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Don't Be Afraid to Change the World

by Clint Watson on 7/30/2009 10:47:32 AM

remember whether you're successful or not, you have a gift - the ability to make art- that the rest of the world is madly jealous over.

Christine Winship said that a couple of days ago in a comment on this blog.

Her statement tracks nicely with something I often say:  you have a responsibility to share your gift....your art.....with the world.

I'm reminded of the story of a rich man who traveled to a far away country.  He gave each of his three servants some money to watch while he was gone.  Two of the servants invested the money and made even more money for their master.  Admittedly, those two took some risks.  They could have lost the money.  But they knew something that you need to know....nothing worthwhile comes without risk.  The other servant, not wanting to risk money that was not his, simply buried the money so he could return all of it to his master.  When the master returned, the servant who buried the money was severely chastised.

Here's the point.  In this story, the "money" is a metaphor for your gifts.*  (In fact, in the original story the word used is "talents"). 

You have been given certain gifts by natural selection, the universe, the creator, or God.....choose the one that fits your believe system. 

And you have a responsibility to share those gifts with the world.....the world will be a richer place for it.

So think about this:  how can you change the world if you're afraid to get out there and share your art with people?


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - Be Brave.  Remember what Hugh MacLeod says, "If the fu*ker doesn't cost you your life, it isn't a quest"  (Update - some have felt it was inappropriate for me to quote Hugh's wording here.  I apologize and explain below.)

*Actually, some Christians believe the "talents" represent the Gospel, with the point being not to "hide" the good news of the gospel by "burying" it.  If you care to read the story it appears in Matthew 25:14-30.


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Related Posts:

Art Marketing for Artists Who Want to Change the World

The Gift of Beauty

Why "Regular" artworks can also be "Cube Grenades"

Changing the World

I'm Not Surprised Your Art Isn't Selling . . .

Topics: Art Business | art marketing | Best | Creativity and Inspiration | Hugh MacLeod | Inspiration 

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Michael Slattery
I suppose this will start some antagonism. I like the content of this entry and the point it is making. But I can't for the life of me figure why you quote from the bible and then tack on the profane P.S. I even agree with the sentiment of the P.S., I just hate it's wording. I don't think you are intentionally trying to tick people off, but that seems careless in my opinion.

Michael Slattery

Clint Watson
Thanks Michael, I apologize if I offended you (or anyone else). I suppose I do have to be careful. My own personal belief is that there really are no "bad" or "good" words. Just words. And I choose not to give any words intrinsic power over me. I do sometimes forget that not everyone feels that way.

PS - I did try to "tone it down" with the asterisk....perhaps not enough.

Michael Slattery
Thanks Clint. The articles from this week are hitting home with me. They have touched on many of my trouble areas in art. Thank you for providing a venue for them.


Pia f. Walker
I actually just sat down last night and wrote a long blog entry about this!
I have been a pastel artist for the last 12 months, and have had success with my style and art topics. Yet I've been itching to expand both the size of my art work, the style, and the materials. And while I was contemplating this change, a nagging voice kept asking why would I want to shift from something that is currently successful.
Yet the nagging voice won out by the simple statement that keeps being repeated over and over again: "If you are going to go down, go down big!" So I'm daring to show my new "art" to people, and although I'm sure that some of my past customers might not be so keen with it, I know that I will find other people who are. And to top it all off, I feel good about my own progress - and that allows me to be this daring :)
Thanks for posting this!

Deber Klein
Hi Clint.
Thanks for the reminder! I am comforted and encouraged by your own courage, and actually, also by your honesty. Lately, I've been hiding out like a scared (and depressed) little mole making furrows under the flower garden, doing nothing but gnawing at the roots. (It's really hard for me to admit how bad things had gotten.) I realize that to deny the source of my creativity is to lose my creativity entirely. Success doesn't matter. Only that I continue to use my talents with the understanding that they are indeed a gift - not only for me to give to others, but for me to simply enjoy.
I decided to come out of hiding a couple of weeks ago, and have been returning to what I know to be good and true - what completes me, not only as an artist, but as a human being with a spirit.
This morning I have been writing these things down because that helps me to focus on them better. Reading your post reinforces what I think God wants of me.
Thanks again,

Clint Watson
Thanks Deber, it's good to have you out of hiding.

Deber Klein
Thanks. It's good to be out where the sun is shining again!

Lori Woodward Simons

Thanks for posting this blog. We all have a variety of God-given talents. Some artists seem to be blessed with abundant talent, while others have "some".

However, I don't believe it is the amount or number of talents we have that's important. What matters is that we nurture and increase whatever we have been given. There have always been artists who have tons of natural ability, but then don't work at developing it.

Natural ability seems to show up only after a lot of hard work. Thanks for the reminder to put in the hours, and let perseverance pull me through the hard times.

The moral of the parable is that we should never hide our talents under a rock or bury them, but we should invest time in whatever amount we've been given. That is our responsibility, eh?

Donna Trimboli
I am interested on feedback on the topic of "inspirational"(really Spiritual)artwork. I've noticed galleries shy away from the mere mention of spiritual. Does this just apply in Canada? The world is shifting in consciousnes.For centuries usually the shift in humans consciousness was first shown in the artwork, or should I say in the mind of man who then had the task (gift) to convey to humanity.

Robert Albrecht
Loved the article but have one question. My form of expression is Western Art and it is Digital Painting. Not the 2 clicks and you have a painting but actual painting with an electronic canvas and digital paintbrushes. Now I know many do not consider digital art ART,boy am I reminded daily of that but it seems to be a shame that galleries and general public seem to be so miinformed about what the "true" digital artist goes through in the production of a work of art. It is very similar to the "traditional" artists in thought processes, reference images etc. How can Digital Art start to make an impact as a "new medium'" and not just be referred to as a photograph that is photoshopped?"

Deb Trotter
A note about Robert Albrecht's comment ...
Robert, I totally agree with your post. I also create western art in a digital format - probably not as thoroughly and beautifully as you - just my own style of cowgirl inspired artwork combining original photos and drawings, vintage photos, and digital painting and graphics. I too am frustrated by the lack of knowledge and or appreciation for this new medium. I am reminded that quite often photography itself is not always considered "exhibition worthy" - at least in my part of the world. I used to work with canvas and acrylics, but digital has totally changed my early "concept" of what art is and can be. In short, my style is now immediately recognizable, and I like that. My art is beginning to gain some attention - perhaps not in the eyes of "fine art galleries" - but in distinctive art for licensing. The whole thing about "Don't Be Afraid To Change The World" is to continue doing what you love and insist on doing it well. I guess we will have to change the world a little bit at a time, in our own way. Hopefully one day the art world at large will at last recognize that "computer art" is not some cheap, easy, piddling 'medium' that degrades art: it simply provides another method for creating it.

Robert Albrecht

Thanks for your thoughts. I think many felt the same way when Kodachrome or acrylics came on the scene. "New" is upsetting and many choose not to think too much about accepting any thought process that might entertain agreement to the fact that "new" could catch on and be exciting. Many galleries seem to have the idea that it is not their mission to expose their clients, collectors and patrons to "new" techniques and prsentations. They present the same "works" and styles and expect all to follow.

Anyway, keep painting digital and probably some day a little light will go on somewhere and Digital Art will be seen for what it is; that being an exciting presentation that cannot be duplicated by any other medium alone.


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