Winter at my house. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand with our creative aspects of the human mind. We need to recognize and accept our egos, drives, desires, dreams, and talents. It takes all of these things to create. The artist is still a human being and our drives and desires help us to create. We don’t want to go off the deep end so these attributes need to be combined with ethics. So accept your human nature.
As we go through this journey of life we learn a lot. Some of what we learn is terrific. Some is very sad and some is joyful. Each of us needs to take the information that is provided by our experiences in life to draw your conclusions for the meaning of life. You are the one who determines the meaning in your life. You can’t let family or friends make this determination. You are the sole arbiter of the meaning you find in your life.
You are the only person who can understand you. Take the attributes you find within yourself, determine your make-up and make sense of what you find. Combine your biology and psychology and you will begin to understand yourself. What makes you tick? Why do you roll the way you do?
You are your own moral compass. Life gives us many instances where we have to look inside and decide what is morally right in this world and in our own individual life. This is not easy to accomplish but what you will find will be reflected in your art. You can live a moral, creative, ethical life. This will help you as you determine what you want to create in this life both in your art and in the other aspects of your life.
Creating meaning in art and in life takes a lot of energy. Feeling that you have failed to find meaning can be exhausting. It can take the joy out of what you are creating. Depression can follow. This can be avoided and if it is not, it will be reflected in your creativity. You need to be the “energizer bunny.” Sometimes energy comes from the environment but quite often it must come from within. So be a dynamo. Enjoy your energy, determination, talent and the meaning you have discovered in your life.
Live in the present moment. The past is gone.The bad review, the rejection letter, the cold comment about your work no longer matter because you must live in the now and let the past be what it is…past. Don’t fall to the temptation of constantly looking to the future. Don’t think that your work or the critics will change. The future never arrives, it becomes the present. Stand tall and brave in your present moment and put your passion, energy, and talent to work in the present. You will find success, meaning and joy in your work as you live out your life making the world a much better place.
Show courage and accept the fact that heroism does indeed go hand and hand with your creative life. It is a life that you will shape and create as you go along in life. Let nothing stop you. You are being true to yourself. You are being authentic. Remember, you may have to suffer for your art now and then but it is not required. You are not required to be a starving artist. So stay in the present, find your meaning and your joy, and never forget your ethics.