For the first time in a long time, Jorge is excited about work. Why? because he finally accepted that he’s an artist. He’s sculpting every day out here in Seattle. He’s finally getting a web site together where he can showcase (and eventually sell) his art. FINALLY! I’ve believed in him for years but he’s only finally believing in himself.

Some people, although they have great artistic talents, fall for the false belief that they need to do something “useful” – and that doesn’t include art. But that’s a lie. Look at Shakespeare, Bach, Beethoven, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, etc – can anyone with any really sense of living say that what they created isn’t useful?

Pablo Picasso - The Meaning of Life

Art enriches our lives by invoking an emotional response: be it appreciation of beauty in a painting or beautiful voice, or empathy we experience when hearing a song or reading a poem or story. Artists have the gift to express the human condition in ways that help us feel connected to one another.

If you have artistic gifts, USE THEM. Paint, sing, write – whatever it is that helps you to express yourself. And if you aspire to be a professional, then study your craft and hone your skills to be the best that you can in what you do. But regardless of your aspirations for success, at the very least, CREATE.

I try to post positive quotes around my studio to keep me encouraged, especially when I get down. One of my favorites has been (disputably) attributed to Henry Van Dyke:

“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

And I’ll leave you with this gem from Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs - do what you love