Finding Your Why and Creating With a Purpose
You’ve lost it. You were once were creating for a purpose and now you’re hungry for the likes over passion.
Your drive is gone and now you’re just creating something to please your audience.
You know this is wrong yet it’s the only thing keeping you going.
Where did you fall off and how do you get back?
Being an artist is a funny thing; especially when you are striving to do it full time. Affirmation and validation is something many of us need at first to realize that what we create is good enough to be taken seriously — to be seen as a professional and not just a hobbyist.
To get to this status, you have to get your work out there.
Using social networks like Instagram are great for sharing and getting eyes on your work but it can come with a price. Believe me; I’ve experienced this all first hand.
You’re in luck though; I have two solutions that can help you find your why.
It’s time to stop doing it for the likes over passion and start creating with a purpose.
I totally understand your pursuit for affirmation; I struggle with it daily.
It baffles me that a pizza drawing of mine will get 1,000+ likes while others that can help people only get 500???
Here I am tripping over numbers when people would love to be in my position, and that’s exactly my point.
I remember about 2 years ago when I was getting 5–15 likes on some rough scribbles and pictures of my cats.
It’s funny how things evolve.
I kept drawing and got hooked after my first feature on Goodtype. I became addicted to the progress and the attention that followed — waves of likes, new followers, comments, shares and more features.
Good Lord, it was a rush and I wanted more.
I’d never received attention like this as I was always self-conscious about sharing my work. The attention led to a good portion of a year in which I was drawing every day to see how quickly I could grow an audience. I was literally obsessed with the like meter going up.
I felt the numbers tied worth to my name so I was creating work that I thought people would like more.
And that’s wasn’t the only problem….
The Issue with Numbers
You may understand that doing it for the numbers is wrong, but do you know the harmful impact this has?
Aiming for likes over passion gives a deceitful view of self-worth within your art. It’s a skewed indicator that you’re putting out good work and going off this scale will set you up for burnout, failure and possible depression.
Creating for likes:
- Sets the bar high of needing to outdo yourself each time.
- Creates the pressure of people deleting their post within a period of time if it isn’t performing right away (I’m guilty of this one).
- Makes you feel like your work doesn’t matter if it doesn’t gather attention.
- Positions your work off what you think others like.
- Will severely hinder the drive to create what you loved in the first place.
Likes over passion is irrelevant and will eventually wear you down. You’ll never be good enough as you strive to outdo yourself over and over again for the sake of tailoring to other people’s taste.
Doing work for others is called freelance and you should be aiming for that instead!
You need to get back to why you created in the first place; you need to start over and rekindle the passion.
Finding Your Why
Why do you truly love to create?
You have a passion for art, whether it’s hand lettering, illustrations, painting, etc.; but what’s at the core?
I believe it falls into 4 buckets:
- You truly love to create as it makes you feel alive – it’s self-expression that makes you happy.
- You think you can possibly impact someone’s day for the better.
- You create because you know there’s a market for your work – you can cash in on a check.
- You love the admiration and attention you’re receiving that you may not have always gotten from your art until Instagram.
Do you fall into any of these buckets or better yet overlap any?
What’s your why?
What do you really want out of your artwork?
It’s easy to lose your why if you were never 100% sure what it was in the first place.
Two Sure Proof Solutions
If you struggle to find your why, I have two solutions for you.
1. Start Writing
Deep within you there is a reason for why you create that you may not be able to verbally communicate.
Writing is the key to articulating those feelings burrowed deep within you that you tend to shut out. It bridges the connections between your mind and the screen, giving you something tangible to act on. It leads you to the answers of the tough questions lingering in your head.
Once you begin writing, you’ll understand that you don’t write to talk about what you have to say, you write to figure out what you have to say. You unlock something deep inside you that eventually will overflow into your everyday existence.
I was so lost and confused during the stint of creating for the likes over passion. I owe my breakthrough towards writing after the persuasion of some close friends.
I started writing back in June 2015 and it has helped me understand my purpose in life and what I’m trying to accomplish. Writing down my thoughts and sharing my struggles with people like you helped me gain some clarity of my true intentions behind my passion for creating.
I will be discussing a little more in depth about my process of writing in a near future blog post! If you want to start and have questions, please shoot me an email as I want you to discover the power of this tool.
2. Start Teaching
Another way to find your why is to begin teaching what you know.
There are so many benefits to teaching but the main one I truly believe in is that in order to get to where you want to be in life, you need to help others get to where they want to be. This is done through teaching and sharing knowledge.
The more you keep teaching, the more clarity you will gain that you’re going in the right direction; regardless of the like meter. There will be new waves of affirmation coming from those who tell you how much you’ve had an impact on them.
These encouraging messages blow any worthless like on a photo out of the water.
So what can you teach?
- how to do hand lettering
- how to draw illustrations
- how to take unique photos
- how to make time lapse videos
- what tools you use
- how to blog
- how to do webinars
- how to get out of creative funks
- how to teach, etc.
Teaching leaves a lasting impact that is sure to help you discover your why. You’ll also be rewarded with a new path full of opportunities to explore your passion at a deeper level.
Make Your Existence Truly Matter
It’s time to get back to creating for a purpose.
I speak from experience of how writing and teaching helped me discover my why and it’s never been clearer:[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#1C1C1C” class=”” size=”16″]
I create because I can make a difference – I can help others discover the life they desire.
I show up every day motivated because I consume inspiring content that fuels my ambition.
I show up because I see the results people are sharing with me.
I show up because I care about people and in turn people care about my art.
I show up because I know some people depend on me to deliver something that can help them in that moment where they need it the most.[/pullquote]
People are attracted to those who do what they love and put people first, not to the people who focus on the likes over passion.
I strive to serve by purposely writing blog posts, speaking, teaching workshops and even one-on-one coaching. I do these things to hopefully leave an impact on one person. This person can be you and you in turn can help the next person.
I want you to have this clarity but you have to want it for yourself.
This starts today.
Start writing and start teaching, I’m confident you’ll find the answer.
- Instagram is great but it can come with a price
- aiming for likes over passion gives a deceitful view of self-worth within your art
- creating for likes severely hinders the drive to create what you loved in the first place
- writing is the key to articulating those feelings burrowed deep within you that you tend to shut out
- you write to figure out what you have to say
- People are attracted to those who do what they love and put people first
- to get to where you want to be in life, you need to help others get to where they want to be
Are you receiving value in this post and find that you have questions in regards to finding your creative purpose? Your input and questions are what I build my content around so by joining my team, you have direct access to me for questions and advice. Your struggle will not only allow me to keep this focused on delivering targeted value, but can also help others who deal with your same issues. Let’s grow together.