There was no doubt in my mind that I was in the presence of greatness.
I was standing in the Trewyn sculpture garden of Barbara Hepworth in St Ives.
The word I chose for 2019 was Product.
I've created loads of material - from artwork to eBooks - but for one reason or another a lot of it isn't out there in the world bringing in the green stuff.
But since I wrote started thinking about Core Values, I began to question whether I’m really using my authentic voice to communicate with you, my tribe.
And whether that voice is truly present in the way I market my work and services.
I can tell you I found plenty of room for improvement! And suddenly 'Product' didn't seem like the right target at all.
Finding the common thread in my art, writing and coaching
On reflection, I realise that there’s one unifying theme that connects the perhaps seemingly disparate missions of my artwork, writing and coaching:
I want to inspire you in your own creative life.
Whether you get inspired by what I do, or how I do it - or simply by the fact that I doggedly keep on doing it - I don’t really mind.
(And if you decide to ask for my coaching help in taking some of that inspiration to the next level, well that’s a bonus.)
Going beyond inspiration
Inspiration is a beautiful thing to, well, inspire in others. But alone it’s not quite enough for me.
I also want to sometimes surprise or even delight you.
Although I’m serious about a lot of stuff, I like to bring out the light-hearted side of situations. I love to get an ‘oh!’ or a ‘wow!’ when you interact with my work or understand a concept that I’m sharing.
So, while I’m still committed to getting more of my physical and digital products out into the marketplace this year, I’ll be running everything I put out there through my new filter questions. Does this thing I've created:
I hope the answer will be a resounding yes!
How can you make your creative work extraordinary?
What new questions could you ask yourself in order to lift your creative work out of the realm of the ordinary? To make it resonate at a new level?
There's an expert out there to tell you how to do just about anything in your creative life.
From how to mix your paint or develop your plot to how to get a billion Instagram followers or sell 10K paintings a month.
Now, I'm not saying that it isn't wonderful to learn from other people who know more than we do. Because it is.
And I'm certainly not saying that learning isn't a tremendous thing per se. Because it is. In fact, I think we should go on doing it until the day we pass gracefully into the next world!
Nor am I saying that we should re-invent the wheel when someone else has already smoothed out all the hitches and made it road-worthy already.
But you know what? We don't have to listen to any 'experts' if their ideas don't resonate with us. Especially if they tell us that they've got the ONE method that really works.
How are you expressing yourself and interacting in the world?
Is it consonant with the values you hold? Do you communicate in a way that resonates with the people you’re trying to reach?
What is the one creative tool you just can’t live without?
My number one indispensable art tool is a very modest thing: my mechanical or ‘retractable’ graphite pencil.
I’ve had this same Pentel pencil for over 20 years. If I’m going to be away from home for more than a week, this pencil has to go with me. I can’t imagine how many sketches I must have made with this pencil!