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Cultivating Courage: The Key to Artistic Growth and Development.

The creative journey requires courage—the courage to believe and remain consistent and committed in the face of personal, professional and marketplace losses and disruptions that sometimes leave a lasting influence against an artist’s faith. In a bid for self-preservation, sometimes artists and creatives can find themselves living out a lower-case courage that runs counterintuitive to their calling and creative purpose—a courage that ultimately limits their potential. In the aftermath of professional and personal injuries, how do artists and creatives capitalize their courage to believe and create against present and previous circumstances that confirm their fears of continued loss or failure?

The key to cultivating and accessing courage in caps is in redefining the goal of the creative journey and coming into the understanding that the creative journey is not a formulaic path of perfection, but is an arc of disciplines and experiences that work to serve artistic growth and progress—this is particularly evident in the role of creativity as a conduit to change and evolution. This capitalized courage is marked by the ability to embrace and accept all outcomes of creative pursuits, while also embracing the personal strengths and weaknesses that ultimately work together to springboard artists towards self-actualization and realize the underlying purpose of their gifts. The courage to believe and take action involves the gathering of all positive and negative experiences to move forward towards the unknown. Positive experiences serve to embolden faith. Negative experiences serve as an opportunity to inform and mature an artist’s craft, character, business acumen and professional platform. The exclusion of either in a bid to move forward will yield partial results or a repeat of prior injuries.

For artists and creatives, failures and losses are crucial toward building creative power. As the author of creativity, the Creator provides a grace that works to sustain against loss, while cultivating the faith and courage for artists to take the steps embedded in uncertainty that lead toward advanced creativity through creative innovation and exploration. This grace against negative circumstances and loss is paralleled in the following excerpt taken from the Apostle Paul’s address to the Church of Corinth, where he recounted his struggle with a chronic physical condition, which worked to realize the Creator’s creative power in his life and force his reliance on his relationship with Christ:

“Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: ‘My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’ I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

This level of courage, sourced through faith, carries a common denominator in love. This love—as expressed through Christ, as the creative word of God, through which the heavens and earth were created—works to strengthen and underscore the self-love, self-acceptance and confidence needed to override and eclipse fear. When artists and creatives stand in courage to face the challenges of their present and past, the fourth wall of the Creator’s insight and intellect can be accessed to illuminate the path of uncertainty ahead. This is evidenced in the following love covenant made by Christ to his disciples—and by extension all those, including creatives, working in love:

“For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.”

For artists and creatives, courage, rooted in faith and love, provides the opportunity to realize the value of past and present circumstances, positive and negative, towards their personal and professional growth and development.

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