I told my friend that in the past, I have always felt like it is God who creates my artwork. I honestly feel that I start painting, and then a few hours later, I "wake up" and find this piece.... I'm just like wow... who did that? I used to call it "happy accidents" because I had no idea how they happened. Now I know that it's God. I feel like my painting, my creativity, is the moment where God meets me. And he takes over, and does amazing things.
Which is why when I can't seem to have these "moments," I feel a little abandoned by God. I don't understand why nothing is happening.
Then my friend hit on something quite interesting. Recently, I have posted none of the pieces I have been working on, here or on facebook or anywhere. I have barely let my family see what I've been working on. And I feel that the result is much better paintings and the fact that I am still somewhat interested in finishing them. My friend, as a result, noted that I base a lot of my talent on the opinions of others. I measure myself against my old pieces because I know those are already accepted. I fear failing now. I fear being a bad artist in front of others. I fear that in their eyes, somehow, I became worse instead of getting better. As I think of myself (and by default, my art) so shall others see me.
I read this post by Donald Miller today, and I thought it so relevant that I really needed to share....
The Great Stumbling Block of the Creative MindThe great stumbling block of the creative mind is the awareness of self from the perspective of others. Self awareness isn’t the enemy, because we are in fact masterworks of God, but rather the overemphasis regarding what others think of us. When we think too much about the opinions of others, we are letting them edit a book God has written.
In his introduction to C.S. Lewis’ sermon The Weight of Glory, Walter Hooper says Lewis was not capable of writing a great work until he converted to Christianity, not because only Christians create great work (obviously) but because his conversion marked an inner change in which he ceased to take much interest in himself.
In an age in which we can project an image and score that image based on immediate Facebook and Twitter feedback, thus making a video game of life and a false-reality composed of lies, what gets lost is a joyful obsession with the work we create from the purest of motives, a sheer joy in the act of creation itself that causes us to lose ourselves in something else, and in a way die to ourselves over the absolute love of a thing we are breathing into life.
You can find Donald's original post here: