Doing the Work
The case for admitting you don't know, trusting your heart and doing the work.
The thing that recently has been in my mind a lot is the idea of specialisation and what kind of services I can offer.
Over the last ten years I have listened to several talks and teachings and I have read a lot of books about running a small business to figure out if I can be a professional Visual Artist and designer. But I have not made much work.
I am very grateful for all the knowledge which was shared and I have definitely learned about a lot of different ideas and opinions. But to be perfectly honest they didn’t really help me. If anything, in the process of listening to a lot of different recommendations and trying to apply them to my own life I lost my way and eventually myself.
I froze in my track. I couldn’t trust my curiosity and passion anymore and stopped making. Because in a lot cases it didn’t match the advice that I was hearing out there. It made me confused, really sad and depressed.
I started questioning myself. “Look at all these successful people who have made it. They are all saying things should be done this way but you want to go to opposite direction.” Said the voice in my head.
A lot of them used money and social recognition as the measures of success. “What the market (the fucking market) decides would measure your worth” they said. “The popular opinion would decide if your are good or not.”
Where only few number of people talked about real fulfilment. Very few mentioned curiosity and self expression. Very few teachers talked bout exploration and being okay with not knowing but going forward anyway. Few said you should trust your heart and with faith and courage start making.
I suppose they have not done the same thing themselves, maybe, I don’t know. But this is where I am now. I have learned that doesn’t matter how many books you read, courses you take or podcasts you listen to, at the end of the day you need to figure out you own shit. The only way to do that is doing the work.
The work is exploring, playing, asking questions and trying different things. The work is trial and feedback. The work is to make and share. The work is knowing you will find answers as you go forward. The work is knowing you don’t know and being okay with it. The work is trusting the inspiration that arrives in your heart and getting to work. The work is ignoring the external commentary, good and bad.
The real success is feeling fulfilled. Being calm at heart. The happiness comes from following your curiosity and learning from the journey. Not being afraid of the uncertainty but rather excited about what is about to unfold.
My dear fellow traveler. Go do your own thing. Follow your curiosity and make what makes your heart sing and share it with us. We all need to hear your song.
Finding a niche, specialising, getting your positioning right and having catchy tagline doesn’t make you happy. Being curios and playful and expressing yourself with courage does.
You don’t make art to be rich or popular, you do it because it makes you feel alive. Because you can’t not do it.