Follow Your Art and the World Will Take Notice
Cultivating Creativity from What You Already Know and Love
I just got back from Gidget’s ranch with a bounty of fresh cauliflower, lettuce, mustard greens, baby carrots, and sweet tangerines.
Our friendship began decades ago when I had this crazy passion to ride a horse. I had two young boys finally in pre-school and had the mornings free for my heart’s desire. Every day I’d drop the kids off and head to the barn.
Gidget and I would saddle up and ride for hours through the trails of Hidden Hills in Calabasas, and then go for a big breakfast of ranch eggs, bacon, and sweet herbal tea at the Good Earth Cafe.
As the years went by, Hidden Hills became more crowded with huge homes of the rich and famous, crowding out the riding trails and replacing the comfortable little ranch homes. It was no longer a safe haven to ride.
Sometimes your commitment to follow your art means leaving behind what once felt safe.
One day, Gidget announced she’d bought 5 acres of land in the hills of a sleepy little town in Murrieta, a good 2 hours from LA. My riding buddy was leaving me, but off on an adventure to give vision to the next part of her life.
I didn’t expect what I saw on my first visit to the new ranch. I pulled up and checked the address. Gidget couldn’t possibly have abandoned the beautiful hills of Calabasas for this little trailer in the middle of 5 acres of dirt. There was not one blade of grass, one hint of a tree, not one bit of anything green anywhere… But there were her horses, happy as can be in the middle of this big field of dirt and rocks.
She told me she bought a hundred trees for a hundred dollars, and I said: “let me see.” She showed me a tiny box that arrived in the mail packed full of tiny seedlings.
My friend had a secret vision only she could see.
Over the years, the artistic expression of that vision created something quite remarkable. Gidget’s ranch evolved into a vision of wonder, and yes, those trees grew majestic and strong.
Gidget never bought a single creature, they all just arrived at the ranch as a refuge for the animals, those who are lost, wounded, or no longer wanted. She restores and resurrects their ability to exist in nature. Some leave and return to the wild, and some live forever in the world of Gidget.
The ranch is so remarkable, it has been featured in news stories. Her miraculous beaver rescue was the subject of an Animal Planet show on television!
She cultivated gardens and trees and ponds with swans. When you take a basket into her garden, you return with the freshest lettuce, sweet peaches, and fragrant basil.
What arose from Gidget’s love of animals, plants, and all of nature, was an artistic expression of such magnitude, when people visit, it becomes a destination to return, again and again.
Art comes alive in many forms.
Art emerges in many forms; it’s not limited to “art” categories like paintings, photographs, sculptures, or books… it can be 5 acres of dirt that come alive with orchards, gardens, ponds, and a revolving door of rescued animals.
Great art transcends the ordinary and becomes something that transforms us.
My beautiful friend taught me that art is not confined to a category or a figure of worth. She cultivated an emotional experience. Everyone who visits her ranch is changed by it, and that’s what great art does. It transcends the ordinary and becomes something that transforms us.
Isn’t it time to cultivate your unique expression of art?
Your art is the vision that is already planted inside of you. You feel it, but you just keep waiting for something or someone to tell you… it’s time. And it is time. Your time.
Figure out what your art is and start doing the work.
Your job is to figure out what your expression of art is, and do the work. It will reveal itself from the story you’ve already lived. Look to your life, your love, and passions that happened long ago.
Is it art? Writing? Music? Baking? Dreams of entrepreneurship? It’s time to resurrect them to see if they hold a burst of new creative energy that you were hoping for all along.
Your art grows as you make it the focus of your life. Maybe your blog on Medium.com turns into a book or the painting you put aside long ago ignites fresh sparks to finish it. Is it the song you’ve had in your heart, or the garden you envision for your backyard? The possibilities are endless when you dive into the creative seeds planted long ago.
If you haven’t realized your art yet, you’re not making it important enough.
The key to making your artistic expression come alive is to commit to it. That’s right. Make it important by holding yourself to a commitment, a schedule, and a ritual to carry it out. Then… watch it grow. At that moment you’ve given the universe a call to action.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Paulo Coelho, author, The Alchemist
You will know the moment someone tells you they love your song, your painting, your garden… or that your book changed their life.
Imagine that. When it happens, it will tingle the hair on your arms, you’ll feel a quiver in your heart, and every morning will bring a burst of new creativity.
Now you’re transformed, and you’ll never be able to live without your art again.
Follow your art, and the world will take notice whether it’s one life you touch or many. It doesn’t matter because it’s the best feeling in the world.
Thank you for reading this! I have a 2 page, Free Creativity Mindset Checklist for you that expands on some of the ideas I share about committing to a creative life.
**Previously published on Medium.com**