I call myself an Inspirational Encourager, which I have been for most of my life. I think most artists are. It's sometimes difficult to say where inspiration comes from.
The best way I have of explaining is that it's inside of us and also all around us. Sometimes I feel 'called' to follow a path that leads me to something I've seen a glimpse of. Other times I feel a nudging to write, paint, draw or make something.
To others it may seem I'm not focused enough, but years of listening with my inner heart and being as well as my external ears and eyes has made me feel more balanced and free to become the I was created to be. An inspirational encourager and artist of sorts.
For me, creating, inspiration and art is all about relationship. Relationship with our world, ourselves, the 'media' we work with, pens, pencils, chalk, computers, music, paint, paper, cameras. Where does inspiration come from? It comes from a Higher Power that is both in and around us. Art helps many people connect with their higher power, whether they are creating a piece or simply appreciating something someone else has made.
I've had several different careers, the longest being a wife, mother and grandmother. The next longest was somewhere between 10 and 13 years in Direct Sales (Mary Kay Cosmetics). I was drawn into that career and then called out of that career by my Creator. After resigning I was offered a part time position with Radio Shack while I earned a Master in Religious Studies, recognizing my heart wasn't drawn toward retail management I found a position as Activities Director in Assisted Living, and then as a Spiritual Care Associate. I suffered from a stroke like event and needed time to heal and when I regained enough health in body and mind I became a substitute aide in public school, then was diagnosed with DCIS. The treatments weakened me enough I had to resign from my position.
When Covid hit, it hit me too, I took an online course called Heart Longings through Shalem Institute where I felt drawn to the artistic sessions. I enjoyed reading the Artist's Rule by Christine Valters Paintner.
I remembered art was always something I enjoyed dabbling in when I was younger, less busy and healthier. I had taken a part in a play at the local Center of the Arts while I was healing from near paralysis. It was good to be around children and the Director was also a Psych Professor so if felt like a safe place to work on healing and regaining my strength. It was great working with young people. I chose to focus on using art to help me heal in body, mind and spirit.
Then I signed up for a Created to Thrive Artist Mentoring Program and when Matt Tommey asked all of us, 'So, are you an artist? Will you join with working with other Christian artists?' I said Yes, Lord! Use Me!.
I've displayed art at a local gallery in the small town where I live. I've had poetry published, a few songs sung at church. I've had a couple photographs published in magazines and recently had my 'Red Feather" painting accepted into a poetry and art magazine. I've had poetry published and have always enjoyed ekphrastic poetry. That's when you write in response a visual art piece. Others have written in response to some of my pieces. Sometimes lyrics and melodies come together.,
So, for me, as with all my volunteer activities in community life and church when I was healthier, along with my careers, from grocery to finance to sales, to spiritual care, education and now this new site. and art, I know life is about relationship and encouraging others. I don't compare myself and work to other people, each artist, just as each person, has their own way of expressing themselves. Art and Literature appreciation classes can certainly help people learn how to accept other expressions than their own. And learn that other people may have a different response to what you express in your creative way.