Intro

A few years ago I began writing a Daily Devotional Book for Artists. After starting my day with various books I found none really spoke specifically to the journey of the Artist. Since then I’ve decided to use this blog to post my writings. I hope they encourage you.
Angela

“Inspiration is a divine appetizer of the genius within”
Dr. Cindy Trimm

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PURPOSE

WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?

This question comes up for everyone and it is often asked among Artists. No one can tell a person their purpose but I have a formula that may help.

1.
Stop asking and start doing. Some people spend their entire lives asking questions: What is my purpose? What should I be doing? A more poignant question: Is what you’re doing feeding you, baring fruit in your life and in the lives of others. Most people who are stuck actually know the answer. They know what they should be doing but lack the courage to do it. Children who are taught the principles of purpose have no problem doing what they love. Adults know too much, have seen too much failure, too much heartache, and too much struggle. We tend to be more careful. In many ways that’s a good thing but in this case, it is a hindrance. Fear and caution cannot rule the day. Do it afraid.

2.
Be careful whom you share your vision with. Write it down and read it often. There are times when no one (not even your strongest supporter) will understand what you are doing. This is why it is not good to always share your goals. Only you and God know what you are called to do. If your friends and family don’t get what you’re doing, it may have a negative affect on you. You may become discouraged and doubtful about your journey. You only need validation from the giver of the vision, no one else.

3.
Remind yourself of your first thought. There are so many distractions in life. You are offered a major position that has nothing to do with what you really love but it’s there. Read your vision, if it doesn’t line up then you know you either can’t take the job or you go in fully aware of your temporary status there. Write your vision for your life and read it often.


4.
What do you LOVE? What inspires others when you do it? What brings you joy? Look at those things and you will find your purpose. God did not purpose you to do something you hate. This does not mean your purpose won’t be challenging and difficult at times. While your purpose is fulfilling to you, it is not just for you. It has meaning to your family, your community, your church, and your world.

5.
Don’t talk yourself off the ledge. Stay there and persuade yourself to jump. Be a risk taker. When you jump trust that God will catch you and through all the struggles you won’t give up because you know you are purposed to do what you’re doing. You know that nothing else will do. You are at Peace!!

Go in peace and create! You are an artist.


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What If

What if, they don’t like me? What if they do like me? What if my voice cracks? What if they actually hire me? There are so many questions that go through our minds.

When we have auditions, meetings or worse, when we’re home waiting for the phone to ring. Do not waist another moment of time and energy on What if. Spend energy affirming positive things. We project all sorts of things that may or may not happen and we don’t live in the present moment. Why not do your best work, feel whatever you feel about that and move on. Enjoy lunch with a friend, the bus ride home, the music on your ipod. Enjoy every moment of your life. The advantage of being an artist is that we truly see and appreciate the beauty in things most would miss. We have to be present to appreciate it though. When you’re busy projecting, you’re losing hours or even days of living. Live your life and trust that your blessings are yours and they will surely come. While you’re waiting instead of What if, try I am. I am talented, I am prepared (if you are), I am living in every moment of my life today. Every moment of my life, not every moment of my audition. Live your life and you’ll have much more to bring to your art.

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STAND

When I’m in the middle of a trial or struggle, I’m often advised to stand strong. Yet I am never quite sure what that means. I looked one day at the tree planted in front of my house and somehow it all became clear.
That tree has withstood every season and every storm and it still stands. When hurricane winds hurled through our neighborhood, it did not fall, because it is rooted deep in the ground on a firm foundation.

Be sure your life has roots that run deep. Don’t allow your dreams and goals to be so emotionally shallow that they change with every disappointment. Rejection will come, criticism will come but you can persist because of your roots. Let’s call your roots, your training, your dream, your calling, your support system. Your roots are those things that ground you and keep you pushing through even in the midst of high winds.

The leaves of the tree change every season. In the fall, they become beautiful in color. In the winter, the tree is bare. In the spring, it bares fruit and in the summer, that same fruit baring tree provides shade.

So it is in our lives and careers. Things can be going along beautifully. Everything you touch is golden, then winter comes. Now, it seems you can’t do anything right.. You can’t book anything and you feel your mojo is gone. If you stick with it long enough, you will find that spring does return and you find new meaning in your work. You are no longer in the glaring sunlight of your own ego but under the shade of peace, knowing the work you’re doing is solid, anointed and fulfilling. Those who are supposed to notice will, but the need to be noticed has been balanced by the need to be whole.

That same tree has been there for generations. It was there before I was born and it will be there when I’m long gone.

It is my desire that the body of work that you create will be here long after you’re gone. The young artist you inspire will impact those beyond your lifetime.


That tree is not always perfect and beautiful. In the winter, it’s bare, exposed and vulnerable.

In the winter of our lives we often want to put on a strong front, because we think that’s what standing looks like. It takes so much more energy to put on a front. You need your energy for so much else, don’t waste it being inauthentic.

