As artists we are challenged to find a way to get our work out to others while still enjoying the process and not compromising ourselves. While everyone has a different journey with this and relationship to their work, their self-value as an artist, and the timing of their releases, not all artists find it easy to make a living at what they do right off the bat and not all artists may hit it big in having their work discovered or desired by every gallery or person. So, artists are left with wanting to be able to do what they love, not compromise their integrity, remain authentic to the style they enjoy, but also still be able to enjoy that connection that happens when someone purchases and takes home a piece of their work.
In many cases, this is why some artists may opt for offering commissions and take on custom work, as it allows them to still be an artist, while helping to support their ability to keep creating.
Some artists simply prefer doing custom work because they truly love that one-on-one connection and intimate relationship they create with the person they’re creating for and it allows them to challenge themselves with continued new subjects and ways to create.
They love the interactive quality of the work and having something new to work on every day.
For some, it’s more consistent work than trying to sell original pieces.
Then there are artists who purely love creative freedom and not having to create something someone else tells them to, not have to be concerned if it’s exactly what that person wanted, and simply love to work from that impetus of creative energy that moves through them when inspired and not on a timeline or schedule.
And then there are the artists that like a balance of both and find they compliment the process of being able to do what they love and tempers the right balance of compromise and variety, while helping them live and work as the artist they see themselves to be.
Where do I fall into all of this?
Well, having done all three levels, I find myself back in the place of truly feeling the call of full creative freedom at the doorway of my heart.
That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed the process of commissions in the past, as I’ve met some dear souls through that work, was able to challenge myself in many ways, and did enjoy that intuitively intimate connection and relationship channel during the process of creating – this was both with paintings and sacred tattoo designs.
However, I much preferred total creative freedom and found that when, in some cases, I was being dictated by every little part of the process and was at the mercy of someone else’s feelings around something I may have spent hours working on, it really could be a very stressful process and put a damper on creativity.
I adored the times when I was handed creative license with commissions and found that those pieces came out the best.
Custom work can, in essence, have the potential to be an interruption to an artist’s flow of their own planned work, unless it truly is an artist’s joy and perhaps first love, to create commissioned pieces.
I can even remember when I created my first mural for an investment firm I worked for and several large commissioned paintings I was hired for in the beginning that I had to work at convincing the very left-brained people who hired me with proposals and long explanations of what I envisioned, supplies needed, logistics, and how long and how much it would cost, as well as having to provide a sample sketch even when I knew that the magick happened during the process of creating. I then felt like I had to stick to that plan and wouldn’t have any room for inspirational flow in the unfolding of its creation. It became too much of a business and my need to make someone understand a right brain process with left brained explanations.
The connection can potentially get lost in the translation of this.
Luckily, those paintings went really well, although were stressful and tied me up in things I ended up rather not be involved with, but the mural wasn’t as much embraced even though they agreed to my sketch.
While they liked it, they didn’t love it. I found out that it lasted only several months before they painted it over. Not a surprise, as my heart saw a potential for them that the financial people there just didn’t quite understand. They were stuck in the old ways and this new vision was a bit too uncomfortable.
I was grateful to all of them for my very first opportunities to get my business going, which ironically allowed me to quit that investment firm job in the first place, and was still proud of myself for being able to acquire some really huge projects without any resume behind me.
These experiences may not have been my perfect fit, but at the time were my perfect reflection for what I needed to learn and what I called up for growth.
Then there were the many wonderful fits where harmony and synergy were in flow.
I think this is key if you do choose the custom work.
It really depends on the individual and what feels right. It’s important to align yourself, as well as put out intentions of the type of clients you want to work with, be willing to say “no” when something doesn’t sit right, and not take something on just for the money if at all possible.
The theme of this post actually was inspired by my continuing to get requests for custom sacred tattoo design commissions and people finding me online and even sharing my work with others, which happened twice already today. Even though I’ve removed my website and these offerings, there’s no way to remove the world-wide web of your past work altogether and those phantom pages that float in the ethers, so I take it as opportunity to feel grounded in my choices and able to say, “no” with gratitude.
I think these are key things for any kind of work we do and not just as an artist.
There isn’t one right or wrong way with this, but there are things to weigh and options to look at to see what feels right and where you’re willing to compromise or not. Or in fact, what doesn’t feel to be a compromise, but maybe just a shift in perspective that can open you to more possibilities.
You may even move in and out of these choices over the course of your artistic journey.
My professional artist life began as all commissions, then turned into a mix of custom and originals, and now is solely original-based creations.
This has all moved me into the new creations I’ve been inspired to paint solely from my inner child’s joy, imagination, and love.
I had hoped today I’d be sharing the first of these little paintings with you, but Spirit has something else in mind, as this past week has been very full and so I won’t have the last two of this first group done until next week.
