Say what you will about young people today. this generation makes my heart sing for the future of the planet.
Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with hundreds of university art students all over the world.
I happen to think that this generation will save the world.
But they suffer. We cripple them with outmoded expectations, with diagnoses and labels. They struggle to see how remarkable they really are.
But then don’t we all?
Whenever I speak to art students I get asked a lot of questions. What strikes me is how familiar the questions are. I guess all creatives battle the same doubts.
Am I too old? Too young? Too poor? Too fat? Too thin? Do I have the talent to make it?
Basically, the question is “Am I enough?” And too many of us waste our lives waiting for somebody else to respond.
The answer lies in your choice, in your decision to silence those doubts and move forward announcing to the world, “I AM ENOUGH!” No matter what.
Like most of us, art students also worry that they don’t have it all figured out yet.
I understand. I always wished I could have been born a child prodigy instead of someone with so many seemingly unrelated interests.
But the truth is, that’s the beauty of it. All of those interests make you and your work more… interesting.
“You don’t have to have it all figured out right now,” I tell them. Maybe you’ll never have it all figured out. Stop putting that pressure on yourself.
Real artists never stop learning because curiosity is the hallmark of a creative person. So give yourself permission to continue to follow those things that move you and trust that they’re taking you to where you need to go.
It’s not just art students who are haunted by the question “What should I do?” Artists of all ages still struggle with that one.
But it’s the wrong question.
Instead of asking what you want to do, ask yourself “Who do I want to be?” What do I want to leave behind? How is the world going to be a more beautiful place for me having been here?
If you follow these questions with an open heart and open mind, you’ll be led on a remarkable journey.
Remember, your job isn’t too find yourself on that journey. Your job is create yourself, one beautiful step at a time.
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