Along our careers as Artists there are so many opportunities that come up, so many paths that we can take … particularly in the Business of our Art … that it can often get confusing. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a little button we could push that would give us the right answers or help us make the right decisions?
Wellllllllllll … We do!!! It is called our Intuition (our gut feelings, our sixth sense … you may have your own name for it – I refer to mine as my Higher SELF) … and it will completely guide us if we pay attention and distinguish it from our rational brain/brain patterns (everyone also seems to have a different name for this incessant voice in our heads that loves to control the show).
Would you do this commission piece for me?
We have a new gallery opening would you like to show there?
Would you donate a piece for our charity auction?
Would you DJ at our club?
Would you be willing to hang your work in my restaurant?
May I use your photographs in my article?
Could you collaborate with me on this production?
Is this the right studio space for me?
Do I take my Art in a new direction?
What if you first checked into your Intuition? The definition from the Online Oxford dictionary for Intuition is: “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning“.
Ahhhhhhhh, there is the key: “without the need for conscious reasoning”. When it comes to these inner “knowings” that may have the power to save us, protect us or propel us forward in some new unique way, the real challenge is to recognize and value the feeling before our rational brain, with all of it’s patterns, runs in and convinces us to listen to “reason” or to take whatever course of action is most practical and logical.
I happen to think that most Artists are in touch with their intuition. It is part of what has us create. It is the often the Source of our Vision and Creativity. When I ask artists where their Art comes from they will normally tell me it is from their “heart” or “soul” or “inner Source” … what they seldom say is that it comes from their rational brain. What happens if we apply that same Inner Source to the Business of our Art?
Many times at the beginning of our Art career we are a BIG ol’ YES to everything because (& here is where the because is followed by a slew of things that come from our rational brain) we don’t want to miss any opportunities, we don’t want to be embarrassed, we don’t want to be unpopular, we think we should, etc. Many times our intuition may say to us “NO, back away …” but we keep saying YES.
Then, as time goes by and our Art career is beginning to expand we may begin to say NO because (once again from a slew of reasons created by our rational brain) we don’t have time, we don’t want to, it doesn’t seem like it will make us money, it is beneath us, it seems like we shouldn’t, etc. We may find ourselves in NO mode then, still not giving our intuition a chance to guide us.
Frankly, anywhere along our path it would be great for us to pay more attention to our intuition, however. The dilemma is that we may not really know, in the moment, why we are being strongly pulled by our intuition in a particular way … often years down the road is when we see how that decision really panned out (or maybe we will never know what we averted that would have altered our path).
I have, over the years, practiced recognizing and listening to my Higher SELF. It always honors my path and me. Does that mean I never use my rational brain? No it doesn’t. I use that brain for what it’s best purposes … it calculates, it organizes, it holds memories, it strategises, it plans, etc. … it is a great tool! But when it comes to running my life/my business and making decisions … just as when I am creating my Art … I make sure I check in with, include and follow my Higher Self so that I honor my true self and my true path.
The tricky part, if you have not been listening to your Intuition, is that it is so easy to let your Rational Brain/Brain Patterns get in the way. The Rational Brain is usually reactive and very attached to a series of made up patterns that dictate things like: “what I feel like doing”, “what I want to do”, “what makes me comfortable”, “what makes people like me”, “what I should do”, etc. But, as an artist you know the difference – you use your intuition all the time for your Art!!!
Sometimes, I admit, my Higher Self’s response will leave me a little confronted because it goes against what I feel like doing or think I should do or am comfortable doing. I know by now that if I listen, however, that it will turn out. The best part is that if I REALLY allow myself to trust it then I do not keep second guessing myself afterwards. I go with it and I know that I may not have a rational reason for it right now but that I might understand later.
Listening to your intuition to guide you in the things in your life and the Business of your Art takes a lot of courage and practice. Unfortunately, until you start paying attention to and acting on it, you won’t have the opportunity to verify how accurate it is. So, at the beginning it may seem rather like blind faith. Trust – it won’t lead you astray!
I no longer care to experience the less-than-positive circumstances that listening to my Higher Self could have saved me from. My life, my Art and my Business have all gone to a completely new level since I have used my rational brain to serve what it serves best and my Higher Self to run the show. I’m sticking with it!
What have been your experiences with your intuition?
I’d love to hear from you about how you use your intuition to guide you in Art AND in the Business of your Art!