Today's Post is by Clint Watson, founder of FineArtViews. Follow Clint on Twitter.
Why are you an artist?
How do you decide what to create?
Do you absolutely love what you do?
Back in my gallery days, I had to wonder about some artists who were constantly asking me for advice about what to paint. "What's hot? . . . What does 'the market' want? . . . . What's selling?," they would ask.
I, frankly, never understood why an artist would ask such questions. The answer that I always gave was maddeningly simple, "Paint what inspires you." They way I saw it, inspired work will always be an artist's very best work . . . . and that's what most collectors want . . . inspired artwork.
Now that I'm a software craftsman and an artist-of-sorts myself, I'm even more surprised that artists would ask me such questions. I always feel inspired to create new and better software and I'm never at a loss for new ideas. In fact, just the opposite, I'm always frustrated that I can't create my "masterpieces" as fast as I can conceive them.
This all came to the front of my mind today as I read the following words on the 37 Signals blog:
To truly be inspired for great work, you need to know that you’re making a difference. That you’re putting a meaningful dent in the universe. That you’re part of something that’s making a difference and that your role in that something is significant. . . .If you’re void that sense of purpose, the pleasure in your work will eventually wane and ultimately feel hollow. . . You can only hide in shadows of the circumstantial for so long before your passion begins to fade. . . .Remember that your time is limited. By the time you discover that you’ve been coasting on empty calories, the pale face staring you back in the mirror might be hard to recognize.
If you're an artist, be sure that you reach deep down inside your soul and pull out the inspiration that you need to "put a meaningful dent in the universe." If you soul-search and can't find any inspiration there, then your probably creating the wrong type of work - look for some other outlet that ignites your passion and lets you express your unique world-changing talents. For some it's painting, for some it's music, for some it's computer code, and for others it's writing. But you only get one short trip on this globe so make sure you find out what your "universe denting" talent is.
And if you're an artist stuck in a day job that isn't any fun but has "good money", be sure you MAKE time to pursue your real passion . . . . your artwork.
Please follow your heart and your soul, your followers and the universe will thank you.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic