“I want to do my part to be proactive and creative in 2017. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and bitch and cry. I want to take on the world in the way that I am wired: As an artist. And I want to inspire you and give you hope. I really do. If just one person can be moved to do what is right and good despite all the ugliness around them, I will know that it was all worth it.” – From January 1, 2017, the first “Year of Creating Dangerously” post
Was it worth it? When I set myself the task of posting daily to this blog, I had an inkling that it would be a big undertaking. I was going to make this blog be all about creativity, either creativity of my own or creativity that inspired me, challenged me, made me laugh or think or give me a different perspective on things. As an artist, I figured that a focus on creativity would give me the vibrant foundation that I would need to keep on keepin’ on in this blog, daily, all year long.
Well, here I am. I’m almost at the end of it. And I ask again: Was it worth it?
Through this year I gave myself a renewed art education. I read about, studied and researched visual artists, poets, writers, actors, musicians and many others. I learned about artistic movements in history, picked up little bits of trivia I didn’t know before, and discovered new artists and new ways of creating that blew my mind. I got in touch with a few young artists who are making art for their generation. I linked in to artists from hundreds of years ago whose vision remains contemporary and engaging. In reality, I likely packed in about as much learning in a year as I had picked up in all my years of college working on my bachelor of fine arts degree.
And I created, too. I did drawings and paintings, I became a mosaic maker in the process, I dabbled in different media, tried things I’ve never tried before, and looked for new ways to push myself as an artist.
But was it worth it?
Here’s the thing for me – an important thing to understand about me – if all that learning and creating was only to my benefit, then I have a hard time saying it was worth it. After almost 365 days of this journey, in the end it doesn’t matter if I have arrived with new knowledge and experiences – not really. Ultimately, what matters to me and makes things worth it is if I have reached someone out there, influenced you in a positive way, given you inspiration and hope, helped you find within yourself something crucial that kept you going.
Please understand – I am not trying to make myself sound super-altruistic. I really, really loved spending time learning and researching and exposing myself to so much art. And I really, really loved the excuse to make art, to write, to compose poems and all the other things I dabbled in this year. But I have discovered after all of that something very important: You matter to me. You matter so much, in fact, that this year would seem a waste of my time without you being a part of it. I tried telling myself over and over again that this blog was about me and not to worry about who (if anyone) was visiting this site. That didn’t work. After all of it, I remained dependent on connecting with you, somehow, some way.
So, first of all, my thanks to you who did take time from your day(s) to spend time on this site. It is humbling to me to know that there were people who made a regular habit of it. And secondly, my thanks to you who gave me feedback, who encouraged me, who told me how something I had posted had effected you or inspired you. As I look back over the year, there was great satisfaction in putting my artwork out there, publicly, dangerously – in discovering that my own vulnerability could help others in their lives. Really, what made my year was the connection I could make with you.
So was it worth it? Yes. A thousand times, Yes. A creation story of any kind is always a story of community, of relationships, of a coming together to give birth to something greater. And the contribution I made through the past year is simply another small part of the ongoing creation story we are all a part of as humankind, as creators knit together crafting a vast artwork that none of us can see fully because we are, each of us, a part of that artwork.
The message, then, is this: You matter, you contribute, you are a crucial part of a great masterpiece. You and I, all of us together, are woven into this creation story.
Peace and Love