By: Liz DeMarco
As creative artists, we’re very passionate about what we do. However, I think we’ve all had those times where someone you don’t know very well asks, “So what do you do for a living?” We answer the question honestly, “I’m an artist, freelancer, entertainer, musician, actor, etc.,” and even though we love what we do, a seed of doubt creeps in. We feel like that answer isn’t good enough, like we’re not good enough, and like what we do just isn’t important enough.
Why do we feel this way? Well probably because at one time or another we’ve heard things like:
Statements like this make it easy to feel like we don’t really measure up in the eyes of society and what we do isn’t taken seriously. The more we dwell on this, the more we start to believe it.
I think we all go through these times of self-doubt. I know I’ve been there, but if there’s one thing
that I’m very passionate about, it’s encouraging artists to continue doing what they do because it matters. Not only does your creativity matter but it’s vital both to you as well as to the society that may not always see its value.
You’ve probably heard the expression “knowledge is power.” Well, the next time you find yourself doubting your contribution to society, remind yourself of what you probably already know the power that art can have on a person’s life.
There are a lot of things we know to be true but when we are getting down on ourselves it’s not enough to know, we also have to believe. So how do we believe that what we do is powerful?
We need personal reminders.
I remember watching the movie The Green Mile. I won’t give away the movie, but I will say that there is a character who is unjustly sentenced to death. When asked if there was anything this
prisoner wanted before he died, his response was to see a “flicker show.” As he sits and watches Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers dancing in the first and only movie he’ll ever see, he responds with “Why they’s angels. Angels just like up in heaven.”
I remember seeing this character who had seen such horror, hardship, and evil in the world want nothing more than to simply watch a movie and in the duration of that movie he was transported to a place of joy, purity, and hope. At that moment I realized the importance of what I do as an artist.
You may say “okay, but that’s just a movie.” Well, I can tell you that it’s not far from reality. I currently work at Disney World where I see children from the Make a Wish foundation on a daily basis. Many of these children use their last wish to come to Disney and meet their favorite character. I see this, and I am reminded that if what I do as an artist can help people escape the harsh realities of life and provide them with joy even for a little bit then it’s worth it, important and vital.
These are my go to reminders for when I’m feeling down. I hope they encourage you to believe what you do is important but better yet–you need your own reminders. The stories we hear are wonderful but personal stories are embedded deep in our souls, and these are where our sources of encouragement need to come from. To find your personal reminders, ask yourself these questions:
Don’t let the judgment of others or the times of discouragement get the best of you and prevent you from living a life you’re passionate about. You know the power you have as an artist.
Now think about times you’ve personally seen the effects of your creativity, so you are encouraged to truly believe in the importance of what you do. Let your knowledge and belief encourage you to live a life of creativity you are proud of. Even if people don’t always understand what you do or why, everyone understands confidence and passion.
Let the confidence and passion you have for what you do shine in your life and never lose sight of how important you and your work are.
I'm Liz DeMarco! I'm a fellow artist who has worked a plethora of jobs in the theatre and entertainment industry for over ten years. I understand firsthand the ups and downs that come with being an artist. My greatest passion is being able to encourage fellow artists with the inspiration that has gotten me through the good times and the bad. When I'm not blogging, I'm working at Disney World, getting together with friends, or partaking in entertainment that feeds my soul. If you're looking for more encouragement, check out my website Artist2Artist.org