Defeating a Starving Artist Mindset

Split dime on the streetI remember when I used to hang out with creative friends around Southeast Portland in the Foster area.  For years I hadn’t realized that area had it’s own art scene behind the doors run-down buildings, where people made the best of what they had living in garages or their studios and that sort of thing, working blue collar jobs, doing creative projects, and hanging out at the bars and coffeehouses.  An interesting crowd and great people.  They were my people in a way, though I actually lived in Gresham, a lower to middle class neighborhood with an authentic Mexican food cart on every corner.

Artists have often been stereotyped as poor, eccentric, and a bit on the nutty side.  I suppose that’s true for many people.  It’s hard to go against the status quo and here’s where the mindsets set in.  Some call it the “poverty” mentality, but I’m specifically thinking of creative types.  Then we play the victim and make problems an identity.  Like the 60s counterculture being all hip and natural, jobless and showerless with old rags.  Or the emos and goths in the 2000s.

I’m in the process right now of changing mindsets and want to help others do the same.  Hearing the viewpoints of the business world, various bloggers, and hanging out with different friends influenced me in a positive way as well as my own personal growth and simply believing what Scripture has to say.  I concentrated more on hearing about successful people rather than just artists and musicians.  Athletes, businessmen, inventors, etc.

In Seattle last year I was impacted how they were just as creative as my hometown, but they seem to make more impact with their creativity.  Not just in business and tech, but in music and the arts.

The prosperity guys Christian and secular do have some good points, and there is Biblical merit for prosperity in Proverbs.  I don’t care for pop self-help lingo, but I’ll take some of the good points and translate them so it won’t sound like 7 ways to happiness, blah, blah, blah.

When we see someone else with a nice car or nice possessions, shouldn’t we be glad that God blessed them, or are we secretly envious?  I suppose some can be greedy and prideful, but isn’t that between them and God?  Yes, James has a lot to say to rich guys in sin.  But if you’re not rich, then maybe you should let the rich worry about those judgements?  And there’s a difference between being modest and humble according to the teachings of Jesus and being poor.

I don’t like to see the extravagance of preachers and their gold couches on television, when there are so many starving people in the world.  But really, what real preachers do you actually know that act like that?  Most Christians and preachers I know are just regular people getting by.  It would be so awesome if the pastors I do know got blessed with prosperity, because I trust them.

Insecurities and fears might not be sin, but they sure are strongholds.  You rationalize by feeling self-righteous in your poverty.  “I don’t do art for money, I wouldn’t sell out.”  “Look at how greedy and prideful they are, I’m glad I’m not like that.” In the meantime you’re busy working low-end corporate jobs to eat instead of making an actual impact on the world by figuring out how to make a live a life with your talents.

If you don’t want to be prosperous, content to “just get by”, how are you going to give out when you’re scrambling to make ends meat?  I want to make a difference, and I can’t sit idly by while so many injustices are happening.  Maybe you aren’t rich.  Neither am I at the moment.  But I know God provides.  I know my mindset has to change as doubt and cynicism disappear little by little.  If not for me, than for others in the world.

Category: Arts and Music, Dreams and Goals, Faith, Personal Growth |

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