Met a Young Artist Today: Finding Your Tribe

Posted: October 11, 2019 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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So today was a really interesting day. It started with helping to set up one of my favorite speaker’s equipment for a major school presentation. Afterwards I got to have an early lunch with him and his team which was just awesome. Stories from the road combined with a few take aways that can’t help but make me a better speaker in the future. Thanks Bob Lenz for sharing some time with me today. If you are a pastor, you should really consider teaming up with a few other local churches to bring his Dignity Revolution presentation to your local school.

After that, I had a few errands to run. Checks to be deposited, and getting my driver’s license picture taken, after which I was craving a small treat, namely a McDonald’s Hot Caramel Sundae. While I was there, I heard a conversation between a worker and one of the other guests. I was trying to mind my own business, until I heard the young lady say she was an artist. At that point I had to join in. It turns out she had recently posted a photo of a new piece of art to social media. She had tried a new technique (for her) and was looking for feedback. She referred to her post as controversial. It wasn’t so much controversial, but she was getting a look at the difficult side of putting her work out there. Some people liked the piece, others did not. I didn’t read the comments, and she was handling it pretty well, but I could tell some of it was hurtful.

The piece was well done and a very good first effort. If she keeps going, she will grow and excel, but I reminded her of something I have had to remind myself of far too many times. As an artist you have to be true to yourself, claim your work and, to an extent, ignore the unkind critics. Let’s face it, as artists we all want everyone to like our work, but this is not reality. Some people will love your work, others will not. Some will praise it, others will put it (and maybe even you) down. Here’s what we need to remember: The people who love your work are the people who matter. Create first for yourself (and of course for the Lord), and then for the people who love your work and disregard the haters. The people who love your work are the people that will 1. buy it and/or 2. tel the world about it. They need to be your focus.

Also as artists, we need to bless and encourage each other and help each other out. In the course of our conversation, I shared a few of my pieces, talked about my traveling ministry, looked at more of her stuff, shared a couple of ideas, and because she was open minded, I showed her some of he work of one of my friends who I would consider a master at her ‘new” technique. All in all it ended up being a good conversation and I was blessed by it. I hope she was encouraged as well.

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