Note: If you’re in a hurry, scroll down for time-sensitive info. Just sayin’.
This weekend marked the half-way point in the crucible that is Action Studio. The 36+ cast members inside are all awhirl, heads spinning with new visions of who we are and what our businesses are all about.
I signed up for the 30-day course with the goal of getting clear on my business message and direction. Turns out that was the easy part: two days in, and mission accomplished!
Now comes the hard part of actually implementing that clarity.
Part of that is the long-overdue website overhaul, the new home page design, the reams of re-writing.
But perhaps the hardest part is letting go of some things to make room for others.
What I am not
Inside Action Studio, Sinclair has made space for us to look at not just what we’re really good at, but what we really, really want.
Um, hello. This is what this entire Living A Creative Life endeavor is about! I started this damn blog as part of my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want.
And yet, somehow along the way I got off track. Waylaid by stuff I’m good at, but isn’t really in alignment with my deepest desires.
As Action Studio special guest star Dyana Valentine put it on a call last Wednesday, “Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have any business doing it.”
So, a confession: I am not an art marketing expert.
Nor do I want to be.
Close, but not quite
I created my first “digital offering,” the Thriving Artists Project, because I wanted to learn from other creatives who have built sustainable, thriving businesses from their creative passions.
I wanted to inspire myself, and all creatives, to bust the starving artist mindset once and for all. I knew that providing creatives with role models – people who are already doing what we’ve been told is impossible – would be powerful medicine.
Plus I thought living out my Terry Gross fantasies would be hella fun.
I was right on both counts.
What I didn’t foresee was that creating the Thriving Artists Project would make me feel like I had something to live up to. Like I was supposed to be an expert in art marketing. Like I magically needed to know everything, have all the answers.
Intellectually, I know this is ridiculous. But the feelings were there. I felt… uncomfortable. Like wearing someone else’s clothes that don’t quite fit.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the Thriving Artists Project, and I’m incredibly proud of it. But I’m also clear that what I want to create next is pointed in a slightly different direction.
What I am
As Action Studio guided me deeper into my business archetypes and my most passionate dreams, the shining truth revealed itself:
No, I am not an art marketing expert. I am an inspirationalist.
Brilliant, talented Nutty was the first to call me this, and I’m grateful for her perceptive vision. Sometimes it takes a view through someone else’s eyes to see what’s utterly obvious.
What do people email me all the time to say?
Not “wow, you helped me with my marketing,” but “you inspire me!”
What makes me utterly glow with delight to hear?
Not “I’m making more money thanks to you” (though of course that never sucks!), but “you’ve inspired me to create again!”
What’s the big vision that’s always in front of my eyes?
Of course I want to see all artists thriving, handsomely paid for the value we create. But that’s not my big, big dream.
My big, big dream is that everyone on the planet is connected with their creative source, playing in the Creative Sandbox, living in their fullest joy and sharing that with the world.
That’s what makes my heart leap and my soul sing!
My Big Why
I was fortunate to have amazing opportunities growing up. I got to do music and art in the schools. My parents could afford to give me piano lessons. My grandmother bought me a set of oil paints and taught me how to use them. I had my parents’ permission and support to immerse myself in dance as a teenager, and later even to drop out of UC Berkeley to pursue my dream of dancing at Juilliard in New York.
Even so, even with all of those opportunities, I found myself cut off from my creativity.
Even with a supportive family (who, I later learned, dreamed that I might grow up to be an artist!), I got sucked in by the louder cultural voices that told me that creative expression wasn’t important.
Better I should find the cure for cancer. Or feed the hungry. Or fight for the oppressed.
Even making a lot of money, the voices told me, was more important than feeding my creative soul.
I hate to admit it, but I bought the lie. And though I didn’t grow up to find the cure for cancer, or feed the world, or end oppression, or even make a lot of money (more’s the pity!) – even though I built a business directly from my art – I still found myself disconnected from my creative source.
Life felt stunted. Black and white. Lacking.
The cure was re-connecting with my own creative passion.
I know how powerful and important this was – and continues to be – for me. And I know how hard it can be to maintain.
That is my goal: fanning the flames of creativity wherever I see them.
That’s what I’ll be focusing on here, so join me if you like.
To be continued…
Aforementioned time-sensitive info follows here
Meanwhile, if you’re ready to build a career as an artist, I highly recommend you check out my friend Michele Théberge’s free teleseminar, Five Keys to Success: Creating a Soul-Infused Art Career, happening today.
I met Michele when I interviewed her for the Thriving Artists Project. She inspired the hell out of me (in fact, it was that interview with Michele that got me back to my own daily practice, starting with my 15 minutes a day commitment).
Since then we’ve become friends. I’ve gotten to know Michele and have huge respect for her. She has been a professional artist for over 22 years, with work exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. She is also a beloved teacher who is passionate about the creative process and inspiring others to commit to their art practice and get their work out in a bigger way.
One thing I know about her is she is extremely generous when it comes to sharing what she knows about being an artist and committed to supporting others.
And she’s doing it for FREE in her teleclass “5 Keys to Success: Creating a Soul-Infused Art Career” TODAY, Wednesday, May 25, at 8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT
Find out more and sign up here: http://bit.ly/jOE2sF
But do it fast, because the teleclass starts in just a few hours!
Full disclosure: I am an affiliate with Michele, which means that if you end up signing up for her Artists Mentorship Program I’ll earn a commission. However, I believe so strongly in what she’s doing that I’d tell you about it even if I weren’t an affiliate. And if you don’t sign up, or if you sign up through some other link, I’ll never know about it anyway. 😉
Hope to see you on the call!