The past couple years I've come to realize that quite literally, everything is art. The way you dress, an east coast sunrise, how we decorate our apartments, our smiles, an interaction between strangers in a coffee shop.. Art is everywhere. It is not limited to a paintbrush and canvas. I used to pride myself on the singularity of being "the artist" in my friend groups, but there can be a certain pretentiousness and exclusivity to that label that doesn't sit well with me. Everything is art, and when we start living with that mindset it's amazing the level of appreciation and enjoyment you can find daily in the seemingly small, simple things.
I never attended a design school and I don't have a full time artsy career yet, but art from my earliest memories has always been my true passion. You know how energized and amped you feel after going for a run or working out? That's exactly the feeling I get from creating, sans the sweat and breathlessness. Painting is my runners high. It's a source of energy, self-esteem, therapy (I have an entire rant about this), and honest joy. There is constant growth and adaptation and discovery from painting to painting, which makes for a frustrating and exhilarating experience every time I start a new piece. How I used to paint 5 years, or even 5 months ago is completely different than what I'm doing now and I think that's an incredibly cool way for creatives to see how far they've come and where they want to go.
For anyone reading this who lives a creative life by any definition, whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned pro, my main takeaway would be this: Always show up. There will always be reasons not to create. You're bored with a commission, you're schedule is too busy, your family doesn't see the practicality of what you do, you're tired, you're nursing a broken heart. Show up anyways. I struggle with all these things but what I've learned is that if I can make myself paint for at least five minutes, 9 times out of 10 I'll end up working for three or four more hours and have something awesome to show from it. Real talk, the Five Minute Rule really does work. And it applies to so many other goals in life, not just painting!
Romans 11:29 says "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."
Irrevocable. Wow, I love that word. To me this is a reminder to always show up, no matter the circumstances. While I may not be a full time artist yet, I've earned more than I ever thought I could financially, personally, and spiritually through what I do. And the best part? There's still so much more to come.