The Good that You Do
Why do you create?
There are as many answers as there are artists. Ultimately, most of us want to inspire a reaction in a viewer or reader.
What reaction do you want to inspire in others?
I’m not talking about whether someone likes or dislikes your work; or critics, reviews, or sales.
I’m talking about the emotional, soul reaction they have. How they will feel after viewing or reading your work.
We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about this, do we? We create because it seems to flow so naturally to us – it’s simply part of who we are. We can’t imagine not creating. But the question deserves some space in our lives. And space in every new work.
When your work goes public, this question becomes essential.
As an artist, you make choices. You have the power, if not to decide what your work will be, then to shape and guide it. I know that much of the creative work we do is given to us by Something Greater that wants to flow and speak and express itself through us. We don’t usually feel as if we have a choice in what our creative work is.
But the energies of your work, the reaction it inspires in a human heart and soul – that is where we do need to pause and think.
We have incredible power and I believe, responsibility.
We have the power to move the human heart toward healing, connection and hope. Or not.
Our work is capable of making someone stop and think, of inspiring someone to make a different choice, to believe or take one thought toward remembering their own power in this life. We have the ability to evoke joy, beauty, a sense of grace and wonder. And, in our darker sides, to release questions that are allowed to bubble to the surface. Questions that may not have been asked if it were not for our work.
I’m not advocating that all creative work has to be beautiful or have a moral point. That is not the question. I am advocating that we stop and think and become aware of the power and responsibility we have toward our viewers and readers. They may tend to take our work for granted as entertainment. They may not be aware of the affect that that entertainment can have on them. But they do know when they’ve been touched.
So why not touch them?
Your work has the potential to do something incredible. Even if it’s only in one viewer or one reader’s heart. And isn’t one heart worth a million?