Three Ways to Discover Your Creative Purpose
The first time I heard Forest Gump say, “I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze” I rolled my eyes. I was only 12, hence the mature response, however I just knew that was impossible. I had known I was an artist since I was as tall as Bucky; my grandfather’s golden retriever. So, 23 years later when God told me to leave my corporate career as an art director to live my life as a full-time artist, I leapt with faith as my parachute and a confidence knowing that I was created with purpose for a purpose (Isaiah 43:7, read more about my leap of faith here).
On that day in August 2016, I had two thumbs up from the big Guy upstairs and a promise that was signed, sealed and being delivered right before my eyes. He was crossing the path of purpose with my heart’s desire to walk in creative freedom. I started my journey through Creative Revival and I was directly walking, living and breathing my purpose:
Free creative hearts by moving the resources of Heaven through creative expression
What could possibly go wrong?!
One year later I was close to being homeless, I couldn’t find work, a dream project didn’t turn out the way I had hoped and my artwork wasn’t selling. I was heart broken and overwhelmed. I was stuck and distracted when it came to creating art. I couldn’t feel the breadth, depth or width of excitement that my paintings once had. Why? Because I was questioning my purpose and that meant questioning my art since they go together like shoes and laces. So I put down my brushes and went semi-silent on social media for two months.
During this time, something peculiar started to happen. I received invitations to share my testimony with a bible study group and teach during a workshop for a ministry. I also had a local gallery and coffee shop ask me to be their featured artist for a month and lead a collaborative workshop on First Friday. Plus, I had a steady stream of creative hearts seeking me for encouragement and friends were consistently asking me when I was going to start teaching.
I was confused. What do they see that I can’t? All I see is failure.
I found my circumstances even more comical and confusing when one of my favorite creative crushes, Taylor Lee, contacted me and said, “I'm starting up some blog features on my website, and I'd really love to feature you… I find that many artists, like myself, really struggle to put words to their purpose in creating. I really love that I have a crystal clear idea of what you are creating for… I'd love to talk about ‘art meets purpose.’ What do you think about that?”
I thought, “This is impeccable timing.”
I wanted to move forward and paint again. I wanted every detail of my purpose to appear in a burning bush or a cloud of glittery smoke. I wanted to free creative hearts by writing an articulate, succinct and deeply revealing “how to” blog post. I wanted to clearly see what everyone else sees, but I needed to look first. So, I retraced my steps.
I had spent an entire year immersed in the process of Creative Revival. I had gained wisdom, defeated many fears, ignited different passions, experienced deep healing, created processes, and began to redefine and refine my craft. I had really matured and began to build, capture and innovate ways to help people free their creative hearts and they were seeking me to show them how. After two months of deep soul searching I discovered that my purpose was intact, solid and still rang true. The only thing that had changed was me. I had been humbled by unforeseen circumstances in my life and the wisdom, understanding and skills I received had fused my art to my purpose like two industrial magnets. The intricate details of my purpose were being slowly unraveled through my journey and I was moving forward with a clear direction and purpose for my art. The invitations were indicators that it is time for me to get out of my studio and serve; tell my story, teach what I have learned, build community, gift wisdom, invest in and free creative hearts.
So how did all of this happen? Here are three ways I discovered and stay connected to my creative purpose:
1) SEEK - I seek to move the resources of Heaven through creative expression
The Lord desires to release the abundance of the resources of Heaven on earth and pour His supernatural through us because He is the most generous Giver. The resources of Heaven are as wide and deep as the Father’s heart and include every perfect gift from God; provision, healing, courage, strength, wisdom, ability, hope, salvation. We are incapable of listing all He has for us because the list extends into eternity! In order to access what we need and/or desire, all we have to do is ask with a heart aligned to His purpose and we will lack nothing (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 34:10). Read more about how to experience Creative Revival here.
2) SHARE - I share my art and life with people
People love art because it’s full of beauty awe and wonder. It creates conversation and can speak louder than words. Color triggers excitement, composition provides peace, and background stories inspire, so when we share our heart and art our purpose comes alive through the eyes and hearts of the viewer. We are able to see what they see. (Hebrews 13:16)
3) SERVE – I serve my community
I say yes to invitations to speak, teach and collaborate. I participate in Free Art Friday and encourage creative hearts on a daily basis because the harvest of purpose doesn’t happen without the sowing of seeds. (2 Corinthians 9:6, 1 Peter 4:10)
Dear creative heart, I want you to know that you were created with purpose for a purpose. Don’t expect to know every detail before you take a step forward because the process will provide focus and cultivate the relationships and adventure needed to move forward. Jenn Hatmaker once said, “You are not required to save the world, or anyone for that matter with your art. It isn’t valuable only if it rescues or raises money or makes an enormous impact. It can be simply for the love of it. That is not frivolous or selfish in the slightest. If the only person it saves is you, that’s enough.”
So, get out there and create… for the love of it.
Peace + Joy,