Don't Focus on Money, Focus on Your Art (You Could be Stifling Your Own Creativity).

Most people with a creative business struggle with trying to find where they fit in and have some problems navigating all of the nuances and politics. Sometimes it is because we are often limited in our growth because of a lack of presence in the creative world. Sometimes we can alleviate some of this by paying attention to another aspect of how we are doing business. Part of the problem that we CAN fix is where we prioritize our creativity. That priority for most people is MONEY.

Money makes the world go 'round!

Yes, we NEED money…we WANT money….as a rule we LIKE to pay bills, eat, not be homeless. It is a general goal and overall it isn’t an issue to be aware that it is needed in your life. Money essentially makes the world go around, but that doesn’t mean that we should necessarily be leading our creative pursuits with making money as our only goal. Truthfully this is the real “kiss of death” for creative types and it stand to suck all of the creative energy out of anything that you do.

I guess what I am saying is that it isn’t the money that makes you creative. You can be creative and are usually more creative if you aren’t thinking about the money. Money is usually the furthest thing away from actual creativity in reality. People tend to be greedy with their money and spend frivolously and sometimes get “the big head” as a result of a small amount of pocket change. They may make stupid decisions and base their feelings on false facts that are simply the constraints of being able to afford things that aren’t needed. This is often where the Elitist and Entitled attitudes come from.

Tea is wonderful...but don't be a snoot!

I recently saw a post where someone said that they “See all of the work from people who didn’t go to Art School and can immediately pick out all of their mistakes”…they went further to say that they wanted a way to tell them so that they didn’t sound like a “dick”. I don’t think that there is a way around that honestly. I think that if people aren’t asking you, you should leave them alone. I also think that just because you went to Art School it doesn’t make you an Artist. We all grow and change…we all have things that we are good at and things that we aren’t. There is not one person that should be able to say that to another. I commented nicely on this post and stated that the Art and creation of art is more about joy and a lot less about whether we spent too much money on something that we could easily learn just by doing it over and over and researching on our own.

One would have thought that this would have been the end of this…but it wasn’t. There was a guy in the group that was commenting and cussing people out that didn’t agree with him and saying things about how he “makes money” and “used to work for Disney” and he went as far as to post a laugh emoji on my comment and tell everyone else that anyone who didn’t go to art school was trash. This guy had a serious case of the “Elitist Attitude” and I am guessing his less than sparkling attitude is probably why he isn’t with Disney any longer. Maybe not…but I can imagine.

We get to MAKE the dreams for those who can't!

I told that story mainly so I can explain why that Elite mentality is killing creativity. Lots of art and creating requires the piece having a soul of its own. I think that when you put money before the creation you are essentially selling your soul for what may make you about a couple thousand dollars at a time. People don’t get as motivated if there isn’t anything that they still have to work toward. People tend to stop growing and learning once they think that they already know it all…why? It’s the nature of the beast. People are like that, they like the path of least resistance. That should never be the way that a creative type chooses to live…we are innovators and encouragers…we CREATE dreams.

Again, I am NOT telling you to not make money and live on the streets…I mean why would I do that? Then all of you wonderful people probably couldn’t even come and read my blog! That would just be a disaster. All kidding aside. If you can create something that is legitimate and with passion and feeling…why would you EVER want to do it any other way? I don’t like to create if I am not inspired. I think that everyone can use a bit of inspiration. Don’t waste your talents by chasing paper, because if you keep creating only “commercially acceptable” artwork or even art assignments that you take as a commission but aren’t that passionate about YOU WILL KILL YOUR CREATIVE SPARK. This is one of the biggest causes of creative blocks.

I just want to say that as a lefty this looks totally unnatural to me...but they are CREATING!

If you happen to make your living only on commission work, I understand that. I do think that you should create a balance when you take those on though. When I say that I would say still engage in a project that you love…I mean LOVE….in between at least every TWO commissions. Keep yourself refreshed. Allow your creative talent to be the main focus at least some of the time. I have rarely seen someone do a licensed cartoon character or a reproduction or commission that they felt very strongly about or felt very connected to. I like knowing that when I open my paints and grab my brushes that all of the strokes that are getting ready to happen are ones that I intended to put there. I feel at peace when I can zone out and take the idea or vision as far as I can push it. I think that there was to be some personal joy in that.

If you answer the call of money or commissions or some other things that may compel you to paint or create, then please do so with caution. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting what made you want to have a creative business in the first place…I guarantee it wasn’t money. I’m betting that there was a deeper kind of love that used to exist there. I say to cultivate that love because it IS worth it. I say to make sure you don’t forget why you came to the creative realm in the first place….don’t forget what makes you belong in the creative world. That is the YOU that you should be standing up for…the money will come. Don’t over commercialize. Don’t force something that you don’t feel or believe in, just be you. Once you know that you and your soul that you are bringing to your creations is enough, the rest will come. Don’t be afraid to wait for your emergence.

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