Astrid feels next Wednesday is the day to reveal them, so stay tuned for Whimsical Wednesdays on 12/12 – no surprise there that alignments have it falling on this day.
Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’re an artist of any genre, where do you find the greatest joy?
Is it in creating custom pieces, your own originals, or a mix?
Is there something you could tweak that would make your current path more enjoyable?
How do you hope things to evolve and what steps do you plan to take to make that happen?
In love and creative magick, I wish you the most heartfelt journey with your art.
Ironically, because I’m in such a creative flow right now with my new paintings, I haven’t been able to channel an original post for today’s Whimsical Wednesday’s series. That said, the theme I did have in mind, when tuning in, is one I have written on before and I was able to find it to reblog for you today. It expounds on the value of creativity and how I feel it to be key to our current collective shifts and intentions we want to manifest.
For this reason, I am very supportive of artisans and small businesses, choosing to purchase all of my gifts and personal items from other creative entrepreneurs from around the world.
I’m hoping that by next Wednesday’s return to The Artist’s Corner, that I will have a snippet of the fun and whimsy I’ve been bringing to life on canvas here. So stay tuned!
For now, here is my take on the intrinsic value of creativity and nurturing the inner artist, which holds true today:
Creativity is love.
It is a magickal and powerful energy vital to exercise and cultivate as a channel of creation itself.
It’s an exciting time for alchemizing our very existence. We are infinitely creative beings here to evoke the remembrance of what lies in our hearts. This is an opportune and timely alignment of energies for really bringing forth the authenticity of your heart and expressing it in its most beautiful light, outward to all from within.
Our creative energy is an expression of the boundless love of All That Is and it is essential in creating new realities of experience. Cultivating the imagination, dreaming, hoping, allowing and supporting vulnerable and passionate expression, utilizing creative visualization… is all vital to manifestation.
The creative and healing arts are rapidly taking more of an essential role, as they once did, in leading the way to a new experience of life.
Once again the arts, integrated with the other essential aspects of wholeness, are and will be recognized as foundations that will create experience as a memory of harmony embodied and we’ll return to the conscious dance as partners with Earth, Nature, the Cosmos at large, and our very existence.
Cultivating the right brain back into balance with the left will help to anchor in new energies. This is why it is vital to support people in the arts and to cultivate those aspects within yourself that have called to you. Valuing the contributions that creativity shares, not only to the individual practicing their own expression of it, but to all who are touched by their creations and services, enriches communities collectively.
I am moved to share about the invaluable ways art enhances my own life and how it has the ability to do the same for others.
I find joy in walking the magickal path, and I channel and express everything in symbolic and creatively loving ways whether on my person, in my personal environment and sacred space, or through my work.
Painting has been my sacred key of life – my personal ankh that opens the door to life aligned with universal will. I didn’t set out to produce art, but like the wings of a butterfly are essential to its flight, I discovered that creating art is the breath of life to my soul.
From the onset, the unconscious, life-giving process of manifesting on canvas, the visions that pervaded my day-time dreams, struck me as magickal. And, over the years, that magickal essence persisted despite deterrence, yet the unfolding process is now accessed in quantum leaps of conscious experience.
It was a naturally progressive evolution that infiltrated my life with creative passion at every corner, reminding me that who I was, is who I AM. I paint from the inside out, employing naturally innovative and intuitionally guided techniques, as my unconscious is the undisputed light that guides me through the maze of tunnels to the divinely aligned, creative destination.
I was always an imaginative and creative child, whether singing, dancing, drawing, painting, make-believing, inner-eye journeying, dreaming…and any time I immersed myself in strictly left brain-focusees or jobs over time, it always resulted in imbalance, health breakdowns, unhappiness, diminished light, low energy, and basically like a piece of my soul dying.
I’ve learned the same can be true of only focusing on the right-brained things, which has resulted in fine-tuning a balance. We can’t forget all of our parts.
Whenever I let myself wander the creative paths, supported the integration of creativity into action, and watered the seeds of driven inspiration and passion, my life blossomed in all the ways the latter, on its own, wilted.
And yet, if I didn’t bring along the wisdom of the left brain and put things into action with courage and execution, my creative expressions would never see the light of day, could never be more than a side hobby, I wouldn’t be able to manifest intentions, and the value of what I did would go unseen or embraced.
But like many of us go through, as I grew up those creative parts of myself were not exactly nurtured and the natural me was reconditioned into an unnatural me, that I then had to relearn once again. Left brain took over and I had to relearn my creative nature. At a later point, that creative part out-weighed the other, and once again I needed to step back and retrieve the powerful parts of both to learn alchemy.
Everything evolves in perfection, and while it didn’t have to be that way, without this process, much of the depth, compassion, value, and ability to see with wider perspective would not have been cultivated as it was.
