Have you ever had a cell phone call drop out in mid-sentence?
Surely you have, and you know the feeling. Instant annoyance, followed by checking to see how many bars you have. We like to make sure that our connection wasn’t the source of the drop.
The same is true in our daily lives. Connections matter. When you are looking for new opportunities in your career, you attempt to make strong connections. When you are exploring the possibility of a relationship, whether romantic or friendly, you are evaluate the value and strength of the connection.
So if strong connections are vital in our daily situations, certainly they are a key to a full and rich artistic life.
Musicians, artists and creatives alike find themselves in a bad situation when their connections aren’t working. Here are some keys to making sure that you are connecting with the people and the issues that matter.
Connections with Family and Friends
Being an artist is often a lonely profession. We can spent hours alone in studios, practice rooms and coffee shops working on our craft. Even in an industry in which we constantly engage with others, we can find ourselves isolated. This is why it’s so important to stay connected to your loved ones – spouses, children, extended family, and friends who constitute your inner circle. A balanced perspective of your career requires being grounded by the relationships that count. When the accolades aren’t coming, the album isn’t selling, and your name is going unnoticed, family and close friends are the ones who can sustain and keep you focused on what really matters.
By the way, this is true even when family situations aren’t ideal. In fact, it’s when family issues are difficult that you may need to focus on them even more. Otherwise, the temptation to escape into your work can become a liability in the effort to restore your relationships to a healthy balance.
Note: Hear our discussion from the God and Gigs Show on Step 1 of the 7 Service Steps, “Stay Connected”.
Connections with Creative Colleagues
The quality of your art can often be tied to the quality of your relationships. By focusing on making authentic, beneficial connections in your field, you can virtually ensure that you will continue to improve the value and the quality of your creative output. When connections are either a drain on you, or a distraction from your work, your creative life will suffer. While every creative relationships has bumps and issues, rarely does great art come from a place where people are always at odds with each other. Focus on finding positive, encouraging and inspiring artists that are willing to journey with you in this creative lifestyle.
It’s not always easy to find people in your area who can connect with you on a personal level. You may feel that you are competing with artists around you, rather than complementing and sharing with them. But your artistic influence will not grow any bigger than your ability to open up to others. Don’t be afraid to be generous with your time and resources within your field. You’ll find that genuine, lasting relationships with other artists help fuel your own drive to be successful, and everyone in the circle will see the benefits.
The Connection with God and your purpose
Every artist creates from the heart first, and then the contents of the heart are revealed in sound, images and words. So it follows that as your heart goes, so your art goes. Spiritually speaking, that means if God is in your heart, you’ll find that relationship expressed in some way in everything you create.
It’s impossible to ignore the effect that a spiritual connection has on your art. When it’s all said and done, our talent only goes so far. It’s the connection to something bigger that make our artistic creations stand for something greater. Popularity, financial gain, and respect among our peers don’t mean anything if what we create only serves our own purposes. But when we are connected with a higher purpose, everything we create has significance. Issac Ruskin stated it like this: “All great art is the expression of man’s delight in God’s work, not his own.” It’s when we are connected with the source of all life, that our art can then inspire others to live fully.
Check in frequently
As you go about your creative activities, make it a habit to ‘check the bars’ on your family connections, your creative circle, and your spiritual relationship. The last thing you want is to find out that your signal was weak at the moment you needed to connect with your most trusted resources. If you are diligently and consistently building quality relationships, you’ll find even more motivation and inspiration flowing into your art.
That’s a connection worth keeping.