Many of those who are now considered the greatest artists in history, were virtual unknowns in their own times and own towns, and it took years, decades, even centuries after their passing for people to truly appreciate their art.
What they leave behind – the collective body of art we can consider their creative legacy – is timeless, and continues to go on and delight and inspire thousands of people all over the world.
Have you ever considered what your creative legacy will be?
What if your creative life ended today? What have you given to the world creatively, what artwork and projects have you created?
At this point, I can take a pretty good guess at two things:
1. You don’t think you’ve created very much at all, at least not much that’s worthwhile.
2. If you looked back and catalogued it all, you’d realise you’ve actually created so much more than you think you have.
Which shows us that first, you wish you’d created more. And second you don’t give yourself enough acknowledgement and credit for all you do create.
Let’s focus on the first of those.
What would you like to leave as a creative legacy? How would you want people to look back at your creative life and career and remember what you’ve done?
We’re talking ideally here, irrelevant of what you actually have created so far.
Take a moment to think about not only the body of art you’d like to leave, but also the way you’d want to be remembered as an artist.
Would you want people to see only your art, and not be concerned about the life you lead? Or is your life a part of your art, and the way you inspire and encourage others to create is as important, if not more important, than the art itself?
Too often, we put off our creating until a “rainy day”. Or when we have the time. Or the inspiration. Or the ideas. Or the right materials. Or feel in the right mood.
There are a thousand different ways you can kid yourself you’ll be creative WHEN you have X conditions in place.
But they’re all excuses, and they all lead to the same end result:
You’re not creating.
None of us are getting younger. There are people in the world who love, and will love your work, who will be touched by it, and you, in ways they’ve never been touched by anything before.
There are people in the world waiting for your art, the way only you can create it, and waiting to be inspired by you, in a way they can’t be inspired by anyone else.
Maybe even more importantly than that, they are people close to you, in your every day life whose lives are better when you’re happier and healthier.
And being the creative artist you are, just like the rest of us, regularly creating meaningful and fulfilling art is a crucial part of that health and happiness.
Don’t wait until your close to your deathbed to begin creating an amazing creative legacy.
Make sure you’ll not only be remembered in years to come for what and how you create, but that you’ll be admired, respected and loved today, by those around you, for the creative person you are now, today, and everyday.
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