As creative people, we don’t typically prioritize or value our art as it should be valued. This is the conversation I had with a friend today.
During the holiday season I picked up a book called, The Story Of With and it profoundly touched me and caused a tidal wave of awareness. I worked through questions and reflected on where my art comes from, Who I create it with, why I create, and its purpose.
I had long been struggling with an identity crisis as an artist. My heart has been called into ministry to share what the Lord has done in my life, and my professional life has revolved around photography. For some reason it felt like those two pieces of me required separate roads. As a result I had unknowingly placed my nature photography in a box with “make money with this” labeled on the front. The box became a coffin that was holding my creativity.
‘The Story Of With‘ found me when I needed it most, and recognized it the least.
Written as an allegory, the story follows a girl who walks step by step through a sequence of doors that perfectly outlines the creative journey that I’ve been on. I’ll wager that it’s a common story that stems from within many artists and is rarely discussed or talked about, because it can be painful. I’d walk through a door with her in the book and nod with understanding. She was living out struggles I knew well through experience, but hadn’t articulated.
I reached out to the author and thanked him for his words and their impact. Since then, I’ve been following Allen Arnold on Twitter and in Facebook and his posts have been an arrow to the heart of who I am as a creative person. They have been both inspirational and challenging. Much like a friend who touches base with me to make sure I’m staying on track. I both highly recommend his book and following him on social media. Something I rarely say about authors.
There will be much more that comes from my heart and written here about art, pursuit of purpose, and valuing your creativity and when you read it, you will be able to trace it’s inspiration back to where this all started, my journey through this book.
If you’re a creative person, artist, entrepreneur or all the above, this is absolutely worth reading.