Beauty Inspires Hope!

"Beauty inspires hope. It reminds us that we are human–and that we have a responsibility to add more beauty to the world before we leave."  ~ Bill Strickland

A trip through Ireland and Scotland made one thing perfectly clear: the haunting Celtic music I enjoy regularly sounds exactly like the landscape looks. It was obvious the inspiration for the music came from the beauty of the surroundings.

A typical drive, down winding roads lined with stone walls, led us through misty hillsides, along waterfalls, and face to face with rainbows. It was obvious that the music was 'of the people' and 'from the land'. It emphasized what I already knew instinctively: the very reason artistic types migrate to beautiful areas is that they need beauty to survive. Beauty nourishes the creative soul.

My hubby and I gained years of inspiration from our trip through Scotland - to the remote island of Iona. I still see the sights and feel the emotion of the land. It doesn't take much to take me back in my mind. From that trip we wrote songs, recorded a CD, and designed a muti-sensory event called "Come to the Quiet."

If you are a creative, how long has it been since you treated yourself to natures symphony . . . to beauty which nourishes the depths of your being? Are you blocked, depressed, sad, stuck or overwhelmed with projects that you started but never completed? Perhaps you need to feed your inner soul. Sometimes we actually have to MAKE ourselves get out of our normal routine, get outdoors and soak up the sounds of nature. Take in a sunset, listen to crickets, smell hay, lie down in the grass .... and just "be."

Our busy, hectic, stress-filled world robs us of the inner passion that fuels our souls and fuels our creativity. We are designed to enjoy that which is beautiful! When we are deprived of it, our soul aches; it's as if a piece of us is missing and we become aware of a deep inner longing.

Are you longing for something, but don't know what? Perhaps it's that deep, God-given longing for that which is beautiful, noble, true and good.  I encourage you to seek for it like a precious jewel . . . and when you find it use the fresh inspiration to fuel your creativity.

Create something of eternal value - something  that  will inspire hope in others and nourish your own soul for years to come.


Why We Need Your Art

"Whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8)

We need to fill our minds with beautiful things. The old saying is true - what goes in must come out. Whatever we take in seems to dictate who we become.

It's difficult to find balance in this stressful, crazy world we live in. If we live in front of the news, taking in all the bad reports, we can easily become overwhelmed with world issues that we can do very little about. All of this bad news creates anxiety that fuels stress. Many of us are completely stressed out and are desperate to find ways to replenish.

This is why I feel that artists need to keep doing their art. When life goes crazy, we need that beautiful song that touches the inner core of our being that inspires and uplifts, or the painting that creates in us a thirst for the divine. Beauty appeals to the noble, lofty sublime parts of our being. These deep parts of ourselves need to be stirred, nourished and given room to become. Often they are what carries us through our darkest nights, our deepest pits and our
broken hearts.

I have a lovely friend who found much solace in an art museum after the murder of her son. Another friend found hope in the sounds of the piano, after being abandoned by his birth mother and adopted into an abusive home. Lines, patterns, sounds, colors all entwined in 'the beautiful' that march straight into the deepest parts of our hearts.There they transform despair into hope and sorrow into rays of joy and confusion into focused truth.

Don't neglect that which feeds and restores your inner man.

Artists, keep painting. Singers, keep singing. Poets, keep rhyming. Musicians, keep playing. Dancers, don't ever stop dancing  . . . we need your passion and you need to express it. Together, we will find our way through the darkest of days.

Continuing - Straight From My Heart - It's Complicated!

After my last article some of you may be thinking - why don't these 'artists' just get 'real' jobs? The economy is struggling and we all have to get out there and work!

My response to this kind of thinking is in the following story:

We have a friend who is a Broadway leading lady. She was touring with the roadshow, "Thoroughly Modern Millie." As Millie, she was the star of the show. They were opening the show in Nashville and she invited us to have dinner with the cast. We met at The Stock-Yard, the historic downtown steakhouse and were seated around a huge wooden table. There must of been 15 or 20 of us. The members of the cast were telling painful stories of auditioning for various shows in New York and receiving countless 'no's' before finally hearing 'you're hired.'

There was a brief pause in the conversation so I asked, "With all of this rejection, why do you keep on doing this?" In unison - as if the answer were perfectly choreographed - they all answered, "It's all we know!"  Then one by one, they shared that they don't have any other skills, that they don't have a clue what to do other than sing, dance and act.

I left the dinner that night with a solid sense of understanding. We - my husband and I - are artists, musicians and songwriters, and to be honest . . . we don't know how to do anything else either!

So when a dear friend mentioned that artists just need to recognize the season and get 'real' jobs, I began thinking. . .

Most gifted artists who've managed to actually make a living in the arts, have done well financially. But if they can no longer do what they are gifted at . . . what DO they do if they have no other marketable skills? If they simply go get a job, they might be fortunate to make $7.50 an hour.

 Let's see: $7.50 x 40 hr work week = $300 a week. How many weeks would it take before this gifted artist is filing for bankruptcy?

Just saying . . . it's complicated!


