“What if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud?
Just smile sweetly and suggest—as politely as you possibly can—that they go make their own fucking art.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert from BIG MAGIC
The second I read these words from Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, BIG MAGIC, I saw the image above in my mind’s eye and burst out laughing. I saw this big, red-nailed middle finger with a butterfly right on top. It was the butterfly that made me laugh the hardest because, I mean, really. . .
These words resonated with me immediately because you see, I never allow any opinion or suggestion or critique of my artistic output to play any role in what I do. First and foremost, I create for myself. . . for the pure joy of it all. It’s really that simple for me. And actually, reading BIG MAGIC has brought even more clarity for me, in regards to my WHY. . .why I create my art. . . I was always clear about the fact that I created for my own sanity and enjoyment but there was this underlying “want” for it to DO something for me, such as “support me.” Since reading BIG MAGIC, I’ve released all of that. . . I’ve taken the pressure off of my art and creative output. I can make money in lots of different ways and yes, my art can be one of those ways, but it doesn’t have to be the ONLY way. In fact, it doesn’t have to do anything for me. It doesn’t owe me a thing. . . on the contrary, I owe IT so much more than it could ever owe me. Seriously.
Therefore, no one can dictate what I do and how I do it because at the end of the day, when those studio lights go out, I’m the one that has to live with what I’ve created. . . And I always make sure I’m ecstatically happy with it! If I’m not, why bother doing it?!! Don’t we already do so many things that we don’t necessarily want to do, to then have to add our creative output to that list?! No way. I’m not doing that, ever! The minute I don’t enjoy it, I will stop and move on to something else that brings me joy.
By the way, this image is now available as an enhanced art print for a Special Price, over at my Etsy shop: Butterfly Finger I will make every single butterfly unique! And YES, I do have Elizabeth Gilbert’s blessing. . . because she’s just that fucking awesome. . . really. . . truly. . .