This image is titled, "A Different Frame of Mind" and I thought it would be a good way to illustrate what I am writing about this week. I was going to call this blog, "Investing In Yourself'" as I think that is an issue most artists come up against from time to time.
I have had difficulties rationalizing how much time, energy and money I spend in being an artist. I journaled myself through this problem for years before I finally realized that the reason I had an issue with everything was due to not believing in myself as an artist. How could I rationalize spending money on supplies, paying art co-op memberships, submission fees etc... if I wasn't making any money from all of my endeavors? Who am I to call myself an artist when there are chores to do, family to take care of and meals to make?
I know that I'm not in art to make money. That is not my motivation. Art is something I have to do to be my best self and to feel some kind of real balance in my life. When I had a darkroom, if I did not get into the darkroom and spend a minimum of 5-8 days per month developing film and printing, I would go bonkers! Everything felt wrong and out of balance until I realized that I needed my fix of developer, and fixer. Somehow, during my times in the darkroom, everything was manageable. Nobody went hungry and the house wasn't a complete disaster just because I would disappear for a few days a month.
It's easy to talk yourself out of spending that money, time or energy to pursue your passion. We always make excuses to avoid facing the blank canvas, practicing an instrument, working on a new technique, staring at a blank page and taking that first step toward believing in ourselves. It truly comes down to believing in yourself enough to actually invest in yourself as an artist. Do you believe you have something to share with others? Do you believe that you have a gift and it needs to be shared? Your art, your gift, doesn't only belong to you, it belongs to others who may resonate with your passion and energy that is expressed through your art.
It's time to shed that cloak of fear and doubt and believe in you! Take yourself seriously as an artist and invest by putting in your time, energy and focus. Declare your studio time and that includes using the kitchen or dining room table as your studio. Lose track of time and fall into your zone to create what your heart is trying to tell you to create. Don't allow the onslaught of excuses to change your mind. This is what will set you apart from the mediocre multitude and elevate you towards your creative vision. Become accountable to yourself and make your creative time a priority. There are no excuses. There's only yes, I did or no, I didn't. This is your life and it's time to believe and invest in you.