The Artist Within You

We think this is reserved for the talented people, or the “cool” people, or the people who prefer living with a dozen of cats and never have any human interaction. Whatever artist cliché you take, it seems it’s a very specific type of person and clearly not everybody.

Go Out and Explore: Raindrops in a Spider Web

The Inner Artist

To me an artist is someone who lives their own truth, someone who isn’t afraid of truly showing who they are, someone who just enjoys exploring and being their most authentic self and sharing that with the world.

When I think back to my childhood, it’s very clear I absolutely loved creating. I was the busiest kid in town because there was always something to do and explore. Somewhere on the way I lost that and I am still trying to get back in touch with this unchained creation energy.

What Stands in The Way

The older I got, the more I struggled with people pleasing and perfectionism. Which is related in a way, because if you want to appeal to people you obviously try to be as “perfect” as you can.

This deep seated fear of making a mistake and being inadequate in some way, drove me to trying to make everything right. Say the right thing, have the right taste, be interested in the right things. I tried to be the most socially acceptable version of myself. But who gets to decide what is right or wrong anyway? It took me a long time to see that nobody holds authority over what is acceptable for me to think, believe or feel. There was nothing that even could be done right because it’s all purely subjective. I am the only one who can decide what’s right for me.

What gets lost when you try to be perfect and the most acceptable person for everyone are your edges. The quirky, strange things that make you you and which define your individuality. For any creator it’s very important to find your own voice and style of expression. This is one of the hardest things to do. When I first tried stepping into creating again, I was blocked by so many fears and limiting beliefs. This unchained creation energy that I had as a child was just gone and the adult me was wondering with every painting or peace of writing: “is this too banal?” “Haven’t people read this already a million times?” “Is this really good enough? Wouldn’t most people be able to do something like this?”

But being so self-conscious about my art and wanting it to be perfect again, so that nobody could even remotely critique it, also made it precisely what I was most afraid of: Banal. Not meaningful. Unoriginal. Boring.

Just Go Out and Explore

A singer doesn’t necessarily need to have the clearest voice and hit all the notes to be able to touch people. A painter doesn’t need to master all drawing techniques to inspire a thought process in someone. Obviously technique and skill play into it, but there is much more to art than that. And to me it’s precisely the attitude, which reveals a true artist. The courage to show edges, imperfection and a unique perspective, to be playful and genuinely curious — that’s what awakens the inner artist.

I genuinely believe we are all creators in one way or another and we hold authority over what is important to us. Nobody else holds authority over that. This is why I love the poet Mary Oliver and her definition of her work:

My work is loving the world, here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.

– Mary Oliver

My work

As children it’s our natural state to simply wander and explore, who still knows how to be astonished? Isn’t that something that we could devote our time to? Why are we forgetting this when becoming adults? Why is it suddenly not important anymore?

My work is to learn to be fiercely curious again, honouring my inner artist.
What’s your work?

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