The artist is the person who creates or makes. What do you make/create? The thing you make is what makes you an artist. The term artist has evolved to mean so much more than it used to. It is now associated with writers, dancers, masons, entrepreneurs — one may argue, “entrepreneurs are not artists.” They are because they create things that makes the lives of people easier. That is what the artist does, to make lives easier.
But this is not the point of writing this article. The point here is starts with a question — why do you make art or even, why are you an artist?
This is a very important question most of us artists leave behind when pursuing this path. Yes, it started as a hobby and then it became a profession. Why do most people hate their jobs? The answer is simple. Because the only reason they wake up to go to be present at that job is to get paid every month or week or something like that. It’s only about the money and nothing more (I’m not saying the money is not important).
If it’s only about the money, you’re going to get tired, at some point, even feel purposeless. Money does not give you the kind of fulfillment you need as a person. Human beings need more than money to survive. They need meaning. They need hope. Without this the human man is just another living thing existing in the world.
The reason for making anything is what compels you to do more even when you have enough…plenty money is not what causes you to do more. Money can be a great motivator but it needs meaning to be pursued. The poor man will only want to work because he needs to satisfy his hunger, get some place to sleep or call his own and he’s good. If this purpose does not go beyond just his hunger, he’s going to be poor again.
Meaning is what gets everyone going. It’s what gets you and I going. Now, back to the question–why are you an artist? Why do you make art? This might be easy to answer for some and difficult for others. Like me, I pursued art because I was looking for a job (that would make me happy)–more like a job that would make me find peace (I’m going to share that story another time). This makes it difficult for me to know why I’m pursuing photography.
Les Brown (a famous name in the motivation industry) had a motivation (or reason) for becoming successful. And it was only because he wanted to buy a house for his mom. If you know the story of Les Brown, you would know he’s been through much struggle and his reason was enough to compel him achieve success.
In one of his speaking events, Les said: My first major goal was to buy my mother a home. This goal is what I believe held him up when he wanted to give up.
Artist, Michael Aboya (Visual storyteller) said: I believe the humble reason for why you started doing anything should be the same humble reason you continue. Nothing changed, you only get better.
Life will hit us as artists (photogs, painters, writers, masons, entrepreneurs, etc…) which is why it is most important to have a reason to fall on — why did you pick up the camera/brush/microphone in the first place. And this reason will get you going to reach success.
Much love. If this short blog is good, share with your friends to encourage them to have a reason for chasing success that supersedes money. Money is just the tool; fulfillment is what mankind needs to live happier and healthier lives.
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