|Ask this guy if you should quit...|
- "Do you work with anyone or are you looking for only the super talented?"
- "Am I super talented?"
- "How do I know I am supposed to do this?
- "If I don't find success with my art, should I just quit?"
- "Paper or plastic?"
- "Would you like to sign up for our rewards program?"
But let's explore the others, as I think they are questions that many people we meet seem to struggle with.
1. "Do you work with anyone or are you looking for only the super talented?"
The short answer is anyone who has a heart for ministry, and has an obvious talent for singing, playing, songwriting, or some combination of those, NEEDS to be out ministering. So yeah, we will work with them. But we have pretty high production standards and pricing that is not exactly cheap, so there's a bar that keeps people who don't think they should, from in fact doing.
But even if you are a creative person in your church (music or other) and you want to pursue your art on a local or regional level, then you SHOULD! What are you waiting for?
2. "Am I super talented?"
I don't know, probably not. I mean true, unmitigated talent doesn't come around that often. Look at American Idol and think of the thousands of pretty decent singers out there, many that are better than you. But even the BEST of these are really only pretty good and not something you hear and go "Whoa, what is that?" We all notice amazing, new, and undeiable talent like Norah Jones, John Mayer, Sting, Beyonce, and Adele (not necessarily in that order).
But is "super talented" needed? I don't think so. What's needed is soul and the willingness to use it. That's all that really matters anyway.
"Creativity is, foremost, being in the world soulfully, for the only thing we truly make, whether in the arts, in culture, or at home, is soul." - Thomas Moore
3. "How do I know I am supposed to do this?
One of the first things we talk about with artists is: When did you get this Calling? Besides "wanting" to do it, when do you feel you were Called to do it? (Like, by the Holy Spirit).
That's a pretty good indication that maybe this is for you, although it can be a little hard to tell. We hear quite a bit someone saying "God told me this" and "God told me that". "I was hungry and God told me I needed a Big Mac." "Hey Mac, God said to call you, and by the way can I borrow your lawn mower?"
But usually I find that artists have had a revelation that they need to do more than attend church and sing along, or even more than just to sing on the worship team. It's very tough, because vanity and desire for attention, plus our own LOVE of what we do creatively can get in the way of what God truly wants. But I truly believe there's a surer way to tell if God specially designed you to do something: You can't not do it.
Which leads directly to this:
4. "If I don't find success with my art, should I just quit?"
Well, yes, I would say if you feel in your heart that you want to completely quit, and moreover you CAN just leave it all and never look back, then you probably should do exactly that.
What? The Creative Soul cheerleaders telling people to quit being creative? Well, yes, it's true, start the gossip.
But verily I say unto ye, "If you can be dissuaded from pursuing your craft, if in your mind you can turn it off and say I'm not going to do this creative thing anymore, then you probably didn't need to be doing it in the first place." And yes you can quote ME on that one.
The people I work with that have success year after year have one thing that many others don't (or won't) have, and that's the uncanny ability to NOT QUIT. They don't get done with their CD and say, "OK I did that", and then move on. They don't see how hard it is to get gigs and sell product and market online, and go, "I'm just gonna stack these CDs in the garage and do something else!" No, they keep at it. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year.
They don't quit.
"Never, never, never give up." - Winston Churchill
I fully believe in this, because it's that way for me too. I just can't quit. No matter how much burnout I face, no matter how many obstacles or trials, no matter how much I DON'T sell online...I just keep thinking of stuff. I keep writing, I keep playing, I keep recording, I keep blogging, I keep doing ALL the creative stuff I always have.
It's the secret of my success. I can never, ever quit.
Have a great week,
Eric Copeland obviously can't quit blogging that's for sure, cause it keeps happening. If you want to find out more about what his unique company Creative Soul does for Christian artists, check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com