Choosing Your Focus
Have you ever wondered what to focus on as a creative when you love to do so much?
Often as creatives, we tend to be multi-focused and multi-interested most of the time. That is kind of a normal part of being wired for creativity.
But while this is perfectly normal, this can hinder your ability to grow an artistic hobby into a part-time or full-time business or ministry. The key to finding artistic focus in your life lies in knowing what season of life you are in.
The Bible teaches us there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. Over the years, I’ve continually returned to this truth in my own life asking, “Lord, what season am I in? How do I respond right now creatively, financially, and in business?”
Discerning the Times and Seasons
When I got out of college, I felt strongly that the Lord was calling me into a season of full-time ministry. And for several years, ministry was my primary focus. I served as a Worship Leader and did my baskets on the side as my hobby.
I would sell my baskets at shows a few times a year, earning my Christmas money and that sort of thing. In that season of my life, my baskets really weren’t a big deal. I didn’t put a lot of expectation on making or selling, I enjoyed it as a pastime and that worked for me at that time.
As I transitioned out of ministry a few years later, I moved into a season of serving the Lord in the marketplace. I loved doing marketing and graphic design, so I started a marketing company. And for a season, that was very successful. Again, I was still doing my baskets as a hobby and leading worship on the side as a volunteer at church, but those things were not my primary focus, especially in terms of generating dependable income for my family.
Then in 2009, the seasons began to shift for me again. God called me to be a father to artists, to raise up an army of artists, and to do what I am doing right now. During that season, my focus began to shift again. I started writing books for the first time, and I started speaking on the whole idea of what it means to be a Kingdom Artist.
But that wasn’t the only shift that happened. The Lord told me that He was going to start using my baskets. Yes, that creative escape I embraced during my college years and had evolved into a serious hobby over 15 years was now ready to become a significant focus in my life.
The Lord began to open doors of favor that were incredible, using my baskets as both a source of income for my family and as well as a big part of what led us to move to Asheville, North Carolina. His plan for me in that new season was to bring me to a seat of influence in the arts (Asheville) and to a position of authority in the Kingdom (to raise up an army of artists).
As I look back at my 25-year artistic journey, I’m genuinely amazed at what God did in each season of my life. Each season was uniquely focused on a passion the Lord had sown into me that grew into my main focus for a time.
Again, for me, the key to knowing what to focus on in any given season of life has been a commitment to commune with God regularly. I challenge you to do the same.
Get alone with God. Ask Him the questions,
Before I go, realize there are many other things I’ve shared over the years on creative focus, but two free resources I would love for you to check out are:
Thanks for reading!
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Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.