Straight From My Heart

"When you give money to artists, you are yourself doing an artist’s work.”
                 ~Vincent Van Gogh~

I was stirred to the core of my being this week when I read an article.
It was about the Medici family; a powerful family who helped art flourished during the 15th century. Michaelangelo lived with this family. They gave financially to support his gift and even encouraged their friends to become patrons as well. The vision and actions of this one family gave the world great works of art that are still celebrated today.

  If Michaelangelo had not had the support of the Medici family, we would not have The Pieta, David, or his magnificent paintings in the Sistine Chapel.

Many famous artists became part of The Medici Court: Leonardo Di Vinci, Piero Benci, Andrea del Verrocchio. The list goes on - artists that were supported so they could give themselves fully to their art.

Living in Nashville, I personally know of amazing musicians who are creating works of excellence that are having to lay aside their gifts to go into the workplace, just to survive. It's painful to watch. The world needs their gifts, but sheer survival demands that they lay them down.

Unless an artist is wildly successful, odds are that they are some of the most overlooked people in society and receive very little encouragement. Even the Church falls short in recognizing their gifts and offering any type of support at all.

I exhort you to find an artist who has enriched your life with their gift, call them or write them and tell them how much you appreciate and recognize their gift. And if you can, bless them with a monetary gift. In this way, you'll also bless the world for generations to come.


Will You Dance

God spoke and the worlds were created! There is no limit to our creativity when we are connected to the Creator! Spirituality and creativity are mysteriously linked.

"Marvel at the beauty of our profoundly mysterious universe and you will be inspired to create."
               from The Evidential Power of Beauty

I'm amazed at how listening to beautiful music releases the writer in me. I have written my best lyrics while listening. That which inspires has the power to release creativity. But sadly . . . many of us live such busy lives that we are deprived of inspiration.

How long has it been since you sat under a canopy of stars, watched a sunrise or waded in a creek bed? If your creativity is blocked -  take some time to get outside in nature, marvel at a butterfly, catch a firefly, or just lay down next to a stream.

The Creator pursues you for a sacred dance. Will you take His hand . . . will you dance?


Follow The Leader

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times, "find someone who is successful at what you want to do - then do what they do!"  Actually, I know it works but it's harder than it sounds. You all know that too.

But . . . if you are a struggling musician who is good at your craft, you need to take notice of this couple. They have risen from obscurity, make a living with their music and don't even have a physical CD. It would be wise to "do what they do!" All of you using other art forms pay attention. You can use these same strategies with your art.

Meet Jack and Nataly who are Pomplamoose. they are perfect examples of my earlier blog about doing art the 'new way!' They have used YouTube to carve out a niche for themselves, and they are the new leaders. Click here to read an article and hear an interview with Pomplamoose.

If you have not considered using video to promote your art form, you are missing an easy way to share, advertise and keep your work front and center! An easy way to start is with Animoto.
They have a free trial that I started with, but quickly realized I wanted the 'Pro' edition.

Check out my animoto video here. Click here to view.

I'll be sharing more tips about using video and YouTube soon - so sign up for the auto feed and stay tuned!

Your ARTrageous Success Coach,

Deby Dearman


Speaking of Successful Habits

While wondering what successful habits I could add to my routine . . . I got this idea about setting monthly and weekly goals. Many articles talk about the power of goal setting and I've applied the concept to my work. Each year I write out my goals with a time line. However, I'm beginning to see the power of writing out monthly goals with a weekly time line. This is different from a 'to do' list.

 It's not a list that you check off at the end of every day,  it's bigger than that. This list would hold your big dreams for the month; those things that you know you want to do, but never seem to get done. For example, I've wanted to start a podcast for several years now. Don't ask me why I've not started yet because I can't really tell you.

My goal this month is to get my podcast up and running.  You will be able to see and judge how far I've come by the end of Sept. I'm just putting it out there. My goal for the podcast is to encourage artist. I want to interview artist who are making a difference and making a living, so we can learn some of their successful habits. I now have 27 days to accomplish this goal. :-)

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . .


Successful Habits

"Successful people are simply those with successful habits." ~Brian Tracy ~

So what successful habits have you incorporated into your daily routine? How do you start your day? Julia Cameron of the wildly successful book, The Artist Way, suggest morning pages.
Dan Miller of the best selling book, 48 Days To The Work You Love, suggests that you turn off the news, avoid email and take a walk. He also suggests that you spend your first hour listening to something inspirational or reading a good devotional.

I have taken Dan up on his suggestions; quiet devotions, hot tea and an occasional walk.

Just wondering . . . how do you start your day? Is it a habit that leads to success?

How Artists Are Coping With The Sluggish Economy

Artist’s are already referred to as ‘starving,’ so how do they fare in this sluggish economy? Many are struggling for sure, but there are those that are knocking it out of the ball park!
What is the difference?
From my research, the ones that are struggling are still doing business as usual; the ones that are prospering have found the ‘new’ way.
This reminds me of the classic book Who Moved My Cheese! So I’m making an official announcement; “Artist, your cheese has moved! Learn more about the new ways to get the work out about your art.”
I’m going to be talking about the new ways in this blog, so stay tuned, sign up for RSS feed and let’s move forward and find ways to prosper with the ‘new’ way of doing art. I call it Artrageous Living!