Creativity, Business, & Keeping Your Heart through it all.

11

While it might seem like creative people have it easy (you make an amazingly wonderful thing and – of course – everyone wants it) that’s rarely the way it feels.
Like every business, there are highs and lows, times of great productivity, and times of little.

There is a flow to a creative business just like every other business, but unlike most businesses, this flow is seemingly tied to our personhood; our spirit, soul, voice, and vision in such a integrated way that it is nearly impossible to disconnect the two: art + business.

 

Putting out that first piece of artwork, opening it up for silent critique, is uncomfortable at best, and often terrifying. Like you are baring your chest, opening your arms to the world and saying “this is me in this moment” and inviting them to look through you.


It feels lonely and vulnerable in a way that gets right into your heart and aches and aches until you finally begin to detach yourself from your work and allow it to be on it’s own – solo and beautiful in the world.


Realizing that YOU are not your work is exceptionally hard for most artist.
Encouragement helps, feeling like your work is accepted helps, but nothing will prepare your heart for these moments except for the constant teacher: experience.


This is what I mean when I say that business is especially hard for artists; because vulnerability is the most intimate and unguarded thing we can give to the world – and that is exactly what good art is. Vulnerable and naked on some level. Marketing and sharing your work are the best (and only) ways to sell your work, but doing so can feel so counterintuitive to our nurturing, protective, creator instincts.

 

But keeping it inside, never allowing your soul to be expressed in the way in which it feels most eloquent is even more numbing. So paint. Draw. Make. CREATE. And share it quietly and gently and as you feel you are ready to do so. Grow slowly. Let your heart and mind get used to the silent critiques and open eyes of the public. All along this lifelong journey of expression and sharing, remember that you are not the thing you make and your personal value is not tied to its success. You are the true artwork. You hands are merely expressions of that.

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Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on EmilyJeffords.com

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