If the roots are solid, the tree will do the same thing every season. Seasons will come and go, leaves will always change colors and fall, and the tree will always bear fruit and grow.

You will always have highs and lows in this business and in life. You will always change colors (moods and emotions), but you don’t always have to bear fruit and you don’t always have to grow. That is your choice. It is Standing in faith and in courage that we bear fruit and that we grow.

Choose to stand strong! After you’ve done all you can…stand. Be like that tree, bare fruit and leave a legacy. Stand firm through every season. Never, ever give up. Stand! YOU ARE AN ARTIST

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STAY AT THE MEETING PLACE

Have you ever agreed to meet someone at a particular spot, but when you arrive at that spot, the person you’re meeting is not there? You wait a while and then decide to walk around the block to look for them. When they finally arrive at the agreed location, they don’t find you so they leave. After walking around the block, you’ve missed the person and lost the entire meeting because you left the
meeting place. This often happens with our dreams and goals. We pray for success in a particular area and when the answer to the prayer doesn’t come fast enough, we give up and we leave the meeting place. We decide, instead of acting, maybe law school. Instead of singing, Teachers college. Instead of dancing, become a trainer. Law school, teaching, and fitness training are all great things. If you can make a living doing any one of these things by all means go for it. However, if you have a passion that was placed deep inside, you can never out run it. There are some things you were just born to do. So instead of leaving the meeting place, bring “projects” and activities so your wait isn’t unbearable. All those other things you’re good at and can make a living at are your “projects”. “Projects” can lead to great prosperity and will make your wait even more comfortable. Whatever you do don’t completely give up. When you do that, either opportunity comes around and you’re not there or if you are there, you’re not ready. Always be ready and waiting at the place where your passion and your first love lives. Opportunity will meet you there, don’t walk away, don’t miss it.

The Meeting Place –The place where you’ve asked God to pair your preparation with the perfect opportunity. The place where purpose is realized and lived out. Where your gifts, financial security and fulfillment rendezvous in perfect harmony.

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The Next Level



I have been a working artist for years. But I woke up this morning and realized I’ve been doing it all these years at the same level. Everyone I started with seems to have moved forward. I’m still struggling. I’m still pretending it’s ok to struggle for my art. I’m still telling myself they sold out and I’m the authentic artist who wouldn’t compromise. Yet, when I see all the things happening for them I can’t deny a part of that success was my dream. No change in my personal life either. I need to grow up, move on; but I don’t know how to do that and still be an artist. This is all I know. I can’t give up now. Transition is never a word I thought I would consider. What do I do with my life? Will I ever reach the next level?


There will always be a next level—for the early career artist, for the working artist, for the star. Don’t place deadlines on your life. Your journey is yours and yours alone. You cannot compare your career to anyone else’s. If you have been fulfilled in your life, that is success. If you have shared your art with others and they have been blessed by it, that is success. Don’t be discouraged by the traditional ideas of success. Nothing about the life of an artist is traditional. You are special. You create for a living.

Be careful not to get caught up in envy and judgment. You cannot judge the authenticity of another artist because they choose to do a job you wouldn’t do. Judgement and envy can lead to BITTERNESS and Bitterness is never good for spiritual wellness.

If you are feeling like you’ve had a great time but its time to move on, you are not abandoning your art or the artistic community. Some things are only for a season and maybe your season for doing what you’ve been doing the way you’ve been doing it, is over. Open yourself up to the possibility of doing things differently. In opening yourself up, you allow space for new visions, new ideas, and new desires. You are an artist, so you will always be creative. A change can bring even greater fulfillment. Don’t waste energy trying to figure out what the change is.
LISTEN to your heart and your deepest desires. LISTEN and be open to new things. Remember, the next level can be a peaceful transition. The next level is not a promotion or a bigger part. The next level is a deeper use of your gift. A layering of what you’ve done to what you’re about to do. Continue to grow, learn and find joy in creating and the Creator will always provide all you need. May you enjoy every moment of all that awaits you. Your Latter can indeed be greater than your past. Eyes Up and Ahead!


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Tunnel Vision or Balance


I don’t want to go to parties, catch up with friends or see a movie that does not involve what I do. I attended conservatory, I only read trade papers and only watch shows or read books that feed me in my business. Most people tell me I have tunnel vision and I say what’s wrong with that? My career is ALL that matters to me.


Every successful person has tunnel vision at some point in their career. It’s difficult to hold on to laser beam focus, so when you have it, there’s nothing better. Now the work begins. The work is to also hold on to balance. There is a good argument that to really be successful you must jump fully in the deep and not see anything but the prize. That argument is a very good one except it limits what you can bring to your art. At times we compare ourselves with athletes who win gold metals and championships. Those athletes speak often about how tough they trained and how they had the eye of the tiger. The eye of the tiger is great as long as when the prize is won you’re not left feeling like there’s no one around to appreciate it with you. Embrace your friends, they will hold you up and motivate you. Love your family, they will be there whether you win or lose. Welcome love in your life. You may think it will be a distraction but it may actually enhance your work. Unlike an athlete, all of your life affects your art. The painting is limited when you have little life experience to paint about. Your work is deeper based on your experience. This doesn’t mean you must experience everything in order to have a feeling about. It simply means that the experiences you have will deepen your work as a dancer, singer, actor, writer, inventor, sculptor, ARTIST. You can’t live in a glass bubble and expect to create beyond the glass bubble. Your imagination coupled with life experience can lead to an interesting and beautiful artistic creation.

