You know sometimes as an artist, getting started can be the hardest thing to do.
I recently got a question from one of my listeners, Ethan, who said, “Matt, I’ve got a goal, I’ve got a vision, but I never seem to get on track with either. It’s always been one step forward two steps back for me and I'm just not sure how to get started towards seeing some real progress being made in my life.”
I can absolutely understand where Ethan is coming from because I've been through that same thing before in my life. I was sitting at church the other day after reading this question, and my Pastor gave a great example, right out of Genesis, of how God starts a project.
Structure Is Not A Bad Thing
He used the example of when God began to form Eve. He started with a bone He borrowed from Adam. And this is so significant because this bone was used to form a structure upon which the Father built Eve’s body.
Think about it, all physical growth inside your body starts with structure. From the teeniest cell to the strongest bone, if you didn't have this foundational structure in your physical body, then just be a blob of ooze (I know… gross).
A lot of times as artists we want to resist structure. Maybe it doesn’t feel artsy enough or maybe the idea of structure conflicts with what you feel about being Spirit-led. But the thing we have to realize is that EVERYTHING God has ever created was built within the framework of a Spirit-inspired structure. (Don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube video about the Fibonacci Sequence.)
The Power of Connection
After laying a foundation with the skeletal system, God used tendons to connect everything together. Whether you’re talking about your physical life, your spiritual life, or your artistic life, you can't sustain growth in your life without meaningful connections in your life.
I think this is one reason I see so many creatives struggle. Somewhere along the way, they bought in the lie that they are the only one struggling to make it in life, in art, or in business. If this is you, then don’t let the loneliness, isolation, and fear of what others might think or say keep you trapped and hidden one moment longer. Be intentional. Seek out and connect with other like-minded artists and mentors right now.
So, if you're looking to unleash transformation in your life, start with structure, pair that with authentic connection, and then combine that with your strengths. In your physical body, I’m talking about muscles, but in your life and art, your strength(s) are those unique gifts and talents God has sown into your life.
Think about it. These gifts and talents were given to you by God so that they could be exercised, built up, and finally used by you as you step out and fulfill the plans and purposes that He has for you. As an artist, it’s your talents and skills that bring a unique perspective to the works you were created to make.
Skin: What the World Sees
So yes, it’s a weird point, but if you were just a bunch of muscles sitting there, you'd be kind of gross, right? So you need to have skin, or more precisely, you've got to learn how to present the thing that God is doing in your life and art out to the world. It’s about putting a face on what you do so that others can be drawn to it.
If you find yourself struggling to show depth of your talent and the strength of your character through the connections you’re cultivating, then it might be time for a “face lift.” Ask the Father to show you what He says about you and your work, listen to what He says, receive it, then share that with others.
And Finally, Breathe It All In
I love the final point my pastor made, and it goes to the core of what I've taught for years about being filled and skilled out of Exodus 31. Once Adam had been completely formed, his skeleton, tendons, muscles, and skin all in place, God had one more step left on His “Create Mankind” action plan. Adam and Eve were just mounds of impressively arranged dust right until the moment God Breathed HIS life into their bodies.
My friend, that's when life, true life, comes rushing in! Without the breath and life of the Holy Spirit moving through your creative process and guiding your steps as you grow your art business, you very well may end up striving, frustrated, and paralyzed.
If you’re sitting there wondering why it feels like God has left you on the side of the road (and He’s not), may it’s time you took a “deep breath.” If you can relate to this, then I challenge you to invite the Creator of all Creatives to breathe His life into all that you are doing.
I hope this has been a big encouragement to you and if it has been, then please take a moment to share it with a friend, ok?
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.