Friday, April 4, 2014

A Call To Arms: Find Your Voice

Artwork by Alisa Steady, 24 x 24,  Copyright 2014
I can tell you what being an artist is not...
It is not easy.
It is not always fun.
It not a hobby, or a way to kill time.
It is not unimportant.
It is not for the faint of heart.

Let me tell you what being an artist is...
It is immensely rewarding.
It is highly disciplinary.
It is hard work.
It is heart breaking.
It is joyful beyond words.

And one of the hardest things an artist will ever do is find his / her true authentic voice.

What is a true authentic voice? Well, that's the hard part. What is it exactly?

I'm learning that your true authentic voice is the creativity that is wholly yours. Unencumbered by other voices you admire, and uninhibited by what others might expect from you as an artist (and mind you, this applies to anyone following a passion, be it art, writing, photography, merging businesses, buying stocks, owning a horse ranch...everyone).

A true authentic voice is YOU minus the expectations the world and society puts on you and your chosen dream profession.

And it's hard to combat all the external "you shoulds" and "past historical evidence says" and and and and....
In my artist world, I see too many artists NOT painting with their true authentic voices. Instead they are painting the backup chorus to another artist's true authentic voice. It's easy to do. I have done it as well. You see an artist you love, admire, and want to "be" like - and bam. Next thing you know you're painting like 'em.

It's human nature.

But, it's also human nature to say, "Eff this. I'm going after my own artistic voice, move over...." But that's the really really really hard part, guys. Digging in DEEP, tunneling down through all the shit, past the images of favorite artists and paintings, right into the DEPTHS of your soul to quietly hear your own voice sing. And then, after a time of searching for it, you find it and slowly bring it up through the depths and out into the world - and it's scary as hell. Because - what if no one likes the sound of your true authentic voice??

But I'm here to reassure you that - if you truly paint from what is wholly YOU and only you (and this can take years, guys. Anything worth sacred is worth the blood sweat and tears to find it), the world will embrace your voice, and will want to hear it all the time.

So, that is my latest breakthrough. I'm in the midst of it, but I'm getting there.

I am embarking on the most wonderful adventure of my life - finding my true authentic voice.

Want to join me? Let's find our voices!!


  1. So TRUE! A nice theme and ARTWORK ( =

    1. Amen Sue, and thank you for your compliments. :o) xo

  2. I really appreciate this post and your candor, Alisa. I am the beginning phases of reclaiming my artistic abilities, so it feels like I am in the drudges of the yuck. Your words encourage me to keep going because on the other side, my voice will be clearer and I will enjoy the end result in a different way. Thanks for being so inspirational and honest.
    (Meg M.)

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Meg! Finding your true authentic voice isn't an easy task. I think that's why a lot of people are discouraged to do what it takes to actually get there. Go you!! (me, too!)

  3. It seems, in my case, it takes years to shuck off that 'traditional' baggage. If I convince myself that it's all about 'playing' then I get off to a great, spontaneous, start. It's the final pulling it all together that requires some hard work, frustration, but joy when it all comes right.

    1. No one said it was easy pulling it all together - but the end result? Authentically you. It's always a work in progress, over the span of our creative lifetimes. xoxo

  4. "Let's find our voices!!" Yes, let's! Love this blog post, Alisa. It speaks to me as a writer, too. So, so easy to get caught up in mimicking another writer's voice and not hearing your own clearly. But, hey, I'm working on it, my creative friend! Blessings!

    1. Thank you for your comment! Yep - not mimicking someone else is a daily exercise. It's very hard to not be influenced, in fact, down right impossible! But...everyone has their own unique signature. Finding it is the discipline. xoxo