Building my identity as an artist
Building my identity as an artist alongside that of an entrepreneur has been a vital thread throughout 2022. Thanks to the community I’ve surrounded myself with, this is no longer an either or situation. It is something that has gone from being in Flux to being in Flow.
Until this year, there have been a lot of negative, shameful comments I’ve allowed to hold me back, coming up with a ton of reasons why I’m not an artist or that there is simply no time to create art. The power in anyone bullying or shaming you is not in what they say, but it is in the power you allow it to have. For me, the greatest gift that I’ve recently been able to give myself is to be aware of all the negativity and to choose to show up & create, no matter what. Joy is a priority.
“Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while working.” ~Henri Matisse
No longer ‘waiting to be inspired’ I focused on my commitment to create. The piece in this post is a result of showing up steadily for 18 months & building a habit to create. Actions speak louder than words. Some days were duds for creating and instead I rearranged, cleaned and reorganized my space and some days I got into incredible flows, really raised my spirits and it was exactly what I needed. The routine of showing up to the studio to practice creating was the common thread that led me to completing 3 major sized mosaic pieces and for me this will be the tipping point I’ll never forget.
“The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.” ~Marc Chagall
Mercedes Austin Art represents a belief in myself as an artist and that I am no longer fixated on it looking a certain way. I believe that art isn’t separate from business which isn’t separate from your deepest dreams and not even separate from the people around you. It’s all connected. In the scheme of things, if I am tending to my own integrity to nurture my dreams, even if it’s simply 5-8 hours/week, it fills me. It makes me more present for the rest of my life. Being present in life allows me to be there for so many precious moments. It’s not ‘one or the other’ but many layers working together in harmony. For those that know me - realize how deep I go, how much I step back to see all the levels. The recent experience I’ve had in my life over the last 15 months relative to re-visiting my family and childhood home growing up - making sense of a lot of things has been a gift of context.
"I don't think there's an artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing." ~Francis Ford Coppola
Whereas, prior to now, I couldn’t have told you that I was on the path to giving up on my grand vision of the future, that I had hit a wall, or was even exhausted. I wasn’t aware this was the case. Things had been so intense since Q1 2020, that it has been this continuation that I truly got used to. In adding a rediscovery of so many experiences from the first 19 years in life and learning so much about my parents, while they were together, chasing their dreams, it has revealed to me all the gifts that are right in front of me that I accepted as ordinary. Things 15 years ago I would only dream of and wish for, things that I began to take for granted.
The new context to see things through has revived me in a way that taps me back into the original magic of wanting to be an artist and caring so deeply about the business and businesses that are in me that need to be built.
“When I say artist, I mean the one who is building things, some with a brush, some with a shovel, some choose a pen.” ~Jackson Pollock
I’m between being a bit like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life and Evan in the end scene of August Rush. More context: a big driver for me is this huge vision I’ve had since 2001. I saw so many things about my future and all at once, what was possible with art, what was possible with artisans, ways to elevate business through technology - so many things. It was in 2002 that I decided to believe in my dream and the work began. While, I know, the dream is a big one and I’ve just begun to scratch the surface to the original vision, this website and prioritizing the time to put in the work to be creative, is a testament that it’s always possible to make things together working in harmony if you never, ever give up and always remain humble and willing to hustle.