On Second Thought: The audacity to create

April 20, 2021

What gives you the right to call yourself an artist? What gives you the courage to put it out there and claim that space? I have always known that I was an artist. After all, when most parents were putting puzzle pieces or blocks in the hands of their toddlers, my father was putting brushes or pencils in mine. My identity always involved the notion that I was made to create.

Well that was true until recently when I was turned down for not one but several artists grants. I didn’t realize it then but I was secretly harbouring the idea that if I received these grants then I could truly call myself an artist. The news that I didn’t qualify and the grantees were “moving on to other applicants” made me question my purpose and will to create.

Then fast forward a few weeks to an interview I had with Niazamar founder Tanya Turnton. You might know Tanya as a adornment and beauty advocate or a talented hair stylist and make up line owner. She is definitely a beautiful force of creativity and beauty. Throughout this interview we talked about creating, beauty, using colours to exemplify what we feel, and most importantly what it means to be an artist.

During this conversation I shared what I have always known – I was born to create. The very act of my being born was the proof that creation ran through every vein in my body. Not only in mine – but in everyone on this planet. The fact that I wandered a bit from that truth was only a reminder that I was forgetting that I was born to take up space as a creative force. That creative space loves the accolades and the admiration but is not sustained by it. That creative space is sustained by my ability to develop a sense of exploration and discovery as an artist.

How do I nurture that belief that I was born to take up space as a creative? Here are three things I do regularly to feed that part of my soul:

  1. Meditate Regularly: Mediation has the ability to ground us in the here and now. Through meditation I am reminded that my true value lies in simply being here. I don’t have anything to prove to justify my need to be here as an artist or a human being. Each time my feet touch ground or I take a seat on my meditation cushion I am reminded that the Earth supports me in taking up space. Instead of crashing into the centre of the Earth I am supported on ground.
  2. Explore: As artistic beings we have the ability to go deep. To discover newness in the old. We have the ability to look at a tree and see death, birth, constant change, and stability. Everything around us is an opportunity to discover newness.
  3. Create with Audacity: Approach projects with radical courage. If you feel a thought creeping through that reminds you that this event, this style, this display is for someone more this and that – courageously pursue it anyway. Create despite fear and insecurities. Create in the face of criticism. Create with audacity.

Finding the audacity to create is embedded in the belief that I was born to do this – and so were you. Now don’t give it a second thought, you have everything you need to take up this space as a creative. I would love to hear what you have had the audacity to birth.