We act in accordance with who we think we are.
Have you ever thought about that? To listen to my youtube video on the same topic, click here!
I wanted to talk today about your identity as an artist and a person. The results in your artistic career are coming from your actions, and your actions only happen because they are in accordance with how you think about yourself, or your identity. Your identity is constantly being shaped, but by around age 25 or 30 we have a pretty set identity, or way we think of ourselves within our mind. However, change is possible at any age because of the way that the brain is wired.
Most of us can easily identify our biggest goals an aspirations. A few sample goals I have:
- I’d like my work to be on the cover Beautiful Bizarre Magazine
- I’d like to do a residency in France
- I’d like to have a solo show at a great gallery in New York
Goal setting is super important, and it’s actually really vital to identify your goals you want to move towards. It’s like setting a GPS destination. It helps you find direction. When faced with choices, you can ask yourself, does this take me further towards my goal, or away from it? It helps to clarify decisions you make every day with your time and energy.
However, goals in and of themselves won’t get you where you want to go. Because what you REALLY want is to become to type of person who gets asked to show in a great gallery in New York, be on the cover of a great magazine, earns 10k a month, or does a residency in France.
If you don’t truly become the type of person who matches the goal, the goal will always remain elusive to you and far off, or when it does happen you will feel like you don’t deserve it, and will push it away energetically so that it is quickly lost, is a one time fluke, or feels hollow.
Think about this. If you won the lottery tomorrow for a billion dollars, and could pay to make a lot of your artistic goals come true, would that feel the same as winning the opportunities by your talent, hard work and determination? Of course not. When you win opportunities by your talent, hard work, vision and determination, you feel like you deserve every opportunity that comes your way because it is an authentic and sincere effort. This proves that you don’t just want the goal. Nothing against lottery winners—just trying to make a point! You are not actually in pursuit of the goal, you are in pursuit of becoming the kind of person who reaches that goal.
When you become the type of person whose life naturally leads to the goal, it will feel natural, authentic, and deserved.
So how do you become the kind of person that matches your desired goal? It is really a matter of shifting your identity. You must become a new person, one that has a life that creates the outcome of the goal coming true.
A good way to do this is to write down the goal, and find a picture that represents that goal. Look at that picture of the goal you want to experience and then close your eyes and imagine who you have to be in order to reach it. You’ll still be you, of course, but it will be a different version of you!
Let’s say a dream of yours is to make work that will make a cultural impact on the world, and inspire people and make them think for generations to come. You envision your work being collected by museums, covered in art journals, and culturally celebrated. In your vision, you feel really proud of your work, and your identity is as a painter who contributes to society.
Let’s say that right now, that is not your reality. In your current life, you are working a job you dislike, have no time to create your work, and paint maybe once a week. You make art you hope will sell, so price it cheaply and are always thinking about how to market your work. You are thinking short-term.
There is a big difference between the reality you are living in, and the dream of the life you want to live. There is no argument that there is a big difference. But really, the difference is only in identity. Once the identity shifts, things naturally change. It is like rerouting a stream. If you take the time to point it in a different direction at its source, the water will naturally flow in a different way.
So ask yourself these questions to help you shape this new version of your identity.
In your highest version of your artistic career you aspire to…
- Who are you?
- Where do you live?
- What does your work look like?
- What do you do every day in your practice?
- What does your schedule look like?
- What are you wearing?
- What kinds of opportunities do you participate in?
- What kinds of opportunities do you say no to?
- What are three words that describe who you are?
- Who are the people you surround yourself with?
When things change inside you, things change around you.
Once you’ve answered these questions and written them down, now you have a clearer picture of the identity that matches the goal have: it’s you, but 2.0!
However, your brain is going to fight this new identity: after all, you are still living in the same space and going to the same job, with the same friends—essentially, you are still the same person, even through you are telling your brain that you have a new identity. This is when you could get discouraged. Don’t be! Change takes time, and incremental changes in the way you do your day can add up to big results.
