When you choose for your art, you choose for a higher expression of yourself.
This makes life more fulfilling and infinitely more complicated. Because as you go through the process of figuring out what it is you want to express, you find that what is in your mind's eye and what your hands are capable of don't necessarily match up. So you have to reach. And reaching can be very, very humbling and confusing. Because if you are striving for honesty in your art, be it the written word, brush on a canvass or holding clay at the center point on the wheel, you question things. A lot of things.
You question your own motivation, your ability, your talent, your drive, your purpose. And all of those things, plus a million more, are folded into the work you create. Folded in there is something I call the frustration of non-mastery. I have pieces from all the stages of my eighteen years as a potter. I have writings from the last thirty years. And paintings- I don't even really want to admit the amount of painted-over canvasses I have. All of these things signify a process. The same is true of every aspect of visual life.
The longer you do something creative, the more tuned in you become to the details of what it is you are doing. The rooms I paint today don't reflect the rooms I painted in Italy. They are a progression from what I did in Italy. I understand more now. I am clearer on what I want to convey in my own personal environment.
I had to get clear on my own non-mastery of my crafts to accept that any point on the non mastery road is simply a weigh station on the route to mastery. It's all necessary in order to get there.
So, as you work on your craft, whatever it is, you become more in tuned with the vibration you are creating. If you focus and stay humble about what you are doing, you improve - and by improve I mean you actually can be self - critical without being self destructive. There is a healthy amount of ego that should be maintained in the creative process - and a healthy amount of soul. The ego is there to let you know you are doing ok. The soul is there to keep you in touch with where you want to go on your very individual route to mastery of your craft.
As you move through your creative process, embrace the continuous movement you make towards expression of what is a very integral part of you. Understand stymied frustration as a time not to push, and understand the hectic manic periods as the growth from nurturing the frustration. Both are necessary parts of the motor of moving forward with creative expression in all of its form.
Enjoy the ride. It's why we're here.