opportunity: your obligation as an artist

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We spend a lot of time waiting for opportunities to fall into our laps.

We wait & wait – watching others take advantage of lucky chances, wishing that was us. Art isn’t about waiting though, it’s about stretching yourself, making stuff happen.

Your obligation as an artist is to create opportunities for others.

Sound crazy? Think about it. A traditional artist creates a product that others engage visually. It creates an opportunity to change, to challenge, or to inspire. If art is about new perspectives, new perspectives are about opportunity.

If you’re a less traditional artist like me, your art may create opportunities by connecting people, by informing, or by questioning. The opportunities may be direct – artist to patron – or indirect – patron to patron.

Artist, how will you create an opportunity for someone else today?

15 thoughts on “opportunity: your obligation as an artist

  1. I can relate to this post. Thanks Tara, for giving me a little kick this morning.

    Though my “real job” and my life have kept me very busy lately, I haven’t made time for my true calling and passion, which is art making.

    Today, I will take a little time for myself and make some art. By feeding my own soul in this manner, I can in turn be my best self for my art students.

  2. I LOVE this. One of the most useful things I have done as a maker is to create opportunities for other crafters/artists/makers. When we moved to a new city and found there weren’t many craft shows happening/the good ones were hard to get into, what did we do? We started our own shows and provided new opportunities for others. When we saw that no one was doing a handmade wedding show in our city, we started that, too. And when we saw that no one was rounding up all the craft show applications into one central resource, we created that, too!

    It has done absolute wonders in terms of connecting me with my local community and providing others with new opportunities to grow their businesses. As a result, I’ve been able to create an awesome network for myself that’s full of creative entrepreneurs from so many different industries. As an added bonus, making opportunities for myself and others has actually helped me land a ton of press (I’ve been on several TV shows, had many newspaper articles written about me/my events, been on the radio AND in several magazines).

    I absolutely cannot convey the power of making opportunities for yourself and for others–it’s one of the most valuable things you can do!

  3. As an artist, I realized the need to not only represent my work, but also to try to get other very talented artists works out to the people. I figured that the only way to do this is to do it myself. That why I opened up a small boutique in Helena, MT called Frayed Sew, dedicated to art. Frayed Sew has over 50+ artists showcased and we’ve been open for 2 years now. It’s my little way of bringing art to the people.

  4. I can see myself moving more towards a place of being a “creative enabler”, so to speak. I like designing & creating, but I want to see others try their hand at creating something, whether it’s through the editable printables I’m preparing to release, fabrics I design to make stuff for themselves, or skills I help them develop.
    If I ever publish a book, it will most likely be some sort of hand-holding, “yes, you, too, are creative”, project-type book. I like encouraging/proving to others that they CAN do something. I do it with my son and it’s what I miss about teaching. It’s such a great feeling to see that boost in someone’s confidence level and to know you helped them achieve that.

    1. Yay for “creative enablers.” Oh and you WILL publish that book someday [soon]. It might not look like the book you see in your head – it might not be a book at all but you will publish it!

  5. I think the way I give with my art it is by candidly sharing my experiences and asking important questions when blogging and in “my real” life interactions. It is my goal to inspire and give permission.

  6. Great post Tara, I agree that art can really create opportunities for us each to engage both with others and with our deeper selves! I see collaboration as another huge opportunity that is available to us as artists. I love it: Art=Opportunity!

  7. Yes yes yes yes yes yes a thousand and forty nine times YES!

    As artists, we collaborate to the greatest good via one another’s successes. So true… I feel (and work to do that) from the top of my scalp to the bottom of the soles of my feet and everywhere in between.

    Brava and kudos!

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