First of all a disclaimer I am not the greatest writer I tend to forget punctuation and apparently love run on sentences :). Lets be real i'm just better at talking and creating beautiful images. (Podcast coming soon)!!
What does it really mean to follow your bliss. I had a really interested and eye opening trip to LA this past week and it gave me priceless insight into just that. Can I as a creative follow my bliss, live my truth and still make money while having a positive impact on the world around me. After my trip to LA I wholeheartedly believe the answer is yes.
I'm going to use the story of my recent trip to illustrate my point. My trip started out very promising I was ready to go share my artwork, my story and make a bit of money to keep my momentum moving forward. Unfortunately the trip did not turn out how I had hoped. the first night of live painting went ok it was for a beautiful event whose purpose was to raise money for a project called the natural leaders foundation. I made a few dollars and got the chance to connect with a beautiful group of people. The main event however was a different story I felt very disregarded once I realized how the event was going to go down. I traveled a long way to offer myself to the event in the form of my creativity and in return I was placed in the basement (the House stage don't even get me started) with minimal exposure and no real space to interact with people to share my work and my story.
Sharing my story with people is a huge part of why I do what I do. I live to inspire greatness in others and to see them ignite their passions as I have mine, however I believe that this is not necessarily appreciated on a large scale by event promoters. What I experienced in Los Angeles was 16 painters at one event crammed into spaces so the event could get the most bang for their buck visually. I find that this is a problem that I and other painters that choose to share their work in a live setting encounter a lot. Why would an event want to bring in painters just so the can cram them in so tight that they can't connect with the people around them on a genuine level? What is the purpose of this approach? It clogs the flow of energy so nobody can really share in or create the environment that promotes abundance. I am no expert on the subject but I know what it feels like to be abundant and it does not feel like tripping over a fellow artist while trying to create a painting or sharing my prints on a 2ft by 3ft table because that's all there is room for. I don't appreciate that most artists have become assets for event promoters to leverage so they can make a few extra dollars off of our already meager event sales. I guess the view is pack as many of them into the space and take 30 percent of whatever they make that will keep them inspired and wanting to continue to share themselves with us.
If I sound a little bitter it is because I am. I like any other artist want to be appreciated and given the space to create and share. I don't want to be seen as just another decoration or vendor to help pack the house so the promoters can make a buck. I don't want to make this a total rant so I will jump to the point. I realized on my trip that what I have to offer is worth far more than what I am receiving in return, however that is not the fault of the promoters it is my fault. Thats right I am the only person that can be held responsible for not feeling appreciated for my work. I am the one that continues to subject myself to this dynamic under the hope that it will somehow shift. I realized that I am not truly following my bliss by performing at these events for no pay. I am simply giving into my shadow of low self worth and energetically groveling for appreciation. That isn't the type of artist or human that I want to be any longer, I want to follow my creative bliss and liberate my self from my shadow. Following my bliss means standing up and speaking out, it means not taking part in events that do not treat experience creators with respect and honor.
I know for me I have spent my life so far cultivating my skills as an artist and I know countless others who have done the same. I believe that we deserve the same respect as the music producers and djs and I for one won't be taking part in any event that doesn't see us as equal and treat us with the same respect. I say this because this is what it feels like to follow my bliss. My bliss feels like creating for myself and my friends in an environment of love and respect. My bliss feels like cultivating my practice and my skills and sharing it with those who reciprocate and appreciate me and my friends for our dedication and discipline. That is what it feels like to me. So I have nothing but appreciation for my experiences in LA this past week because they showed me what I don't want to be doing and that is a powerful and profound gift to receive. So A deep and heartfelt thank you for giving me an even deeper appreciation for what it feels like to follow my bliss.