Over the past few years, I have seen my ability as an artist grow, as well as my portrait business itself. Then, 2008/2009 happened. Most of the artists I know saw a dramatic tumble in their business. Commissions dropped to very low levels, so I took my second job, as a server in a restaurant. I do enjoy it, although not as much as painting for hours at a time. I am forced to watch the clock more now when I do paint, as I have a tendency to get lost and forget time even exists. I have had a problem over the past year, questioning whether I should remain serious about my art, will business pick back up, and, at times, is my art any good? (this would fall under the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder department, I ‘m sure)
Our talents are gifts from our Creator, and the enemy is constantly trying to control us, especially with our thoughts. If he can make us think we are not good at our craft, that it is not worth anything, that we will never succeed, then he feels he has won. However, if we look at what we can accomplish, through painting a portrait for a mother of her daughter who has passed away unexpectedly, or the pet that really was man’s best friend, we can see that there is more to it than “business”, and it may be a huge blessing to the recipient. These moments make creating art most enjoyable.
We must overcome these times of doubt, and the best way is to have faith and perseverance. Faith that business will pick up, faith that our work is good, and faith that the Lord gave us this talent to use for His glory, whether it is obvious to us or not. perseverance that we can overcome these hurdles, perseverance when someone makes a snide or hurtful remark in regards to our talent, and perseverance when it feels like everything is against us to succeed in just performing the talent we have been blessed with.
I have had to work over the past year on both faith and perseverence in many aspects of life. I am also beginning to see the fruits of it all. Commissions are starting to come in again. I am able to put the poor thoughts out in the compost pile. I have been able to enjoy painting, instead of feeling rushed or behind, even though I am not. Plus, if someone does not care for my art, that is alright too.
Thank the Lord for His mercy and grace, and for giving us the ability to create art and to have a passion for the creative process!