When you were just starting out, did you receive any encouragement from your family and friends, your community, and other artists? How did you feel then?
Now that you are an established artist, do you offer encouraging words for new artists? Why do you do it? How do you feel?
The power of our tongue, the impact of our words
Throughout our life of art, we have come across people whose words either lift us up or put us down. We, as artists, should realize our creative power always affect everyone around us and bear wonderful – and even downright evil – outcomes. With our hands, we either create or destroy.
The same is true with our words. Our tongue is a two-edged sword. With our words, we either encourage or discourage someone who would like to follow in your footsteps and pursue art. Every word that we speak has the power to inspire creativity or else stifle it, to bring out the artist in everyone or kill the dream.
Your encouraging words can lift someone up and help them make it through the day. Any inspirational words of encouragement could mean a lot to an artist who is about to give up, who faces continuous rejection and does not have the support of the people in their life.
On the other hand, your destructive words may not only cause deep wounds but also destroy someone’s desire to create art. Your destructive, careless words can destroy their capacity to dream.
There are not a few artists who have given up art at some point in their lives not due to poor support or lack of feedback but rather the hurtful words they received that made them feel inferior and unworthy of their craft.
As our works of art have the power to spellbind people, our words have a lasting impact on people and may influence how they proceed in their art.
Be careful what you say. Speak positive words to those who want to become like you and many others who came before you.
If you have some words of encouragement, say them now to others. Don’t hold them back. Someone could use an encouragement today.
How to encourage effectively
Everyone has the ability to create art, but not everyone is equipped to encourage people effectively. Unfortunately, even many skilled artists are bad at offering encouragement. They do not even make good teachers or mentors.
You can change that. You can become someone who can inspire and encourage people today. How?
• Watch your language
Make sure you speak positively to everyone. Offer honest yet encouraging feedback, if you must. Critical and judgemental talk blocks the flow of creative energy and foul and abusive talk saps one’s enthusiasm to pursue art.
• Know them and know what they do
The reason it is difficult to encourage someone is that we do not realize what they really do. Many people think we artists just “throw our lives away” and have a hard time making a living from art until we invite them to tag along with us so they could see our process.
To show that you care about someone, why not take the time to know them better? Take the time to learn about what they do, what their future plans are, and how they overcome challenges and setbacks. Give them the opportunity to open up; this will empower and encourage them.
• Make yourself available
How important it is that the people in your social support network be around when you need them? To encourage someone, you will need to make yourself available at the most opportune times.
We artists know the lengths some people will go in order to see and meet us in person, to hear us speak to them, even if it would just be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We see them come to our exhibits, concerts, and other public performances. Some of them we would meet at some point in time when they come to us for help or talk about art.
Every moment we spend with people is always the best time to encourage them to hold on to their dreams.
• Help them
By helping an aspiring artist, it does not mean micromanage them, meddle in their affairs, or force them to adopt your style. To help them perform their very best, simply ask how you can help them.
They will perhaps ask for your help with a creative project or task or seek advice on how to get into art school or bear into the industry. You could even take them in as apprentice, offer to send them to classes or workshops, and recommend them to your peers. Show them that you care about their personal growth.
In the eyes of some people, you are more than just an artist to them but an influence, one who will have a lasting impact not only in their careers but in their lives as well. If you are a positive influence, then choose to encourage.