“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.”
My closest friend called recently. She lives in California. I live in Michigan. Had I let her mom know about my recent holiday art sale? She wanted to see my new work and what I was putting together for the holidays. Oops.
I truly believe most artists are not naturally entrepreneurial. There's this sense that you are selling your soul. You hope your art will "speak for itself" and somehow sell itself. But, unfortunately, it doesn't really work that way.
Years ago I was challenged by an artist/mentor to think about why I paint. Mark suggested I draw a heart to represent my passion for painting, a star representing my desire for notoriety or fame, and a dollar sign for money. And then I had to decide what combination of these symbols represented my motivation. Three hearts? Three dollar signs? A heart, star and dollar sign? What I decided made a difference on how I proceeded with my art. I had the hardest time with the exercise and still do.
I am working hard on wrestling my muse into a form that works for me. I do believe I am savvy enough to figure out how to paint, help the world be a better place, and help pay my bills all at the same time. I have wonderful conversations with people who have purchased my art and told me they feel I have somehow magically been in touch with their emotions and put them down on canvas. The best compliment I can receive as an artist is that my art has touched someone.
When I look around my house, there are things people created everywhere. And they bring me joy. I am grateful for all of the creative souls whose talents grace my house whether it be visual, musical, literary, food related, etc.
I heard a very interesting question asked recently to artists who are sheepish about being creatives. "Do you want to live in a world without art? Do you want to win the fight against cancer and live without music, poetry, dance and great stories?" Oh my gosh no. My mom worked so hard this week to stay out of the hospital because she had tickets to see Aladdin at the theater. She was so happy listening to the music, watching the dancers, being out in the midst of art. And I was happy to share the evening with her.
I share these thoughts obviously in the midst of the holiday season. I encourage you to shop locally, know that many artists struggle with the same emotions I am exploring. Their art contains a piece of them, a piece of their soul and a gift to the world. Go to your local art fairs just to take it all in - breathe in the goodness. Help them know that what they do matters.
As I wrestle my muse, I am working on making my art more available to all. You can find my smaller works available for purchase on Daily Paintworks. Once purchased, I will put them in the mail or hand deliver them depending on where you live. If you are interested in a painting on my website, please email me directly. This time of year you can also find my work at Detroit Artist Market or Be.Gallery in Ohio. And my self-paced online classes, Good Morning Creativity!, are always available - wouldn't they make a wonderful gift for someone who wants to make art more a priority in the new year?
Thank you to everyone who has supported me. I appreciate you more than you can know.
May art, music, laughter, good books, good food, family, friends, love, good health and peace and prosperity all be part of your holiday season.
My love to all,
“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
- Neil Gaiman