The problem with artists is unrealistic expectations. We tend to sit on our work, hiding it until it is the best in the world. The problem is a very small part of the population (namely one person out of seven billion) can be the best in the world at any one thing. The odds are not in our favor. This is why many of us go nowhere and where the “starving artist” thing comes from.

If we don’t sit on our work, we tweak it into destruction (or oblivion) in the name of the sliding scale of excellence (pretty sure God gave me that one). Basically it works like this, we never hit excellence, because we never see our work as excellent. No matter how good we get, we can only see the flaws and deem ourselves not good enough, something less than excellent.

Well friend, excellence is a sliding scale, but not the way you think. My definition of excellence is the best you can do today with what you have. If you have given your best effort and you finished what you started, you have achieved excellence. Continue on in this way, and you will get better and better and better, the scale will slide up, but all along the way you have been excellent.

When I look at the work from early in my career, I cringe a little. It’s nowhere near what I can do today, but I want you to notice something, even back then, in many cases, someone bought it. Someone thought it was good enough to trade some of their hard earned money on it. It was the best I could do at the time and by exercising faithfulness, I got better.

When it comes to art, I am all about “name it and claim it.” No, I’m not talking about some prosperity Gospel thing, I am saying, an artist should create the very best work he or she can create today. Then he or she should give it a title (name it) and put it out there for the world to see, proudly yet humbly, saying “This is my art (claim it)! I am thoroughly convinced this is the only thing that separates the great artists, from the people who wallow in anonymity. It’s not so much great ability as it is the willingness to do our best, show it to the world and stand behind your creation.

The choice is yours, but I choose to show the world. Not everyone will like it, but I’m not creating for the ones who don’t like it. I’m creating to the glory of my God and for the people He will bless through it. God is faithful and He is my example.

What’s your problem? Do your best, name it, put it our for the world to see, claim it and repeat!

  1. I agree with this post. As an artist, I just make sure I do my best on that day. Why change yesterday, if it becomes today’s project? It’ll never get done.

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