The Art of Being Happy

If there is one thing I think I have faced more than anything in my artistic careers it is the naysayers.  The ones who tell you it can’t be done.  The ones who are always negative and think you are living in a fantasy world to think that anyone would buy your art.  These are the people who will never validate your artwork, well maybe they will if it can be purchased in the decor section of Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.  And this just goes to show what they know about art in the first place.

Either way, people love to bring you down and they just use the lame excuse that they are “just being realistic” because you know, apparently you’ve never had your own self doubt.  I still get random emails from strangers on occasion where they like to tell me I’ll never make money, what I do isn’t art and the negative list goes on.  What I find fascinating is that these people take time out of their day to actually write an email to me telling me these things.  But I don’t know if they realize these little “doses of reality” as one called it actually push me to keep doing what I am doing.

Anyone who is out there who wishes to create art, here is what I say to you.  There are no rules in life.  Seriously, there aren’t.  We live in countries which create laws, but there are no rules to art.  There is good art, bad art and a whole bunch of stuff in between.  If you have a vision, create it, bring it to life, and most importantly, listen to your critics and naysayers.  Listen to them because they are the ones who will motivate you.  Don’t let their negative lifestyle bring you down.  Let it be a realization to yourself that you are not them and that you spend your time enjoying what you love rather than spending time trying to bring someone else down.  When I get these nasty letters I just read them and am so thankful I am not like them.  I don’t want their reality, it seems pretty miserable.

I may live in my own little world a lot of the time, which I am completely fine with, but I am happy.  I am living my life now, not later, not waiting until I’m on my death bed and wishing I could have done it differently.  I put it all out there now.  I don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like my work, it take it personally when someone does like my work.  These are the people I listen to, these are the ones who will tell me what they like about my work and it lets me know where their mindset is and how they view my work.  I’m not here to please the people who would never want my work in their home, I don’t want to convert them or waste my time defending what I do.  This is a rut you do not want to fall into, it is a soul sucking endeavor to deal with the haters of the world.  Just let them hate and move on.  When you don’t respond they usually move on too.  They live off of the argument, if you don’t give it to them they find it somewhere else.

So when you create your own work, think about these things.  Are you happy?  Do you like what you do?  Are you going through the motions or are you pushing yourself to do better?  Are you letting negative people influence your work?  Try this, you don’t have to do it every time, but the next time you are working on a personal project, think of all of the positive comments you have received about your past work.  The jar is full of positive comments, the negative ones are in the bottom of the trash can at the moment.  Just focus on the positive and see where it takes you with your work.  You may end up with a cheesy piece of art because you’re not tormented and angry, but you will feel really good about it.

The only type of “negative” I like is the kind you can run through a camera!  Here is a film shot that has never been published before, I shot this years ago and have just been waiting for the right time to share it.  I guess that time is now. 😉

Jolene by The Average Jim