Creativity and painting, in essence, supports what feels most natural to me and supports every aspect of life. If you think about it, creative energy is life, and the life-giving force. So, it makes perfect sense.
I’ve experienced what it was like when I was disconnected from it and what it is like nurturing its expression.
I’ve also realized throughout my evolution and work, and observing the shift of energies, how vital to the collective our value, support, and cultivation of the creative arts is to where we are headed.
The male aspects of ourselves can help lift these parts up, fortify them, and create more effective use and action with their expression.
Creative and healing arts were once solid foundations that pervaded our experience throughout ancient times – times when we understood and realized the importance of being in balance and harmony with nature and the cosmos, which came through our cultivation of these aspects of consciousness.
As things have shifted, many of these aspects that enriched life were forgotten, lost, went more underground, were diffused and scattered, or replaced by new values. There are always cycles to life and the circle has been cycling back in a new way, as we are remembering, reevaluating, and understanding that balance is essential and cultivating natural creative expression is healthy to the state of collective humanity.
All forms of art have the ability to enhance life in amazing ways, not to mention, help us get more in touch with Source. It is an invaluable expression that through support and cultivation, can help us to connect more with our natural essence as creative, loving beings that are individually beautiful expressions of collective diversity.
We are all creative beings that channel creativity in beautifully unique ways. If you have felt nudges, inner callings, are receiving signs, have always wanted to explore your creative side or dabble in the arts, but haven’t fully supported it into the open, have felt insecure about your creative expression, judge it against other’s work, or wondered about what it would be like if you let yourself express yourself freely, now is a great time to harness that energy and let it flow without limiting beliefs.
The more you support these creative impulses, the more you allow yourself to explore things outside-the-box, to start creating and manifesting what you desire, to experience more magick and synchronicity in your life, discover ways to enhance your community and the collective, to create the greatest works of art you have yet to create, and to find greater sense of peace and inner joy.
Creative energy is the source of creation. If you don’t exercise it, you close the door on the endless possibilities you, as a limitless and powerful being, have the ability to tap into.
Creativity is the power of love expressing itself.
The more you support this expression in yourself and in others, the more beautiful life will be.
Here are just some of the values of expressing creativity:
- helps you be more aware of, and with greater sense of connection to, both the outer landscape of your surroundings and the inner landscape of your experience, visually, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually
- increases your sense of gratitude as simple things once taken for granted become beautiful
- opens you up to limitless possibilities and draws in new opportunities
- greater sense of self and security with who you are and choices you make that reflect you
- you learn to become more comfortable with your unique creative process and can apply it to anything you do
- you gain greater understanding of how others perceive visual information and how to communicate in different and broader ways that words may limit – enhancing your intuitive and telepathic abilities
- you feel more in tune with yourself, your inner voice and intuition
- you learn more about yourself and the collective, as your art and creative expression will mirror current themes and messages
- you feel more comfortable with yourself
- helps you realize there is something more to life out there, beyond the obvious, that you end up finding by journeying within
- creates more joy, inspiration, and lifts you up when you feel down, unmotivated, blocked
- gives you greater sense of peace and comfort in solitude
- increases your knowledge, helps you find more meaning, and expands your horizons, as you explore through art or research themes you are creating
- cultivates states of bliss and excitement when you align with the universal you
- builds your self confidence and courage
- develops your ability to share more of yourself with vulnerable curiosity
- teaches you about yourself
- develops patience and flow
- creates wholeness
- allows you to use your whole brain and by engaging both halves (left and right) this supports great things to happen
Here are just some of the values of art (both in supporting and cultivating as a collective community and in terms of what you receive from owning a piece of art or creating one for yourself):
- Art is a powerful form of expression for both the artist and those who own it, allowing the expression of individuality and can represent their beliefs, feelings, imaginations, convictions or philosophies in socially (and visually) acceptable and redeeming ways
- Art encourages people to be curious, ask questions, look within and introspect, think about ideas, experience fresh new perspectives and encourages being in the moment and stopping everything to reflect on more than just the mundane daily routines
- Art improves quality of life, enhances, revives, personalizes, and transforms any living, working, sacred, or place of gathering from lifeless to unique, beautiful, inspiring and engaging environments on an ongoing basis
- Art inspires and may spark thinking about or visualizing other ways life could be
- Art stimulates conversation and communication with the interchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas, even among total strangers who might never otherwise meet or engage
- Art speaks universally and needs no interpretation other than your personal experience of it when viewed
- Art encourages and cultivates children to dream, imagine, fantasize, be creative, express themselves, have fun with life and gives permission to do so, as well as to ask questions and expand their perceptions of reality
- Original works of art uplift, reflect, enhance and magnify the personality of the individual who owns it, as well as can stimulate and activate more of the desired elements and aspects that are desired or feel under-developed
- Art strengthens and enhances community livability, learning, creation, and engagement
- Supporting, creating and buying art improves the quality of life for everyone and serves much larger purposes than simply decorating a wall. Not only does it enhance things in personal ways, but creates wondrous transformations that revitalize, raise values and draw in new opportunities where ever artists share their artistry. This supplies the world with creative oases that stimulate culture in numerous ways around the world
We all have a creative side, even though many do not believe they are creative. It’s innately who you are as spirit manifest.
