All of us who are adult artists survived, did we not? But we did … HAVE TO SURVIVE. There was a battle to overcome. Some of us persevered … some of us died as an artist.

Picasso tells us,

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

What if those dispirited adults who walked away from their crayons could have been given hope? What if there was a universal truth about staying an artist?
What if there was …

The Secret to Staying an Artist?

I recently watched a short YouTube video from an excerpt of Ira Glass on Storytelling Part 3. Ira eloquently explained why an artist fails and how they can succeed. It is one of those truths you hear that immediately makes sense and yet you wonder why you had not figured this out before.

Inspired by this short video, I share the following brief thoughts.

We become artists because we are stirred by things we see visually or mentally.

It is so natural to be stirred by what we encounter, so naturally, we want to reproduce, expand, or explore this stirring through art.

Our beginning creations don’t live up to what we see.

It is somewhat shocking to start creating with the excitement of bringing more beauty into the world, only to discover our creation misses the mark; often embarrassingly so.

We get frustrated because what we produce and what we want do not match.

This happens to ALL artists. We all hit the WALL OF FRUSTRATION. It hurts.

The Critical Point

Do we quit?
If we are blessed, we have significant people around us who understand THE TRUTH. They know this is a NORMAL PROCESS and encourage us to GROW AS AN ARTIST.
Of course, growth is always painful. For some, the pain is too much and they walk away from what they are supposed to be.
For those who refuse to quit, they continue the painful process.

Improving our art – bravely doing our art

Volume– Just keep creating. There is something wonderful about stubbornly pushing ahead until one day we look back and see how far we have come. The more we create, the better we create.
Focus – Continuing to reproduce art that misses the mark will not satisfy or sustain us. We need to pay attention to what is working and what is not. Focused effort WILL produce what we want.
Deadlines – I know many of us want to live the FREE LIFEof the creative. Being a happy and engaged artist does bring a real sense of freedom. But never finishing projects will eventually eat away at us and we will feel unfree.
I was surprised to finally discover I actually work much better when I have set limitations before I start. I then become free to express my creativity because I eliminate some of my Creative ADD. Setting a deadline not only gives me helpful limitations, it creates s sense of urgency.

The Secret of Staying an Artist

Ira Glass Here is the link to the Ira Glass video I watched.
Maybe you will discover even more than I did.
What do you think?
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I’m Preston McCracken, join me in ENLARGING OUR LIVES.