There are various motives that inform an artist’s hopes and ambitions—one of the most common and primary being financial comfort and success. For most artists, the fragility of those ambitions becomes increasingly evident against the reality of the odds encountered in their efforts to realize career success, which can sometimes result in disillusionment—a reality that is vividly portrayed throughout the narrative of the hip-hop classic, Money Trees by artist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Kendrick Lamar. When that disillusionment is coupled with professional or financial stagnancy during the creative career, it can work to increase an artist’s susceptibility to the judgment of the marketplace and industry peers—and their own self-doubt.
In the midst of the financial or professional lulls during the creative journey, how can artists work to counter disillusionment and doubt, and gain new perspective towards strengthening the stature of their hopes and dreams?
Financial ambitions can provide a temporary stake of motivation in the grounding and early growth stages of the creative career, but ultimately as an artist’s capacity and experience expands, they may eventually outgrow their initial career motivations--which can create an imbalance of perspective towards creative gifts and purpose. When artists align with the creative word of the Creator, the power within that relationship can serve as an effective transplant for failed ambitions, providing distancing and elevation from the voices of judgment and doubt that disaffect an artist’s growth and intuitive ability to leaf and bear fruit.
This power dynamic is paralleled in the following analogy offered by Christ to his disciples to explain his relationship to humanity, and the subsequent benefits gained through their proximity to the love, empathy and encouragement within the light of the Creator's presence:
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. Those who do not remain in me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. My Father’s glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples. I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love.”
The power at the core of an artist’s relationship with the creative word of the Creator, as expressed by Christ, also provides a protective bark that can work to conserve an artist’s confidence and optimism against eye-level disruptors and disappointments that deplete and sabotage the focus and peace that fuel the branches of creative expression. The inherent peace and power within the creative word of God was expounded on within the following excerpt from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”
Through relationship and alignment with the Creator, artists can gain freedom from the burdens and pressures that are inherent to the realities of creative purpose. In allowing Christ, as the creative word of the Creator, to intercede at the core of their creativity, artists can exercise their creativity at a height that allows for the vulnerability necessary to metamorphic creativity and evolution. Christ gave voice to his desire and ability to alleviate the weight of career pressures, unrealized dreams and ambitions in the following passage of scripture:
“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
When artists are able to supplant their motivations and ambitions with the purpose and power harnessed within the creative word of the Creator, they can gain greater access to the mental and spiritual nutrients that support creative wellness and productivity through the financial and professional lulls of the creative career.