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I shouldn't WANT it too much....



I Have a great opportunity and I’m trying not to want it too much. Every time I really want it I never get it but when it doesn’t matter, those are the ones that want me. As I’m preparing I’m trying hard to convince myself of how much I DON’T care about it.

WHY? Of course you want it and what’s so wrong with that. You would not be human if you didn’t want something that could grow your career, fulfill a goal or increase your financial stability. You didn’t become an artist because you didn’t want it. You absolutely want it. Don’t spend energy fooling yourself. Use wanting it to propel you to do your best work. You may feel if you want it too much it will be too disappointing if you didn’t get it. You will be hurt and disappointed whether you play mind games with yourself or not. Your spirit knows how you really feel. You could actually get it. If you approached it from a place of hunger and deep desire, your work will be much more interesting and you will have so much more fun because you are choosing to be honest with yourself. Take the opportunity to show your work, work on your craft and do your best. Enjoy every moment of sharing your artistry with all those in the room, all the while wanting it with all of your heart. In the end whether you get it or not. You did work you could be proud of and you didn’t let wanting it make you too nervous to perform your best. You are worthy of all you desire. Besides, how can you pray for something you don’t want. Be honest with yourself, want it, pray for it, visualize it, embrace it. Whatever the outcome, you were true to yourself, your desires and that truth showed in your work. You nailed it!

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I Can't Move



I can’t move. I have so much I want to accomplish but my desire to accomplish those things and my desire to sit here and watch television, sleep, talk on the phone or online are in a constant fight. I should be learning a new monologue, writing, working on a dialect. I should be investing in my spiritual growth. I should be doing all these things but I can’t move. How do I get out of this rutt? How can I merge my deepest dreams and desires with the way I live my daily life? If I’m really an artist with goals and aspirations, why does my life not say that? I want to be who I say I am but I can’t move.

That paralyzed feeling happens to artists all the time for many reasons. The path to success doesn’t happen fast enough so we give up and sit down. There is a creative block so we stop creating for a moment and that moment leads to hours, then days, months and sometimes years. Eventually someone will call with an appointment and this forces sudden feeling in our legs. Illness, depression, financial hardship, the reasons for artistic paralysis are endless, however there is an easy solution. JUST BEGIN!

Don’t worry about all the stars being aligned. Don’t wait for there to be nothing interesting on TV, all bills to be paid or a completed to do list. Simply choose this moment to BEGIN. Take it one day at a time. Sit with your fingers on the keyboard until something comes, go for a walk, to the gym, meditate. Just BEGIN to get back on the path that once brought you so much joy and fulfillment. Just BEGIN to be grateful for this new start. Just BEGIN today to let yourself off the hook. Don’t beat up on yourself for anything. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Loved, forgiven, desired, embraced, divinely gifted. The world is waiting for the song, book or play you will write, the dance piece you will set. The world is waiting for you to dig deep and be the creator you were born to be. Just BEGIN to pray daily for guidance. Just BEGIN! You are equipped with all you need, to do the work you were born to do. JUST BEGIN.

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DIGGING OUT

Digging Out – A term used after hearing those dreaded words: Not this time, they went another way, there is no interest, you won’t be renewed, you’ve been replaced. You crawl under the covers, into a cave and literally have to dig your way out to see the light of possibilities again and to find the strength to try again.


I don’t think there is an artist on earth that hasn’t pulled themselves out of a self imposed grave because of rejection. It does not get easier, no matter what level you achieve. Rejection hurts. When you put your heart and time into preparation and you allow yourself to hope and dream of a positive outcome. When the outcome is not positive, there is a temptation to never try again. “I will never put myself in that position again” we proclaim. When trying again, at the very point of the pain is exactly what we should do. When you find yourself in this place, start DIGGING. DIG with anger, at them for making you jump through hoops and still turning you down and at yourself for jumping. DIG with Pride, not to let them turn you around. DIG with a resolve to always try again and again because you know who you are and what you were born to do. DIG with strength, not to let anything break you. DIG with passion, to live each day on purpose. Dig with love, the love of this craft that was put in your heart for as long as you can remember. DIG with Authority, decide to feel the sadness for the moment and command it to take a back seat to joy. DIG with confidence, knowing you’ve been victorious before and you will be again. DIG with Faith, holding on to the power that gifted you. As dirty as you get while digging out, keep digging because the world needs what you have to offer and the alternative to digging is to stay in a place where your gift is under a rock. Although you’re weary, keep digging. Always follow the light to the surface. The light that will give you all the strength you need to try again.


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