EdutainmentMix: Heeding the deeper artistic call

Successful artists share a common trait which is an unwavering commitment to their craft as they are not afraid of hard work and they are often found in the ambience of creativity.

As the year begins, our call is to step into the studio of success through dedicating regular time to our art.

My aim in this coming year as an artist is premised on building a thriving artistic career which becomes a journey that demands time and effort.

Successful artists share a common trait which is an unwavering commitment to their craft as they are not afraid of hard work and they are often found in the ambience of creativity.

Heeding to the artistic call is enmeshed in understanding the importance and the role of the need to sell the art which remains a numbers game, particularly in our morden environment. There is the need in the coming year for artists to have their work seen by a large number of potential buyers across various platforms.

This is something that needs artists to have robust and substantial bodies of work and to achieve this there is the need to make art a full time pursuit.  Unfortunately many Zimbabwean artists leap into fulltime artistry before finding financial success.

The more eyes on your work, the better, and this not only builds your audience but also opens doors for potential buyers and opportunities. Remember, your art deserves to be seen, so let the world discover your creative brilliance in the coming year which is what our deeper artistic call entails.

An artist sees the invisible and makes the unseen become something that is seen. Artists who tell the truth are the mortal enemies of autocrats, who seek to distort the past, the present and the future.

As we enter into the new year, we need artists more than ever to be the conscience of the moment, to reflect back to us in the mirror what this society and this moment is.

We cannot see it because of the creations, fabrications, and reality TV. It makes it so difficult for us to see what we are going through.

Artists are not the only ones who feel called. When a person dedicates their career to religion, to God, we say they have a ‘calling.’

It expands beyond the spiritual as doctors have callings and even teachers too. Anyone who works with a sense of fulfilling a destiny or purpose can be said to have a calling.

In other words, a calling is something outside of ourselves that speaks to something within. It is an impulse, an urge, an invisible sense of direction.

I have met many artists who have not felt called but have seen the path of an artist as a way to feed their ego, celebrity complex and also feed into their bank accounts.

The path of being an artist is never easy, it is not a walk in the park and hence requires someone who is goal oriented.

 As an artist I am driven by an inner compulsion that drives and carries us past the many challenges and the hurdles of life.

It is of note that I have seen many artists suffer many years of confusion before finding the courage to answer and respond to the call.

In our context it also becomes hard to blame the artist because our culture itself does not value creativity as art is placed in a tiny box and dismiss it as irrelevant compared to real vocations.

Heeding to the deeper artistic call in the year 2024 also means recognising that art is not only about talent but there is need for a smart plan.

Whether you want more people to see your art, attract investors, or do better at art fairs and festivals, having a clear roadmap for your art career is crucial.

As we welcome 2024, our deeper call as creatives should be focused on turning a new page in our life story. If you love making art, you know that being creative is a journey that never really stops as  there is always more to discover, new things to try, and ways to get better.

That is why, as the new year begins, it is a good time to think about how we want to grow our art career and make positive changes, both in our art and our lives.

As you embark on the New Year, do not lose sight of the “why.” Find meaning in the process, relish the moments at gallery openings, and savor collaborations if you are a musician, poet or dancer.

 If you tend to seek immediate results, consider breaking free from that perfectionist trap and be in the ambience of more experimental approaches which can help grow the artist works.

While outcomes matter, remember the root reason behind you wanting to take these steps, and let that be your guiding light as it can be a factor that can bring artistic success. It is not just about the destination; it is about enjoying the journey and finding fulfillment in the steps you take as the year starts and hence the need for renewal and positive growth and change.

Comparing yourself to others is a trap that can hinder your creative journey, and in Zimbabwe the art industry is based on comparison which has become a problem affecting the growth of the local industry.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and dwelling on these comparisons will not lead us anywhere productive. As an emerging artist, it can be easy to get caught up in measuring yourself against someone with decades of experience or someone just starting out.

 Instead, shift your focus inward and focus on being authentic and in the process exporting an original Zimbabwean piece of art.

Most importantly let go of the craving for constant praise; not everyone will love your work, and that’s perfectly okay - in fact, it is better that way.

Embrace the fact that your technique or subject might not resonate with everyone; it means you are delving into something interesting and unique.

Self-doubt may creep in, but realise the power in not aiming for universal approval. As an artist, your purpose is not to churn out the most popular mass-produced art for retail giants.

Your true job is to convey something meaningful and connect with someone on a personal level, and this is the deeper artistic call for the year 2024.

  •  Raymond Millagre Langa is musician, poet, orator, independent researcher and founder of Indebo edutainment Trust. You can follow on Facebook @Millagre Ray Langa, on X you can follow on #Millagre Langa, email. [email protected] or [email protected]

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