forced creativity. I know the feeling of "forced creativity" because I, at one time, used to be what some might call a "professional artist", and I finally reached a point where it was more about the money I would make from the artwork than it was about the art I created and the happiness and satisfaction that it should have brought me. I reached a point in my creative life where it was no longer fun, and I even dreaded it when someone wanted to commission a piece. The money just wasn't doing it for me anymore... This simple fact finally resulted in my complete artistic burn-out and a 10 year hiatus from any artistic or creative pursuits. I actually thought I was finished artistically, that the proverbial well had run dry, and in fact, I didn't give art more than a passing thought for most of the next 10 years. Oh, and did I mention I was miserable for most of that time?

When I did decide to start creating again, it was "art on my own terms", no one else's. Art from my heart,  and oh did it feel good! My style had changed entirely, and I am sure that to some, it didn't "look as good" as what I used to do because my style of expression is so different.
Guess what? I don't care! I discovered art journals and mixed media and collage and combining my original poetry with my art, as well as complete artistic freedom instead of realism and oil paints.  But the biggest difference now is that my artwork and creativity make me happy and satisfy me in a way that "art for money" never did... I now consider my creativity as an absolute expression of self-love that comes from my heart and soul and could be described as being something between therapy and playtime! I also, for the first time ever, consider it a true gift- not because of any so-called "artistic talent" that anyone might think I have or don't have, but because I have discovered how to allow my creativity to bring me the kind of joy and magic that only art and creating can bring to anyone's life! This is what a real gift does-it brings joy and magic, not those feelings of burn-out, negative pressure and deadlines to finish by a certain time like I used to have! And the reason I have interviewed the people I have is because they epitomize that magic and joy better than anyone I know!

So, these people you will be reading about, mostly women, are very talented in my eyes-they have "the
true gift" of artistic talent and creativity-because they experience the magic and the joy that only
creating can give you when your heart and soul are open, and you are loving what you are doing and experiencing! The wonderful thing about them is that they shower those around them with this mixture of magic and joy! Sure, they have the added bonus of the "artistic talent" usually associated with material success, but they make little or no money from their creations or art - their payment comes from a much better and more wonderful source...Their payment comes from that deep, deep well of self-satisfaction and the knowledge of the magic and joy that only they can create in that special way that is theirs and theirs alone!

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