February 7, 2020
Looking through the history of art and design, it seems as though each movement embodied a striving to understand life and the purpose of being human, rather than operating in the power of being a human and the divine gift of creativity God has given us. We’re inspired by legends like Duchamp and Picasso, but after a closer look, we see their whole lives revolved around a desire to impress and shock critics rather than expressing themselves fully.
I’ve recently immersed myself into courses taught by incredible icons through Masterclass. In each course, I gain novel insight into a certain field and I pick up beautiful concepts to apply to my own work and business. However, I can’t help but notice the reoccurring theme throughout them all—insecurity. After the third course, my heart was disappointed as I grieved the lives of these heroes. Each one of them has accomplished incredible feats, yet they still wonder if they did enough and if their lives are worth anything. There’s a sense of discontentment, of resolve to the idea that “this is just how it goes—you work your whole life to create something wonderful but it’s still not enough.” It doesn’t sit well with me. It pains me to look at the lives of creative geniuses that have culminated in despair, unworthiness, and even suicide in some instances.
So the question follows—is this just how it goes? Do we resolve ourselves as artists, as humans to work in vain? The masters have confessed—to reach the top is not enough. Driven by fear and anxiety has only left an empty hole and a helpless look in their eyes. So if the people we so admire have yet to find fulfillment in their art, what hope do we have to create at a relatively minuscule level?
This is my resolve: to create because I can and because I love to. To express my humanity through my art with a hope to inspire, but no expectation of praise. If my self-worth hinges on the esteem of people, I will always fail to be truly authentic—to my work and to myself. What life is that? To reach the end and realize we did it all for approval which fades into emptiness.
I hear people say they aspire to be a great artist, to accomplish great things. But what does that mean? Is it to be viewed great in the eyes of man? If so, I believe that sole pursuit will come at the expense of authenticity.
My work is me, but I am not my work. I feel the grief of God in how we’ve twisted this gift. What was once meant to bring joy and excitement to our lives has now become the idol of our lives. We’ve missed the art of slowing down—of embracing the creative process without regard for how it results. Instead of creating from a place of confidence in humanity, we create with a looming fear it will be rejected—or worse yet, we fail to even start.
My desire is we would begin to walk out a life rooted in the beauty of simply being human vessels of creative ingenuity. We are not God and our creations will never win us that position. To accept that truth and to embrace the mysterious process of self-discovery and expression is the start of a truly fulfilling life, I believe. Creativity invades every aspect of our lives—from the seemingly mundane and still moments driving, to moments spent laughing with friends, and the moments we slow down long enough to articulate a new thought or emotion. When we stop bending to let insecurity rule in our lives and start impacting the world around us by just being us, I think we’ll create the most breathtaking works of art this world has ever seen.