This is a newsletter from Lesley Riley. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive it, I highly encourage you to do so. I was honored to be interviewed about Living Art at the Speed of Life by Lesley-you can listen to it here, and love how real she is and how she speaks from the heart.
Why I Do What I Do
Starting on a new journey is hard, especially when you do it alone. Alone is sitting by yourself day in and day out trying to figure out what the next step is. I have a few people I can bounce ideas off of and a coach/mentor helping me grow and expand my new adventure, but when it boils right down to it, the buck stops here. I have to craft my own way. I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do that I spend most of my time just figuring out where to put my attention and efforts. There’s a note stuck above my computer that reads, “Where do I want to make a meaning investment?”
You see, it’s about meaning – not time, not money, although that does factor in, of course. With a ton of money I could implement everything by hiring people to help me turn ideas into reality. But for now, it’s just me, alone, at my desk, trying to make sense of it all. Some days, I just want to throw in the towel, get a 9-5 somewhere where I can make a difference in people’s lives, but without having to figure out the how.
Well over a year ago, I asked myself, “What is it I really want to do with my life?” The answer was exactly the same as the answer I got over 10 years ago – I want everyone to find the same happiness I did when I discovered how to express myself through art. Basically, I wanted to become the person I had been looking for all of my life, someone to show me the way, to teach me the game of ART.
For some it comes naturally. It’s those lucky people who make the rest of us think that we are not cut out to be an artist. But there’s a passion in there we cannot deny, so we persist. I spent so many years trying to find my way, exploring different media, taking classes, and reading. Damn it, I was going to figure it out if it took a lifetime.
And then one day (all alone), it all clicked. Once it fell into place, everything I ever wanted started to happen. Fast. Everything I ever dreamed of. I was on the magic carpet ride of success. But still, something was missing. I was riding away from the very reason that I started teaching in the first place. And that was to help others find that magic ingredient that makes it all click.
So here I am trying to figure out the how. Not how to help you find the magic ingredient – I can teach you how. The how I’m trying to figure out is how to convince you that what you are looking for is not another technique, or a new art supply but something buried deep inside of you. You take a class because you want to know how that artist does what she does. You think knowing how to do it is your answer. But that’s her answer.
Your answer lies inside of you. I was unhappy until I found it. I don’t want you to be unhappy. That’s it. That’s why I do what I do. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to best help you find your answer. Since you are reading this, I’m not working alone anymore.
So have you got any ideas, partner? I’d love to hear what you think. Email me at Lesley@ArtistSuccess.com. This operator is standing by.
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Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit www.ArtistSuccess.com.