I was talking to a friend the other day who happens to be quite an accomplished artist and a real spiritual father to many creatives around the world. We were chatting about our mutual passion to help artists thrive and, knowing I work with many hobbyist and emerging artists, posed the following question:
"How do you tell someone who is mediocre and not really called (or ready) to make his living with his art (simply because it will never sell) that perhaps God gave you the passion for art just to enjoy and glorify Him with, but it is not your calling to make it your financial sustenance?"
It's a great question and I'm sure the reason no one talks much about it is because it can be a really sensitive issue for the artist... No one wants to have that hard conversation with an artist who's thinking they are ready to take on the world when in reality, they are still stumbling around with the basics. And then sometimes, there are those really hard cases that almost seem like the American Idol auditions where someone thinks they are God's gift to art when in reality, there's not much there but desire and belief.
As I've thought about it, I hope these ideas will help you navigate your own artistic calling and season in that journey.
Excellent and full of wisdom, Matt!
2/10/2018 08:41:43 pm
Good words to chew on. Thanks for sharing the wisdom learned in your process.
Lydia Goforth Franks
2/13/2018 06:21:11 pm
Thank you! A friend joined me up with Created To Thrive. So nice to be connected to those who "do what you(I) do." Will introduce myself, show my work, etc. when I figure out how. Would like to see the other introductions and what others are doing. Don't know where to find that yet. Having a little trouble navigating to find things. Definitely need some help on the business side. Hoping to start a website this month.
3/9/2018 09:55:17 pm
What you write is inspiring. I have always known I was to create Art for the Glory of God. Believing in myself and knowing how to market my work has been a deficit. I also work out of the home which leaves me little time to create.
4/28/2018 11:08:13 pm
I have known for years that I am to make a living selling my Artwork. I just never had the formal training to do so. Believing in yourself is a plus. Not knowing how to go about marketing your work and feeling comfortable to approach people now that is something you must be taught. I know my work will sell. I have sold large pieces of my work. I just am not savvy yet as to how to sound professional when I approach certain marketing avenues.
12/14/2018 06:05:53 pm
Your idea of convergence is very enlightening. At 70 years old and just retired I’ve seen these principles at work in all three areas of my life. Finding that sweet spot is a hallelujah experience! I know I’m still weaving at the “basket marker” level. When I first started, the Holy Spirit would alert me to individuals that needed cheering or comforting. I wove small baskets and my wife filled them in with cookies and we carried them to our friend. I still do that some and it’s very fulfilling. I may never move from the basis level but I hope to continue to create as long as I’m inspired and challenged. I would love to visit your store! Blessings to you!
1/29/2019 09:11:52 am
When my world came crashing down, my 'talent' felt like the only thing I had and when I found out about worship art it was like my two favourite things got married and my spirit jumped for joy... So I tried to make a living off it even though I have no training whatsoever and it went to slow for my family's liking, they don't really believe in me, my art or that God can do this with or through me. So now I am working in a job that takes up too much time and energy and my creativity is drained.
Hi Felina. While I have always been a Creative, it was a dark and difficult time of my life in which doing my art became a major thing for me. It was a coping mechanism. That was in 2014.
5/4/2019 07:33:47 am
Excellent teaching Matt...full of optimism and very positive. I have recently retired from working in a school as a Learning Support Assistant but was always being asked to help with the children's art lesson in some way or creating backdrops and props. However, I have always considered myself an artist. I have sold some of my paintings at exhibitions and street displays but it would be good if it was consistent. This is what we are going to learn. Since the Mentoring Programme I have begun to feel a lot more positive and hopeful for the future. Thank you so much.
1/5/2020 03:21:14 pm
I appreciate your words about 'hobbyist' being a starting point. I am in the process of feeling my way into emerging from the shell of being a hobbyist and finally getting my writing published. I know I have much development to do but do not want to stay stuck in the space of merely writing for my own enjoyment. I have words within me that I believe are for more than just myself.
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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.