The more you embrace and allow the Divine Feminine energy (the right brain) to flow from within, in partnership with, and supported by and brought forth through action of expressing the Divine Male (the left brain), you can live in balanced harmony.
Do you take yourself too seriously? Have you forgotten how to have fun, let go, and be silly? Chances are if you feel stuck, uninspired, blocked, up against a wall, or like everything is just hard work and routine, you might have forgotten the spark of passion and joy you once had and the reason you started creating in the first place. Whether you’re a painter, writer, musician, sculptor, architect, chef, or even a stay-at-home mom or dad, entrepreneur, business exec, student, or in the service industry, you may experience those moments or long periods of drain and monotony because you somehow lost that spark.
How can you get it back?
By allowing yourself to be ridiculous sometimes.
Why is it that we’ve embraced the idea that masterpieces and success are born of suffering and torment alone?
It’s true that these emotional journeys take us to the darkest depths that create a rich overlay to our work by reaching into the shadows and bringing them to light.
But it’s overlooked how key having fun is to our process and that by inviting more uninhibited behaviors into our life, we will not only enjoy it more, but find our work igniting a new layer of imagination and possibility that will spark the same in others we touch through our work and interactions.
AND, we’ll look forward to it more each day, enjoy the journey, and find inspiration comes far easier to us.
Somewhere along the lines you were taught to believe that if you didn’t take everything seriously – including yourself – then you were wasting your time.
This begins to make everything, including the things you love, become a chore, you might have a hard time starting, and you find yourself pushing things off as much as you can.
What you love, you begin to avoid.
But what if you decided that you were going to be serious about having fun?
Meaning, fun was mandatory and needs to be woven into your day and process.
The less you worry and tighten your thoughts and feelings around how to create the perfect thing or be the perfect person at what you do, the more the perfect expression unfolds.
And we can invite this in more by engaging fun!
Whether you skip on your walk, sing in the shower, laugh at yourself, make up stories, entertain the ridiculous, allow yourself to be goofy, giggle at the little things, dance when the music moves you, throw some paint on a blank canvas you designate the “free zone,” play, take a day off, make up a story while you go through your process, and reconnect with why you started creating in the first place – what it means to you and how it makes you feel, you will find yourself opening up more to flow again, rediscovering your passion, and experiencing more sparkle in your life and work.
Going through the motions isn’t going to be sustainable and definitely is NOT why you were born here.
It may eventually, even, cut you off from doing the very thing you love because you lose the connection with your heart’s joy and trusting it.
Having fun is serious business.
It’s what creativity is all about and how you’ll discover infinite layers of imagination that will enrich all aspects of your life and work.
Balance is the key to life and while there is a time to be serious, there’s also a time for serious fun.
I’ve seen this shift my own experience with things. I mentioned this before, but I’ll expand a bit as it demonstrates the journey.
For example, my art has gone through a huge metamorphosis because of my “letting go.”
I used to create very VERY detailed, tight paintings and drawings that felt more like a soul pattern I was unconsciously falling under a spell with. They took me months sometimes to create and while it triggered remembrance of work I used to do in other lifetimes that felt good on one level, it also felt so grueling and was more like becoming numb to the idea of suffering through the process.
It took me a while to break the spell and wake up to the joy of painting again and having fun with it.
That I could actually paint what I wanted to and not what someone else told me to or that I thought I “should.”
That I could evoke feeling by pure expression, rather than meticulously thought-out and researched weaving of symbolism.
That I could simply paint what I saw in my heart and visions and not worry about being scrutinized for my technique.
In fact, I haven’t painted for several years, except for the Magick Stones I created on our Magick Bus RV adventure – yes Nature brought me back to the nature within.
And the creatures of the forest here keep reiterating this message to me daily, as I watch the squirrels and chipmunks – especially – outside my office door reflecting that perfect balance of work and play to create serious fun!
Little by little, my work evolved and will continue I’m sure.
And I find myself truly enjoying painting in all ways now, for the very first time.
Because I’ve allowed myself to have fun.
Pure, uninhibited fun with it.
And to paint what I love, alone, without any plan or mission.
I can’t tell you how quickly the ideas and implementation of bringing them about is going.
All because I remembered my “why” and surrendered to dancing in the fun of what it means to me to create – to be a child of the universe experiencing everything with wonder and sharing that wonder with you.