The Generous Artist

Red poppyHas anyone ever accused you of or should I say ‘complemented you’ for being a generous artist? A generous person? I certainly hope so because generosity is one of the most rarely cultivated qualities I can think of. If you want to cultivate a beautiful life, nurturing generosity in your heart, mind and life is an absolutely essential practice. Generosity is the rare wild flower that blooms after all the spring grasses of good intentions have wilted under the summer heat of our selfish preoccupations.

You and I all know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of another’s generosity. Oh how good it feels to be noticed, appreciated, and gifted by a generous soul. Today, I want to encourage you to be a generous artist. If you’re not an artist, you can certainly practice the art of generosity. I also want to be generous with you.  I have a free gift, a beautiful book meant to be shared with others…

What Season of Life Are You In?

[I]f you’ve been wondering why it has been radar silent here on Art, Life & Faith for the past few weeks, it’s because I’m in an unexpected new season of life. In agricultural terms, I’m in the midst of a ‘perfect storm.’ As many of you know, The Grove Center for the Arts & Media is a ministry to artists that I serve. And what makes The Grove unique is that we really do have a grove. Twelve acres of avocados and organic lemons which require constant cultivating, weeding, feeding, watering, and trimming for every new season. Thus, for the past month (as noted by my agri-absence), my hands have not been at the keyboard, but manhandling a weed whacker and chainsaw. I’m in a busy season of cultivating about 1600 trees…what season of life are you in? A busy season? A peaceful season? A fragmented season? Read on…

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3 Ways Artists Can Cultivate Faith over Fear

As an artist, is fear kicking your butt? Maybe you’re not an artist, BUT you struggle with worry, fear, and anxiety? As an artist, I’ve found that fear is the number one obstacle to creativity, innovation, growth, focus, and artistic success. This past Monday night at our monthly Grove Gathering, Roy Cochran, my friend and co-worker, shared with forty-five artists the importance of cultivating faith over fear. I know this struggle of faith over fear well. If you’ve read my free book, The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are, you know that I had a ten-year wrestling match with chronic pain, fear and anxiety. I’ve learned a few lessons over the years that just might help you cultivate faith over fear. Read on…

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Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Blog Posts for Feb. 2013

Here are the Top 10 Art, Life & Faith blog posts for February, 2013. As I meet with artists and art leaders from across the country, I see a growing intentionality among artists to cultivate their spiritual growth and the creative gifts God has given them. As artists pursue the beauty, truth and goodness of God, the natural outflow influences their creative and imaginative gifts. I’ve seen an enthusiastic response of artists spending more time on Art, Life, & Faith watching the artist interview videos, reading and posting comments. Last month, the average time spent on the site was 21 minutes per visitor…the highest ever. Most important though, is helping you cultivate a deeper relationship with God and how to pursue excellence in your given craft…all to the glory of God. Read on…

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3 Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism: The Ultimate Creativity Killer

[P]erfectionism is the ultimate creativity killer. Its roots, to name a few, are fear, insecurity, control, and shame that walks a thread-bare tightrope between the chasms of avoiding pain and fear of rejection. Perfectionism stalls projects. It divides people and creative teams. It increases tentativeness, uncertainty, and doubt. I said it’s a creativity killer, didn’t I?

Perfectionism stands in stark contrast to artistic excellence, integrity and wholeness. Not only has it stifled kid’s creativity, creative freedom in many careers and the joy that comes with creating, it also creates heartache in many companies, friendships, marriages, and raising children. At it’s worst, perfectionism is not only the ultimate creativity killer. It is also the ultimate relationship killer. Read on…

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Introducing Creative Coaching & Mentoring

[E]ver since I was young boy, I’ve had many, many coaches and mentors. Little league coaches. Volleyball coaches. My dad as a coach and mentor. Teachers, counselors and professors. Writing coaches. Ministry mentors. Coaches and mentors who’ve become personal friends. And personal friends who’ve coached and mentored me in many aspects of my life. If there is one word that summarizes the role of these important people in my life, it is this: Cultivate.

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