I took this photo last night and lost myself in the process. I lost myself in the time it took to create it. I lost myself in the overwhelming clarity of the stars up here in Colorado. It took me a week of practice every night in order to figure out how to set the focus. I studied and practiced and increased my awareness. I was most proud of the process to get there and wasn't motivated by money or prestige. I just wanted to create.
I'm currently reading a fantastic book called An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake. It's been empowering me to get back to what drives my passion and purpose. I've always felt extremely grateful to be able to make a living being creative. That said, when you make a living being creative you're subjected to people being objective about your work. I've had a lot of wild rides in my career and I've lost count of how many times I've been told I wasn't enough, wasn't popular enough, or needed to change to fit a trend. I finally put my foot down and stuck to what empowers me to create. In doing that, I've lost my team, I've walked away from really important partnerships and I've spent more time questioning than creating.
So what made last night so special was the brief spark I felt because I followed the urge to create, improve and learn. It's not "on brand" or fulfilling a certain look for an algorithm. It's just following a voice inside myself, not someone else's idea of what it should be.
If you're struggling to find your purpose or looking to get back your own spark in whatever part of life, it's worth doing something for yourself that has no expectations. I'll leave you with something the author wrote that struck me:
Never play to the gallery. Never work for other people in what you do. Always remember that the reason you initially started working was there was something inside yourself that, if you could manifest it, you felt you would understand more about yourself. I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations
Follow what makes you feel alive. Don't play catch up with the world, the world will eventually catch up with you.