Artists are not just people with brushes and pallets.
An artist is a mindset that all people can benefit from, entrepreneur and thought leader Seth Godin claims, in his manifesto, We Are All Artists Now.
The world has become so much more abundant with opportunities. But what stops us from acting on these opportunities is the departure of your comfort zone. It's difficult to leave a well-defined track and start something new without a map to guide them, and that's what stops a lot of people.
"If you become someone who is uncomfortable unless she is creating change, restless if things are standing still, and disappointed if you haven’t failed recently, you’ve figured out how to become comfortable with the behaviors most likely to make you safe going forward."
I've become really uncomfortable with my place in life right now. In college, I'm not creating change, I'm just feeding off of the world's resources like a little parasite. What good am I doing for the world by completing some arbitrary abstract problem sets for 4 years?
Why can't I contribute now?
Some might say this is impatience; I just think it's silly to delay the impact you'll have on the world.
I know there's no map out there for me, but I can make the connections between what other successful people have done and create a totally unique path for myself.
That's what art is.
"Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another. Most painters, it turns out, aren’t artists at all—they are safety-seeking copycats.
Seizing new ground, making connections between people or ideas, working without a map— these are works of art, and if you do them, you are an artist, regardless of whether you wear a smock, use a computer, or work with others all day long.
Speaking up when there’s no obvious right answer, making yourself vulnerable when it’s possible to put up shields, and caring about both the process and the outcome—these are works of art that our society embraces and the economy demands."
Art is not simply bound by its material definition. Art is about connecting people together, through works, projects, and missions that otherwise wouldn't. It's a way to express yourself and build real human connections.
Employers today want artists, not just competent employees.
With so many options available for hiring these days, can you really seek to be the most competent for the job?
Instead, it may be better to focus on offering new ideas, creating new solutions, and connecting people from different backgrounds together. In a world where competency is commonplace, my objective is to differentiate myself through what employers need more of:
"What’s scarce is trust, connection, and surprise. These are three elements in the work of a successful artist.
The value we create is directly related to how much valuable information we can produce, how much trust we can earn, and how often we innovate."
It's possible to escape this rat race of who has the higher GPA, where you got your degree(s), and how many certifications do you have.
You're an artist.
So make something.