Wondering if your art is relevant? This is for you!

A creative pep talk for artists and creatives: we need your art!

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On this episode of the Art with Soul podcast, I offer you a short – and I hope inspiring – creative pep talk for the days when you’re feeling confused and low about your artist’s journey. If you’ve ever wondered if your art….your creativity…is relevant, this episode is for you. You’ll find the transcript {lightly edited for readability} below.

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Let me ask you a question.

Why do you paint?

Before that, do you paint?

Are you equal parts drawn to arts and creative practices and afraid of them? Do you think that art, that painting, that creativity, is a waste of time?

Do people around you ask you why you paint? What do you get out of it?

Do they ask you what’s the point of painting in a journal, or on paper?

Do they tell you that if you don’t paint on a canvas, that maybe you’re not an artist?

That if you don’t sell your work, your art is not relevant?

Even if no one is actually saying any of these things, some of these questions are very much a part of our overculture. And some of these questions are thrown at us by our own inner critics.

Also read: How to silence your inner critic and create fearlessly

The entire passion to profit industry – and yes, it is an industry – is built on the assumption that you must monetize your art, your creativity.

There’s no place for hobby.

There’s no place for a calling that’s so deep, so insistent, that it must be answered regardless of anything and everything else. Where things like money and growing your following matter less than creating.

And that, I think, is one of the tragedies of these times. That while we can be connected through pixels and bytes with people from across the world, we can also be made to feel less than – and that comes from comparison, from this push to monetization.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that – not at all! But rather, that it’s perfectly ok to not want to monetize, either. And that is something that is so rarely spoken about or encouraged.

Art for art’s sake. For expressing what is inside on the page.

For creating art, even messy, ugly art.

Art that’s not picture perfect or gallery worthy.

Art that expresses what’s in your soul.

That. Art.

The importance of following your calling without expectations….without expecting your creativity to pay the bills….or for your art to be gallery worthy, whatever that means!

There’s a certain pressure we can feel around our creative practice. There are times when despite what we know to be our own personal truth, the noise of the overculture can chip away at it, until we are left questioning ourselves and our worth.

But the truth is that what’s most important, is the act of creation. Of putting paint to paper, or throwing clay on the wheel, or knitting a pair of gloves – whatever your creative expression is… The doing of that is what is important.

That drive. That urge. That spark within… It’s important to hold on to that creative urge. As the ever wise poet Mary Oliver said:

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

So if you’re feeling less than, unsure of, confused about, afraid to pick up the paintbrush and express yourself, treat this as an invitation to just take a deep breath, pick up your tools, and bravely create.

Create what is in your heart…and if you feel like you’re not yet able to capture what you see in your mind on the page, keep creating your art anyway. Because with time and practice you will get better at your craft – that’s just the normal and natural way of things.

Create because you must.

Not to prove anything to anyone, not to have your creativity prove anything to you. Create because its your calling. That is enough.

I hope that this little pep talk reminds you to shake off the overculture, to tune in to yourself…that it inspires you to get your tools out and create. Because you must. Because you and your art are relevant. Because it is important.

If you have a friend who you know needs a little motivation, please press share. More artists….more creatives…more of those who are still afraid to begin, who are confused about what their art needs to be, need to hear this.

From my creative heart to yours – please, create more art!

Posted in Mindset for artists, The Art with Soul Podcast.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. I enjoyed listening to this post so much, Shinjini. You are so warm while you tak. I need to learn this from you. And yes, I feel that every passion is not meant to be turned into a profession. I agree that create because it’s your calling.

  2. I have gone through this kind of criticism both from within and from others. When people realize that what you do is not fetching you income, it is automatically looked down upon. Whether it is art, writing, dancing, anything. I sometimes think that “making money” is the only qualification for being successful/happy these days. I am happy that you wrote this. I am sure there are many out there who need to read this too!

    • Making money is not the only marker for success or happiness – it’s just the one that has been drilled into our head from what everyone out there says. It’s so important to do the things you do and that you love even if they make no sense to anyone else but you.

  3. This post speaks to me. The desire of not wanting to monetise whether it is our blogs or our art or any other form of creative expression is okay. Yesterday I sat down to crochet with no definite plan of what I want to make, which pattern or stitches I am going to make and which colour combinations I am going to use. I sat down laying down all colours of scrap yarn beside me and crocheted listening to my intuition. It gave me bliss.

  4. Shinjini, I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear this. At various points in life, I’ve found myself confronted with the very same questions and the self doubts that you’ve highlighted in your post about pursuing the creative journey particularly so, for those of us who don’t do art/writing for any kind of monetization. Many of us go through our creative work, often indirectly depending on others for some sort of validation as if one ought not to be creative—be it art or writing if there is no money involved! To create for the sake of creativity has been my mantra and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Thanks to your lovely podcast, a lot of my questions have been answered and I feel glad that I’m not the only one in this journey.
    Will gladly share this with my friends, coz more of us need to read this today.
    Take care,

    • I am so glad that this resonated with you Esha – and I’m sure there are more of us out there who feel similarly. Life – and creativity – is about so much more than monetization, and we don’t really need any external validation for our art or creative practices. It feels good to receive love and praise for our creativity, but even if we don’t get ‘likes’ or have many thousand followers or make any money from our art, even if no one else sees our art, it’s still relevant and important!

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