There are various motivations that propel artists in their career pursuits. Some artists embark on their careers in response to an authentic calling towards their craft or instrument. Other careers evolve by happenstance through the hustle of making ends meet. Some artists take up their craft as a means of salvation and centering in the eye of chaos—while others are motivated by a need for validation.
Regardless of the reasons or circumstances that initiate an artist’s first professional steps forward, the one commonality of creative professions, regardless of genre or craft, is in the challenges experienced at every altitude that test and shape the purest of motivations.
Through mentorship with the Creator, as the author of creativity, artists can gain proximity to the creative power that informs their talents and gifts—and protects and stabilizes their footing amidst the steep climb of their ambitions. The protective aspect of the Creator’s power and creative intellect is illustrated in the following excerpt from the Psalms:
“He has his home in Jerusalem;
He lives on Mount Zion.
There he broke the arrows of the enemy,
Their shields and swords, yes, all their weapons.
How glorious you are, O God!
How majestic, as you return
From the mountains
Where you defeated your foes.
Their brave soldiers have been
Stripped of all they had
And now are sleeping the sleep of death,
All their strength and skill was useless,
When you threatened them, O God of Jacob,
The horses and their riders fell dead.”
The challenges of the creative career can ultimately work in concert with the Creator’s power, purpose and creative intent towards an artist's talents to sharpen their motivations through the experience of loss, obscurity, marketplace inequity and personal and professional failures—collapsing superficial motives and distilling creative purpose. Amidst these challenges, the Creator’s insight can also work to restore an artist’s confidence, hope and vision, providing the strength and intuition needed to navigate the experiences and circumstances that threaten their growth and progress.
The inherent insight and protective power of the Creator’s presence amidst challenges are paralleled in the following account of the Creator meeting the Prophet Elijah in his moment of distress upon learning of the warrant issued by Queen Jezebel for his death. In response to Elijah’s prayers and lamentation, the Creator called him to Mount Sinai for his protection and guidance:
“‘Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,’ the Lord said to him. Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the Lord was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice.
When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, ‘Elijah, what are you doing here?’”
Under the mentorship of the Creator, the challenges of the creative career can ultimately work to reveal and sharpen the voice of creative purpose obscured by false motivation and ambition. As artists gain proximity to the insight that informs their talents and gifts, they position themselves to receive the intuitive guidance that empowers them to overcome the experiences that threaten the promise of their personal and professional development—as voiced through the spirit of the pop classic “Mountains” composed and performed by legendary and beloved artist, musician, composer, icon and artist mentor, Prince Rogers Nelson:
“It’s only mountains, and the sea.
Love will conquer, if you just believe.”