..or The Value of Worth to your Biz

Artists are notoriously bad at accepting reasonable praise for their art.

Artists are notoriously bad at being reasonable when they reflect upon the merits of their own work, or in comparing their work to another artist.

We are quick to degenerate our own work and lift up the work of others as superior & genuine.

I think this type of behaviour is widespread and common place – and not just for artists…

Didn’t you know – you actually suck. Sorry.

Squirmelia / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

We live in a world that tells us that we are bad and flawed, just by existing. Judeo-Christian traditions give us the baby bonus of original sin, while the Eastern philosophies imply that being born is punishment for f*cking it up the last time you were here. Sucka.

Forget believing in your art – try and feel good about being alive. I dare you.

I’m hardly a theologian, though the whole topic fascinates me… I mean, any time, anywhere, that someone speaks about the mysteries of existence… I’m there. With bells on and a cup of tea… and plenty of questions.

Did you know that the meaning of sin in the old testament means “missing the mark”? Ooops, I f*cked up – try again. NOT eternal flames and damnation.

The term ‘dominion’ in the old testament, as in ‘I give you DOMINION over the animals and the plants… ‘ means stewardship? THAT, is an entirely different story.

Santa Jesus

drp / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I had the best introduction to Christianity that anyone could get. I went to Sunday school and coloured pictures of Jesus and listened to stories about how this Jesus-guy made miracles and loved children and animals… and oh yeah, he was God.


Jesus was like a super hero Santa Claus. (Give me a break – I was 6.)

Then we stopped going to church and I never had to learn any of the crappy stupid stuff, like how homosexuals are bad and all the other religions are wrong and they’re going to hell.


Unfortunately, believing we suck, existentially, appears to be pervasive, ingrained, and global.

Beautiful things that people try to destroy.

I had an epiphany in my early 30’s. It was profound and mystical and fundamentally changed how I view the world.

No, there were no “burning bushes” involved – I was in the shower and what I experienced in that moment changed me forever.

As a result, I spoke with a colleague of mine who is a church elder. I wanted to know his take on my experience and how it relates to church Christianity.

“I think” I said, “that maybe we are cruel and mean and greedy to one another, not because we think we’re so great – but because we really believe we are so small and worthless and bad.

If I am worthless and have no value – then so are you, so it doesn’t matter if I hurt you, because you don’t matter and neither do I.

If I believe… if I know I have value and am worthy and am good – just by existing… then so are you, so is everyone.

It is easy to be kind and giving when you know that you have value, that you are important and worthy and needed here.

It’s only when we lose that can we treat each other so terribly.”

“No” he replied, “you are exactly wrong.

People act this way and are selfish because they have too much ego and think they are better than they are. They refuse to accept their sin and don’t seek salvation through God and the church.

Your experience isn’t truth. It is of your own ego and has no value.”


So… the epiphany I had, the profound and mystical, fundamentally life-changing experience… wasn’t valid.

Wasn’t true.

Wasn’t real. It was my own ego.

So sayeth the Church elders.

The Epiphany

jurvetson / Foter / CC BY

The epiphany, my mystical event… was experiencing the knowledge that we are all connected.

That we are all the same, there is no chosen, there are none cast out or left behind – we are all together and it is total inclusion and we are valuable and loved and needed and worthy and important.

We are necessary and vital and are god meeting god every day.

I knew this in every fibre of my body.

I felt this understanding deep in my core.

I knew this as true.

This single experience created the 2 filters through which I sift all learning:

  • Is it loving?
  • Is it inclusive?

I’ve never forgotten that. You don’t forget something like that – but it’s hard to live up to every day.

Very hard… and I fall on my face, every day –
…but we have fall on our face forgiveness, so that’s nice.

They’ll try and control you if they can.

However, this gnosis isn’t acceptable to Church traditions. Not true, not real – it’s my ego.

And this is what we’re up against when it comes to believing in ourselves and why we’re here.

These are the frames of reference we deal with as artists when we try to create work of value and believe in our selves and what we’re creating.

We must practice self-love, and self-care, and self-praise when it comes to our art.

I believe this is the foundation activity to everything we do in our art biz.

We must actively believe in and praise our efforts, support our art goals and activities and reaffirm our value and worth as artists.

  • You are valuable.
  • The art that you create is necessary and important and worthy.
  • We need your voice and your vision.
  • You are vital to our evolution to become better.

Harvest 2012

Golden Fields on the Way to Gordium City of King Midas
voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

This month we’re going to be Harvesting 2012 to take stock and get prepared to plan for our 2013 art biz year.

I want you to practice self-praise when you begin to Harvest 2012.

When you approach your successes and accomplishments in 2012 – throw off the hindrance of humility and be brave, be bold, be proud.

Every accomplishment is a win to be celebrated – nothing that you did last year was unimportant or inconsequential.

  • Changed your header? WIN.
  • Put a link in your sidebar to your newest work? WIN.
  • Made a Facebook page? WIN.
  • Made a Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest account? WIN.
  • Posted irregularly on any of your networks? WIN. (No, it’s not regular consistent posting – but it’s not NOTHING either – good for you.)
  • Created several new pieces of art? WIN. (No, it’s not the grand 15 piece series you were hoping for, but it’s several new pieces that you didn’t have last year – WIN.)

You will be amazed at how much you actually did accomplish this year if you’re willing to let go of this “unworthy – not good enough” crap and start celebrating everything that you’ve done, instead of thinking about it as not worth mentioning.


Harvest everything you’ve done and congratulate your self for doing it.


Be brave. Be bold. You add beauty to the world. We need you.

Discussion (2) ¬

    Lezley Davidson says:

    Where does this go if it's not posted to Facebook?

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