As an artist, there is one main asset I didn’t even cover in my last post yet it is the most important of all. Even more important than cash. Really? More important than cash? B…b…but cash is king! What could possibly be more important?
You are the one thing that bookkeeping can’t account for and yet you are the most important asset there is. No one can make your art like you. No one can even make you create art. You are the one that has to make the decision to do it and to stay with it.
You need to take care of yourself.
I never realized how important my hands were until I had both of wrists in metal braces and could barely wiggle my fingers.
My mentor was a fantasy author who loved her characters so passionately she wrote several books about them, had a screenplay worked up and was talking to people about getting it made into a movie, and had written the musical score to go with the movie. But she smoked and it killed her. While her books were published (and faded into obscurity), she never got the movie produced. It died on the vine. I think of her when I hear Wayne Dyer’s quote, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”
So do stop every once in awhile and make sure you’re taking care of yourself. This not only includes eating right, exercising, and pampering yourself (along with all that other ya-ya people always say when they tell you to take care of yourself), but to take a moment to relax, read, learn, practice. You need to stay sharp physically and mentally. As they said about the Sword of Gryffindor in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie part 1, take in that which makes you stronger. Try something new. Keep adding to your skills. Yes, you can take certain expenses in your own development, like the cost of classes, but as I said when I started this piece, you are one thing that can’t go on the books and knowledge is something that can’t be taken away from you. Those unique skills and your knowledge combine to become your style and your voice — it’s how your art ends up expressing itself to the world.
So when you’re doing your monthly financial evaluation as I’ve recommended before, ask yourself what you’ve done for yourself lately. Don’t let your art die on the vine. Keep growing the asset that is you!