I used to be a true artist.
My days used to be filled with airbrushing custom t-shirts, illustrating greeting cards, creating comic books, and sketching whatever came to mind. I did these things because I loved to do them. Time always seemed to stand still and hours would pass before I ever looked at a clock while being immersed in my craft. It was a beautiful time.
The other side of letting my imagination go was that when I completed my art, it seemed to benefit other people as well. There was an immense satisfaction when friends and family would enjoy the fruits of my labor… and for an artist, this is payment enough for our investment.
It is a blessing to give a piece of yourself away.
I was reminded of these “old” memories as I’ve been reading Linchpin, the latest brain-work of Seth Godin. Godin writes about how we are artists and that we can actually enjoy giving away gifts through our work and jobs. On page 83 he writes, “An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally” Seth then goes on to say, “Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.”
This really resonated with me because for so long I have forgotten what it is to give my art away.
I’ve only been focused on the monetary payoff or Return on Investment …and it has robbed me of the joy and satisfaction I once knew. Sure, we should be able to make a living from our businesses or skills but there are ways in which we can improve the joy of our work by being an artist that gives away our art.
How does this apply to you? Maybe you feel as though you’re not an artist, but Seth goes on to explain that being one isn’t about creating a masterpiece with a paint brush, but rather art is as simple as a smile to someone who needs one to writing a blog post that inspires a reader. So to sum it up, true art isn’t about money or fame or even a drawing; true art is about making a difference in the person who receives it – and we are all capable of achieving this!
My goal is to get back to being a real artist. Not in the medium but in the giving. And I encourage you to as well. Remember, we can all be remarkable by doing small things that change the world, one person at a time. Give your art away!