Our questions must change. Instead of asking what product or service I can develop to make the most money, we’re beginning to ask, ‘What can I produce that liberates and informs and makes the world a better place?’. J Redfield
I ran across this quote years ago and recognised it as a central question in my professional life.
I’ve had a long career in the visual arts, but beginning in my 30s, I began to feel out of step with the increasing outside push to commoditise my art. I’m not referring to my freelance design and applied artwork made in an agreed commercial context, but rather my painting and craftwork which was created from quite a different internal space. One could call it private, intimate, and even sacred – and having nothing to do with the marketplace..
In my blog artcalling I write about the challenge of reconciling the gift aspect of art with the commercial one.
What has prompted this blog is the realisation that my current questions go beyond the role of ‘artist’ as does the transition I find myself in. When considering what a meaningful path might be at this point in my life and career, the issues that arise are less about a particular role- teacher, socially engaged artist, etc, but more about sufficiency, creating community, relationships, wholeness, sense of place, and connection.
Here, I can address thoughts about how my personal meaning crisis relates to a larger shift in the society. Our unwieldy, exploitive consumer culture and its systems are collapsing. We are in the process of either leaving or redefining our professional roles-and re framing them to harmonise with an emerging new vision. Many of us who see this clearly feel impelled to seek new solutions, and there is a groundswell of small scale initiatives geared to finding healthier, more sustainable ways to live on the planet as well as healing some of the damage that has been done.
Having felt quite alone in this ‘space between’, recently I’ve discovered and been discovered by a new community of kindred spirits, and hopefully they will occasionally join me here to add their insights and inspirations to this conversation.
Please feel welcome here, and feel free to add your story!