The life of an artist is naturally shaped and defined by periods of transition, given the metamorphic nature of creativity. During those transitionary periods of change or upheaval, artists can find themselves frozen in the in-between, deferring to past successes or failures--while deliberating the necessity to walk forward into new creative and professional doors that lie ahead, in order to avoid the risk of the unknown. In the face of transition, how can an artist empower themselves to move out of their plateau of previous experience to achieve reinvention and creative self-actualization?
At the outset of the creative journey, every artist aspires to live a life shaped by their passion for their gift, when their gift and their vision for its use is held firmly within their control and capacity of understanding for its purpose. As time progresses, however, the purpose of their gift may usher the closing of personal and professional doors, which can prove difficult for an artist to accept, sometimes prompting an ensconcing in the familiar to avoid the uncertainty of change on the horizon. In order to successfully evolve as a creative and achieve the initial aspirations of artistic freedom and fulfillment held at the beginning of the creative journey, an artist must not only acquire the ability to take risks, but also exercise a high level of responsibility—or an ability to respond to the requirements and care of their gift, to support and nurture its growth.
This level of responsibility is paralleled in a well-known account within scripture of the Israelites' journey to the promised land of Canaan, led by the Prophet Moses. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, after their escape from enslavement in Egypt, they finally arrived at the cusp of entering and were encouraged by the Creator to continue forward to acquire the land that was promised to them. The Israelites, however, complained, citing the pain of their past struggles and near escape from Egypt. Afterward, Moses commissioned a group of twelve Israelites, one chosen from each of the tribes of Israel, to investigate and explore the land, in order to provide a report of the unknown that lay ahead. Despite hearing the wealth of the land that they were meant to acquire, the Israelites continued to complain, citing the perceived danger ahead and as a result, the Creator allowed them to remain in the plateau of their discontent, to continue wandering in the wilderness. Their fear of the what if's ahead and the pain of their previous experience contaminated their confidence and enthusiasm and their ability to transition into the evolution of the promise that awaited them.
Transition from plateaus of development can prove difficult for any artist, when clouded by past memories of failure or wins, however, successful transition can be achieved through a wholehearted responsibility to self and individual gifts—or at the very least, a compliance to their growth and evolution.