Some creative careers begin auspiciously, in little to no time, with all of the details in perfect alignment—an unmistakable confirmation of destiny. Others take significant time to launch, taking years and sometimes decades to develop. In those years of waiting, an artist’s perception of their individual craft can sometimes become distorted—what was once revered as valuable can later depreciate in perception with a creative gift appearing more like an expensive hobby, in light of the time and expense afforded to its upkeep. Stalled career progress can lead to discouragement and later embitterment, with an artist gradually losing interest and faith in what they were called to create. In the case of stalled career starts, what can an artist do to remain engaged and reignite their hope for success?
As with anything in life, it is important to maintain the upkeep and practice of anything organic, particularly individual craft, to keep the viability and potential alive, despite the emotion of fact. There is a level of working that is required during the in-between prior to the genesis of any career to keep the ground or soil of creativity tilled and pliable for opportunity to take root and grow. In addition to a reversing of valuation of creative capability, an artist needs to continue the doing of craft by any means necessary—by practicing, writing, vocalizing, sketching, crafting—and maintaining creative flexibility through exercise, even when the heart is not 100 percent invested.
During the wait for success, artists may also attempt to self-help by seeking advisement from peers or experts, but may still arrive at an empty canvas with no answers on the practicality and viability of their gift, which can intensify their discouragement. Given that all creative ability is sourced and gifted by the Creator, it would prove beneficial to consult the source of individual creativity to shorten the response time on questions and misgivings—as peers or experts can only offer assessments of the value of individual talent based on the success or lack of success they have experienced.
A similar inquiry for answers and advisement is mirrored in scripture in the account of Job, a righteous man, who lived his life in reverence to the Creator and was tested through a series of calamities and misfortune. Though innocent of wrongdoing, Job found himself in the midst of his dilemma endlessly arguing the viability and value of his life with three of his friends, who were only able to judge or advise him according to the level of justice they had experienced and witnessed. At the end of their debate, the Creator intervened, answering Job directly, concisely addressing Job’s complaints and questions regarding his circumstances, leaving Job speechless—in Job’s words: “In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
During the silent in-between of building a creative career, the working of creative muscle combined with the illuminative guidance from the Creator can provide the light needed to guide an artist successfully along the creative path towards their destined path of purpose and promise.