You see, our identity is shaped by what we do, just as what we do is shaped by our thoughts about who we are. So a great way to shift into your new identity is to create new habits and stick to them: habits that borrow from the new and improved life of you, 2.0.
Some examples to help you shift into your new identity would be:
- Getting up earlier
- Reading your goals every morning and evening and imagining reaching them
- Adopting the clothing or hairstyle of your new identity
- Spending time with people your new identity would be friends with
- Spending dedicated studio time creating your highest work every day
- Curating your social media presence to only reflect work that your new identity would be proud of
- Submitting to higher opportunities that your new identity would naturally be a part of
- Create a mantra! Read it every day and post it in your studio. Here are some examples: “I’m the kind of person who fulfills my sacred duty as an artist.” “I am the kind of person who makes a deep cultural impact with my artwork”. “I am the kind of person who values the work that I do” “I am the kind of person who works to create a better world through my art.” “I am the kind of person who uses my talent to the fullest of my ability for the good of myself and others”. “I am the kind of person that makes art that is truly amazing.”
- Go new places and switch up your routine. This will help your brain accept a new identity by creating new neural pathways.
- Imagine shutting the door to your past, and opening up a new door that leads to your new identity, and walking through it into the sunlight, and a new level of your life.
- Change the space you live and work in. This could mean moving, decluttering, or rearranging your furniture. This simple change will also help your brain to accept that you have entered a new chapter of your life.
When you become the person whose life naturally leads to the fulfillment of your goals, you will have a sense of authenticity to you and a feeling that you really do deserve your success. The energy you put out will come back to you. There will definitely be some back and forth as you adjust to living as a new identity, because you have identified as your old identity for so long. But as you build trust with yourself by creating new habits, going new places, meeting new people and participating in higher opportunities, your brain will start to accept this new identity. And like a stream falling downhill, the positive consequences of your new identity will start to flow to you. You will start to see results once the momentum gets going.
So I wanted to tell you a way to accelerate your identity change and create a new level of your artistic career. I have a course, “Discover Your Artistic Voice,” that I created using the exact same methods that I used to uplevel my own art practice and create a consistent, heartfelt and stylistically cohesive body of work, that will prepare you to create your best body of work ever. A consistent and strong body of work is vital when submitting to opportunities, whether that be a grant, a gallery, or any kind of artistic proposal. For a limited time I’m doing a free 20 minute personalized Zoom consultation with you, to find out where you are in your art career, what your goals are in your art career, and how to reach them. I will help you identify where you are in your art career and what might help you to reach them, as quickly as possible. To schedule your zoom call, click the button below or email email@example.com.
In the call, we will go over your background, your current lifestyle, your artistic career goals, your challenges, and wether “Discovering Your Artistic Voice” would be a good fit for you. If you decide to move forward with the course, you will get a seven module course, including video training, worksheets, exercises, and the bonus of a second 20 minute individual Zoom call with me to go over how to implement the tactics into your specific art career. This is so much value and coming from someone who has been where you have! I know how it feels to not have your career moving forward, to hear the discouraging voices in your head and feel like things will never change. But I also know how it feels to break free of those habits and beliefs, and see internal change, followed by massive external change. It all starts within you.
If you’d like to check out Discovering Your Artistic Voice, you can go to www.jessicalibor.com/quicklinks and follow the button there to check it out.
And I just wanted to read a recent testimonial for the course. Casey said, “Discovering Your Artistic Voice has been such a find for me! I had been struggling to realize what my unique style is so I purchased this course. It took me down paths of discovery that I’ve never been exposed to ever! I go to explore my unique preferences in the areas that would allow my inner iconic style to emerge. These lessons really allowed for me to get focused on how to breathe life into the stories and visuals I want to create with my art!”
Thanks so much Casey! You can follow Casey’s art on instagram at @caseymichelleart .
So if you’d like to schedule your free 20 minute Zoom call, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the calendar to book your slot below. I look forward to meeting you and helping to serve you in making your artist dreams come true!
Until next time, stay creative!
With love, light and creativity,