Your Artistic Path


Crimson Angel, 9 x 11″ Acrylic

“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”

– Joseph Campbell

How oddly reassuring.

As artists we all struggle with knowing if we’re on the right path. There are usually obstacles looming ahead of us on that path – bumps we stumble over, forks we are stymied by, hills we tire of climbing, forests which block the light of day so we cannot see.

Surely we must eventually reach a point on the path where it is suddenly clear sailing. And, indeed, when someone else looks at our path, they often claim to be able to reach higher ground, from which they can see where our path is leading us with great clarity. They are eager to describe where we should go. I certainly have done so for others.

We can become frustrated with our path and impatient to have it cleared ahead of us. But we have to find our own way – what makes it our path, and thus our art, are the very difficulties we encounter and engage with.

So the next time I run into something on the artistic path that I don’t understand I will know that the next steps I take are surely my own and are taking me where only I can go.

4 responses to “Your Artistic Path

  1. Great post Bob. It is our deeds, or our struggles, which define us, and therefore, I suppose, our path.

    As I get older I find myself actively putting obstacles in my own way so I can rise to the challenge. Perhaps I need a Doctor…

    On the other hand, it has forced me to learn. I promise solo shows where I will play whole sets on lead guitar. (which I had never done until this year, being primarily a bassist) and lo, it came to pass! But I was glad I put myself in that position, it made me raise my game. The enemy of creativity is complacency.

  2. Well, I wrote a comment here yesterday and it is gone now! I guess something went wrong with the submitting process. and now i don’t remember what I wrote!
    Something about loving the painting, certainly!
    And the quote!

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