To have a creative soul is to be a boundary between two worlds. It is to glimpse the radiance of eternity, the food of inspiration, and bring it back to heal this existence.
It is a baffling life.
I am an artist. Some element in the fabric of my being constantly searches and hopes for glimpses of the world of inspiration and wonder. It pulls me to beauty and mystery with a never-ending tug, and through the medium of writing I try to put what I discover there into words that might make sense to someone else. Being an artist looks like different things to different people, but to me it is more than the production of work; it is a way of thinking that is driven by the need for inspiration and creation.
It is being unable to peel myself from the frosty ground when a million stars and galaxies shine above me.
It is hearing a piece of music so complex and evocative I forget about existing in the present world and must be a part of something else.
It is becoming so encapsulated in a fantasy story that it shakes the core of who I am with an inspiration, joy, and yearning more powerful than anything else I’ve felt.
It is trying to gather all of these sights, sounds, and feelings into words, music, or art that will touch our world with a dash of the wild, colorful mind.
As an artist, it is not that inspiration and creativity are small pieces of your life; they are your life. You crave them like water. It is in a life of artistry that you are the most alive. The most you.
I have been lucky to find a home where I can thrive as an artist. My community is not only surrounded by natural beauty but full of people who encourage and inspire the creative life. It is a real joy, but if you are an artist, you know that feeling at home in your creative self can be hard.
You know that to much of the world, your creative passion and connection with beauty is considered frivolous, even vain. You get asked about your hobbies and then your “real” job, as if where you make the most money is where you most exist.
You see people dividing the world into thinkers and feelers, as if everyone has either a knack for reason and rationality or connectivity and nurturing. And while you want to be both intelligent and caring, you’re more likely to be found in your favorite spot of the house writing, composing, painting than studying logic or handing out hugs. The way you process the world is more a third category, which is to say, without a category.
You know that some people question imagination, even artistry. Perhaps you’re like me and have been exposed to religious groups that see nonreligious music, works of writing, or art as a waste of time. Sometimes such a fear of the material exists that it can be hard to admit feeling more spiritually connected in an art museum than in a church with stark walls and bland music. But for the creative soul, beauty is not a distractor. Beauty is a healer.
And the world needs it.
The world needs you.
You see, when you’re feeling doubtful, or out of place in an information-filled, academic world, know that the creative works you spend your time on are worth it.
It’s worth it to bring beauty into a world torn apart by ugliness.
It’s worth it to write that song or that poem that will bring someone comfort in a hard time.
It’s worth it to know that your real job as an artist is a job of healing.
There’s a reason we have art therapy and music therapy: works of creativity change lives.
So we the writers, the composers, the musicians, the designers, the actors, the potters, the painters, the dancers, the photographers, the poets, the filmmakers, the sculptors, the gardeners, the craftsmen…let’s light up this world with all we’ve got. Let’s fill it with beauty, with enchantment, with wonder.
Artist, your life has an amazing purpose. And you are who you are with the talents you have to fulfill that purpose.