A while ago, I was reading a book that a neighbor of my daughter’s thought I’d enjoy– Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte.
It’s what I’d characterize as a cheerleader, self help, get yourself grounded and growing book. Then I came to a section where Laport says You’re an artist and that’s that!
This is how she starts out: “Art-making is not strictly about visual creations and producing material things. Every single one of us is an artist at something. We lost ourselves in the creation of it, we’re gifted at making it, we feel closer to ourselves and to a greater source when we do our art.”
And then Laporte goes on to say hairdressers are artists, a lover who senses just when to push you and when to let go is an artist, and baby whisperers are artists.
At this point, I started having a visceral reaction.
If I were an animal, all the hair on the back of my neck would have gone straight up.
I would have been down in that low crouch, getting-ready-to-spring position; with really steely, yellow eyes penetrating the dark.
At the same time, something else I’ve thought about a lot came into play: it’s the way we use the word’art’ in our culture at large.
‘Art’ has a very specific designation in our human brain, a specific point of reference. My guess is that, for the most part, when some one mentions the word “art” without a direct reference, people image a painting or drawing, some level of 2-D expression.
That’s what I’d call our basic reference.
When does the art of anything count as nothing?
Then, there’s the “art of tennis,” for example, where people link the word ‘art’ to all kinds of activities. And now that I think about it, this practice does seem to be exclusively connected to activities, and often activities that have no direct connection to artists or the arts at all.
It’s as if “art” is a stand in for “being creative.” Which would be cool except there’s a dark side that bugs me.
At the unconscious, collective consciousness (if you follow me), it feels like a way to not respect or honor the specific profession of being an artist because the minute you say something is everything it immediately becomes nothing.
The minute you make everything go broad and go general then it no longer has gravitas; it no longer has a point of reference.
And so, I take personal affront to somebody taking the word ‘art’ and ‘artist’ and deciding that they’re going to willy nilly, knight everybody an artist.
What would it be like if we decided to knight everybody “lawyers?” Suddenly, it’s the “law of tennis.”
At its core, this free handed “art” knighting feels disrespectful. It also feels confusing because people, in their heart, know what an artist is, and they know if they are that or they are not that.
How does this stack up for you, my intrepid artists?
Is it a bone stuck in your craw, or do you have another perspective that might be more expansive than my decidedly reactive position?
Tell me, please…
My new Manifesto For Visual Fine Artists is all about making sure you have the tools you need to develop the relationships a thriving artist needs most.
If you love exploring how stepping fully into your creative flow encourages the collective consciousness of humanity to step into its collective, creative flow, then click here for your copy of my Manifesto For Visual Fine Artists.
Then come back here and tell me about the principles you believe will take you closer and closer to the visionary summit of the truth and power in your art.
The Next Step
I have been coaching visual artists on their career path to Visionary Affluence since 2004.
That’s the ten-year minimum it takes to master any skill—not to say I’ve actually mastered anything. Just letting you know I have logged the 10,000 hours it takes to run fast enough, flap your wings hard enough, and leap high enough to discover whether or not you can fly.
And what I can tell you is how remarkable the view is from 10,000 hours above the creative landscape. I can spot enclaves of my artists as they sit ‘round mythical campfires at different levels of the Mt. Olympus climb to their dreams.
Leaning into the smell of a wood fire, these artists – intrepid visionaries every one – share their experiences with each other. A hawk cries out and circles overhead as the mountain range frames a bold streak of sunset sky deepening to blood red.
I invite you to join your fellow artists, and me, under the emerging stars of your own visions, where the expansive beauty of the horizon calls out, the fire is warm, and the truth of your heart is irresistible!
Your Truth – Your Power – Your Art
And I’ll keep you posted on the exciting new events, webinars, trainings, books, and successful artist interviews I’m mapping out as we climb this dream summit together.