Art is the work of a human being – something a person does with generosity to touch someone else to make a change for the better. —Seth Godin
I published my first book last November. It was an exciting process that revealed many things to me about myself, the world of writing, and what it means to make art and bring it to market. Along the way, I’ve encountered many people with hopes, dreams, and gifts that are resting dormant, waiting to be brought to life.
I agree with Seth that art can encompass anything we are doing to make a change for the better: our jobs in healthcare, the way we serve others in our day-to-day roles, how we make a meal or cafe latte, or any number of other acts of generosity in how we deploy our gifts to the world. The scope is broad as are the talents we bring to the world.
The traditional view of art revolves around a work. A painting, a sculpture, a performance, a piece of music, etc. Of course, each of these can be a form of art. But Godin reminds us that just because someone puts pen to paper or paintbrush to canvas doesn’t necessarily mean he is making art. One might be a great mass producer of replicas but that person isn’t bringing anything new, or generous to the world.
There are many talented artists out there who touch us with their amazing gifts, their beautiful works. Thank you for sharing. There are also many of us out there who have gifts we have not yet shared. Beautiful works that are waiting to be realized. It is likely that most of us will never publish a best seller, have our painting exhibited in an art museum, see our photographs in National Geographic, or sell our handmade furniture in a home store but that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got a gift. We’ve got something to share. In fact, there may be an audience waiting for us to bring our particular art to market.
Most of us live our lives hoping someone will recognize our talents. We wait to be chosen. This is a lottery ticket mentality. We think: hopefully, I’ll show up one day and they will pick my number. For me, writing and publishing my book was a decision to choose myself. In the process, I decided that there is an opportunity to help others choose themselves, to help them find their audience and bring their art to market. The goal doesn’t have to be to get rich or change careers or build a business. Perhaps sharing our art with a small group of people who care about it is enough. Perhaps the opportunity to make more of my particular art is a reward in itself.
What’s your art?