One of the challenges of being on a path of creating art is that, it is often you don’t know where you are. It can be hard to determine if you are getting anywhere, especially if you have never been there before.
What does a path to success in art making look like? Of course it is different for everyone. Success for some could be just being able to free up an afternoon once a week to make art, while for someone else, success means being able to financially thrive as an artist.
Since I have been on this path for many years I thought I would spend a little time laying out the steps I see artists go through on the way to achieving their artistic goals. And remember where you are on this path and whether you actually desire to move anywhere other than where you are is of course perfectly fine. However from my experience the vast majority of people tend to want to move along accomplishing more and shifting their art in the process. I basically see five stages that artists tend to pass through as they develop.
I will be taking the next 5 weeks to detail each of them.
There are 5 stages:
Stage 1 AWAKENING
Stage 2 DISCOVERY
Stage 3 INTEGRATION
Stage 4 RHYTHM
Stage 5 MASTERY
Today I am going to be describing the very first stage: AWAKENING
STAGE 1 AWAKENING
This is the stage that many of us stumble into when finding our art again perhaps after many years of absence. It is our beginning. For some, it is a return to what we originally were doing in elementary school or even college before more practical career choices emerged. Sometimes our art is put aside due to limiting beliefs about talent or the starving artist syndrome. Sometimes we allow others to derail and define what we truly desire. Regardless, whether coming to your art for the second time or the first time, this stage is usually jam packed with a whirlwind of excitement, passion and curiosity.
This time, there is less uncertainty about whether your art is worth pursuing. It comes in as a gigantic YES! It often answers an inner need you have felt for a long, long time.
Curiously, the soul of a creative is never, ever quieted by practical, objections. Your intellect might not admit it but the soul knows better. Art making is part of your DNA. It has always been expressed in many facets of your life, despite the fact that it has not been given free reign to make art. So when you do, the message comes in loud and clear.
It is this certainty, this “yes” that often pushes you to actually considering the possibility of making your art in a more serious way. This stage is empowering, and filled with curiosity about what is possible for you. Sharing, perhaps with a few close friends, some of what you are making only helps to confirm what you already know. This is real and it feels ever so right. Despite all the odds stacked against you and the busyness of your life, this art thing just won’t go away. It feels familiar. It makes you feel alive in ways you haven’t experienced for a long, long time. You sense that you are coming back to your self. And in a very real way you are. You have come home.
This stage creates the momentum that will help you transition to the next one. Discovery.
Next week I will dive into what exactly this is and how to recognize it.
Do you remember your Awakening stage? What happened?
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.