Do you ever get that kicked-in-the-shins-by-life feeling and it seems it’s just best to give up on being an artist?
The gut wrenching challenge presented at these times is, “Do I give up to the status quo or resist and fight?”.
But why resist and fight when being an artist calls on us to bear our hearts in public? It’s vulnerable and often pain filled. The status quo fends off pain—in a life that is already painful—so why not give in? Right?
Because, it doesn’t really.
Settling for a life that is easy and not embracing challenge will only bring different pains—in time. It’s pain deferred. You know it’s true. You’ve felt that gut-tearing thought to quit. You may have even tried to quit and later felt the soul-tear as you denied the skills and gifts you’ve been given. I have.
Here’s to us this week. Embrace the bruises, the cuts, and the times we can’t breathe. Because everyone of those things have value, for the now and even greater for the aforementioned time deferred.
This is something my father-in-law has passed on to our home. Over many years of successes and failures, this has kept me pressing on, numerous tiring weeks.
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.
That’s just on a normal week, this is not to mention the times when we have to deal with haters or hard circumstances.
We can let both those things come and pass through our lives knowing this is true: it’s only adding to us. Nothing is wasted.
This is true even (and especially) when it feels like it’s tearing us apart. These things will be helpful to ourselves and others some day. And, some day could be tomorrow or next year—both matter immensely.
But the other areas, the truly important ones, we don’t let go, we need strategies for those. We need plans in place to ensure we are all growing together: family, friends and day jobs. Even loose plans that can take on different shapes.
Family, continues to be the area where I most need to engage and be intentional. I know I’m not doing this perfectly and one day I’m sure my kids will tell me, but I’m trying and I’ve got a big hunch it’s gonna be worth it.
Week to week this looks different, but also the same. It’s inviting my family into my world as well as looking for ways to enter theirs. It looks like going to the art store together or foregoing when needed. It looks a little harder one week, and a whole lot worth it later.
In recent weeks we have taken a couple of trips to the zoo (which is awesome, because it’s free here in St.Louis) to draw some animals. It’s been a good time on many levels. My kids got pretty excited how crowds would gather around us where we sat and drew. The people told my kids they were lucky to have a dad like me. The fact is, I am blessed/lucky to have kids like these—kids who dig doing what I do and want to be with me in it.
Turns out, being intentional is kinda like tossing a big rock into a pond, it makes ripples. Don’t be afraid of it.
If this is the end of a long week for you, get some rest and then press on. Don’t give up, don’t stop being you. It’s gonna be worth it.
Have you taken the #15minartchallenge lately?
Here’s one more strategy to navigate a hard week and the weeks that don’t stop taking…
Be a giver. I love Jake Parker’s Art Drop Concept. Create something and leave it somewhere for someone else to find. Create and connect. You might not always hear back—that’s ok. Keep giving.
Tools In Review:
Proven winning tools that have kept me mobile, ready, practical and economical:
(If you see something you can use, thank you for purchasing through the links here. At no extra cost to you, it helps support my art and family.)
See that tip? This sharpener has two modes:
- cut the wood only
- sharpen the lead
I can get the long lead I like and when I need I can reshape the lead. It’s a win-win.
Also loving this (new-to-me) Liquitex Paint Marker:
Copic Multiliner 0.3
I personally prefer to use dip pen, but there are times when dip pen is just not doable. Enter the Multiliner. I can get the thinness of the dip pen and can add my brush in later.
Check out all my recommended tools HERE. (still updating it)
How or in what area(s) do you need need to get strategic and press forward through some challenges this week?
What resistance do you expect or are you experiencing right now?
Have a great weekend everyone, keep creating,
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