This is a beautiful way of thinking, via writer Mary DeMuth!
If each of us approached our day with an attitude of “How may I bless others through what I create today?”, do you wonder where we would be in this world?
Instead of thinking “What can I gain for myself?”, we can actively seek out the good other people can gain through what we share with them, what we make and what we do. We can approach each task thinking How can I impact their lives and help them through creating?
This is both incredibly convicting and incredibly encouraging to see the world through the wide-open eyes of generosity, to go where others haven’t before us, and to do things that are bold and scary to us. There is a reason no one’s tread that territory before — it is risky.
But we are made in our Creator’s image, and creative He is. He made all of creation for our benefit! Do you realize that? His aim in creating was for our good… and for the pure bliss of creating something unique and special (He’s the best at that).
God’s given us humans the incredible chance to emulate Him, to follow in His footsteps and do new things, or do old things in new ways, or shed fresh light on issues people face to help them rise above it (creative problem-solving). Cool huh?
I think God smiles when we create this way, and we’ll experience joy when we bless others through the work of our hands, just like Him.
This is true art :)
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Thanks Seth Godin! What you do is art.
Aug. 22, 2011, 11:58 PM
In his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin writes, “Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. . . An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.” I adore this on so many levels. My heart in writing and speaking has always been in life transformation, about connection and change.
So the cool thing is, whatever you do, wherever you are, you can be an artist–one who enacts change in those you interact with. This makes a deep and real conversation art. This makes positive interaction with your customers art. This makes your dedication to excellence art. What you do is art if your heart is to see transformation.
So the question becomes, how can your life be art? How can you live and work in such a way that others change? What do you create that makes people stop, pause, and think? How have you shocked others (in a positive way) because of the creative way you view a solution?
This also means that any emotional homework you do translates to the field of your art. Seth continues: “Sometimes, though, caught up in the endless cycle of commerce, we forget about the gift nature of art, we fail to do the hard work of emotional labor, and we cease to be artists.”
In terms of writing, I’ve read my fair share of books that feel cookie cutter, where the author regurgitates things I’ve read before. The books that stun and woo me are the ones where the author has taken a long trip down an emotionally charged highway and dared to think/dream/write differently. I’ve often told my writing students, “Great books flow from a great heart.” To create soul-stirring art, we must realize that we’re not copycatters. We are not simply purveyors of others’ thoughts and hardwon truths.
To be artists is to dare to go there. To be real with ourselves. To welcome the barenaked realities of life, stare ourselves in the face, and seek God’s interaction in the midst of our world.
Even when I teach novel writing, I emphasize this fact. We can be safe storytellers, relying on convention and what’s been done before. Or we can examine ourselves, live life more fully engaged. That engaged life can’t help but spill onto the page. Or overflow into our work and life.
Stop a moment today and tell yourself, “What I do is art.” Realize that as an artist, you will bless the recipients of your art the more you dare to be real with yourself and God in the quietness of your home. Do the hard work, then create like the wind. We will be changed if you do.
And as you deepen and improve your work, reward follows. Seth encourages, “A day’s work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you’ll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to.”
Be encouraged today. Your art is bringing you to new places. Remember Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
So persevere. Do the hard work. Give your art freely. Work as an artist wherever God has placed you. This world needs you.
What prevents you from seeing your job as art? What surprised you about this post? What bothered you? What convicted you?