I recently had a conversation with a fellow theater major on our paths in the arts. After going back in forth on what schools we attended, NY or LA, and our present careers outside of the theater world, I then told her the reason why I broke away from the artist’s life…the artist’s life can be pretty selfish. She agreed. Is a true artist only focused on self? Of course if asked, any artist would deny this claim, continue to create in their studio, and open their Macbook Pro to apply for the next grant that will supplement their next creation and living expenses. Look at me…give me…love me. The artist is the most insecure person I know… I can say this because I am an artist. So how do I become a self-less artist?
I have come up with some theories on how to obtain this title: the self-less artist. The self-less artist must grasp his true identity in Jesus, God. This knowledge is only gained by acknowledging and humbling oneself to His presence. The ego, pride must dissipate so what’s left is a blank canvas. When all you have created, what you thought you were, is let go, God will then reveal your true self. When this new self is accepted and embraced the need to seek validation in the world, the masses, is gone. Your only validation will come from above. In this act of submission, changes within and outside the self start to transpire. He leads you to make these changes.
Surrender then leads to answering a call. The self-less artist must recognize his own unique talents and gifts. It is very easy to be influenced by others and somehow re-create what’s already being done yet true artistry stems from an influence from the spirit. This originates from a relationship with your Creator. Spending time with Him. Alone. Quiet. I believe the very essence of being an artist is honoring The True creator. There is a unique strand within me that is not like any other and only God can know how to use me in the most efficient way. My life experiences, trials are used to grasp this calling. The very setbacks that caused me pain will then be revealed as links to my voice, message to the world.
And my last theory of the self-less artist is that their creations are used to heal. I certainly feel the arts has the power to create change. A testimony, a transformation, an awakening. Art brings light to dark places. The once selfish desires to be seen, to be heard are now washed away and replaced by a need to serve. To lead. To heal. The healed artist then becomes a healer.
In conclusion, The self-less artist recognizes and adheres to his master’s call.
So my theories, of course, originate from my own spiritual walk. In the walk I was challenged physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually only to attain my true identity. I questioned God, was angry with Him and even walked away from Him but something, or rather someone always called me back. I don’t know if I can be this self-less artist. It all seems so easy when you’re not really in the art scene anymore. Yet, my gut is telling me that it may be time to return… although this second time around will be quite different.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope–never forget that. At that time, you will call out to Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered–all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.”