As a professional artist for almost 10 years now, I have encountered and experienced many aspiring artists who seem to take on this self-defeating “starving artist” mentality. There are few topics that ignite such intense passion in me because I truly feel called to lift up and encourage artists in taking hold of their individual gifts and passions; their God-given identity.
Within the global community of artists, we have to value ourselves and one another. You and I are uniquely made in the image of God and no one in the past, present, or future can fill the role you have been given, except you. How empowering is it to know you have gifts within you given to you by God, Himself? Do you believe you have been given a gift to share with the world, not to hoard it for yourself?
“Many believe – and I believe – that I have been designated for this work by God. In spite of my old age, I do not want to give it up; I work out of love for God and I put all my hope in Him.”
No one is going to tell you the value of your art, your own perception and belief about who you are and who created you will define you.
For me, choosing to play small is choosing to diminish the glory of God within me – I am made to translate what I see into a work to be admired and put on display for years to come. I am made to be a vessel through which the world gets to experience a tiny taste of Beauty. Although it may sound like an issue of ego and pride, I assure you there is nothing but complete humility in me to know art is not something I chose, but something given to me; in many ways, it is a cross and burden to bear – a topic for another time.
Living as a “starving artist” is a choice. You can sit back and sulk, and succumb to the fear you will never be found, or discovered. Or you can begin to see your perceived “failures” or “rejection” as a powerful means of growth and opportunity to do better. Allow the struggle to inspire you, and make you who you are meant to be; if you let the defeating days be your greatest teachers, you will discover there is great reward for persistence and endurance.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
It has taken three decades for me to arrive at this place in my life, but I have never felt more certain of who I am, and who I have been called to be in this world. This confidence is not something I found inside me, it is something that was given to me and I have a responsibility to share it with the world. Let’s see what you are made of – send me your work, and let me remind you of your identity.