Questioning My Purpose as an Artist

So, you may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in nearly a month.  I haven’t been posting to FaceBook as often lately either.   While some of you might simply be grateful for the reduction in news feed clutter…  🙂  …there are multiple reasons for this shift, and I think the time’s right to discuss at least some of them.

First, I’ve just been genuinely busier with life lately.  My family now lives in twice the square footage that we previously did, and as any mama will tell you, that’s a major increase in cleaning and organizing!  We also have a yard that we are attempting to garden in.  There’s things to be watered every day, and new chores keep popping up just as often.  To top it off, in an increased effort towards self-sufficiency and sustainable living, we are building a giant greenhouse in the backyard for vegetable growing.  (No really, it’s giant–36 feet long.  My awesome husband designed the plans himself, but this low-cost greenhouse model is similar.)  I’ve also been attempting to eat healthier, and while I don’t always succeed, I am spending more mental energy on these pursuits than, say, my art or my blog.

Also, the passing of my mama, and the resulting improved relationship with my dad, are acting as a sort of directional beacon for me.  There’s only so many years that you have with your family, and childhood goes by in a flash.  I am a firm believer in the importance of a happy childhood, and there’s only so much energy I can divert into other pursuits and interests before I feel that my family might be getting the leftovers, so to speak.  I’m an introvert, and I need to have alone-time to “recharge my batteries” (hence the odd hours I sometimes keep)–but when you have four children, this isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish!  I’m compensating by withdrawing from external outlets to have more energy to devote to my family and home.

Lastly, and perhaps most profoundly, I’ve been sort of questioning my purpose as an artist.  Anyone who’s seen my website or FaceBook page knows I’m a chronic dabbler.  However, I’m not going to continue to do this because dabbling no longer inspires me.  It’s not fair to anyone if I’m not providing the most amazing, inspirational, dynamic art that I can possibly give–and for that, I need to “feel the love”.

I LOVE doing henna art.  I love that it’s never the same on any two people or areas of the body.  I love knowing that I can help someone to feel fancy for a week or three, or that I got the chance to help a pregnant mama really celebrate her belly.  I even love that it’s temporary–to me, henna art rides the wave of inspiration-energy as it was meant to be–dynamic, fleeting and organic.  I also love painting, when I get the chance.  Again, this is less than a simple endeavor with four children–but an inspired mama will try to find the space for joy in her life.

In the past, I’ve created jewelry, and I’ve sewn Waldorf dolls, but I’ve come to believe that just having an aptitude for such things does not mean that I ought to strive to create more of them.  In order to be aligned with Truth, Love, and Power (which is my goal), I need to do work that I feel excited about–work that moves me.  I might have the skills to create certain things, but if my energies are not in the proper place of love and gratitude, I just don’t feel that my work is truly of high quality.

The last thing I’d ever want is to be a “vendor”–someone who just creates and sells because they can, because it’s easy and thoughtless.  I could go be an employee for that experience, and you could get cheaper stuff at a big box store!  That’s the complete opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish with my art business.

I want to do art mainly for the joy of sharing and connecting with others.  To me, art’s not really art if it’s not inspired and inspirational!

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