I’ve been an artist my whole life. I can’t recall ever not making some form of art, even as a child. I grew up living in the middle of nowhere, confined to a tiny box: my bedroom. Here is where my desires, my passions, my sexuality, my artistic nature, everything that made me, ME, was buried deeper each day until I burst… my bedroom was a collage of paintings on the walls, posters, pictures, lights, stickers, drawings… a real kaleidoscope of untamed artistic explosions in a life that was determined to hold me back. I couldn’t keep it inside, no matter how hard I tried. The walls of my bedroom, my art, became the only outlet for me. My bedroom was like a desperate cry for help, to get me out of that box. To break free from my life and venture out into the world to discover myself.
Fast forward over 20 years...
...and that never dimmed. I’ve morphed from brushes to finger painting, turning glass vessels to hand painted horror lamps, crafts to mold making and sculpture, from drawing cartoons to finger sketching animal portraits, from writing and filmmaking to theatre and producing live art competitions… digital and graphic art? Check. Website design? Of course! Can’t you tell? I do design and manage my own website and marketing materials, after all. I flit between animals to nudes to abstract to movies to horror... These are all great, and I love doing them all, but they are all just pit stops on this endless artistic odyssey.
And that’s not even touching on my equally prolific passion for writing everything from novels to screenplays. That’s a whole other beast.
But here's the problem… While I revel in this vibrant, ever-evolving landscape, the whispers of "find your thing" echo like a haunting melody. I scroll through Instagram (I know, not the greatest idea. I wrote a post about it here), awestruck by the masters of one domain – the portrait whisperers, the landscape alchemists, the abstract gods. They've found their niche, their audience, and they've perfected their "thing," churning out masterpieces with clockwork precision, or so their Insta profiles would have me believe.
Me? I dabble, I dive deep, I get good (sometimes, really good), but then I get bored, and the horizon beckons me towards the next endeavor, like an itch that begs to be scratched… I think, sure, this is great, and I’m great at it, but do I want to spend the rest of my life doing this one thing? My passion fades and craves new fuel. It’s like a persistent urge to push further, to defy being defined by one definition.
This restless spirit, this insatiable hunger to explore, it's both a blessing and a curse. The world is my canvas, and I'm an artist with an ever-expanding toolbox. But sometimes, the fears whisper to me – “will I ever find success if I'm constantly changing lanes?” The "what ifs" gnaw at me – “what if I could just pick one thing, hone it to perfection, and build an empire of consistency?” Would I be successful if I only did ONE thing, over and over? Could that become my full time job? Would I be content with that? That seems to work for everyone else who has “made it.”
That just isn’t me. I’m a creative person, not a photocopier! I can’t just spit out the same thing over and over again forever. I find joy in the discovery, the thrill of the unknown, the way each new art form unlocks a hidden door within me. My journey may be a winding path, but it's mine. And maybe, just maybe, the magic lies not in finding "one thing," but in embracing the kaleidoscope of all things, the constant evolution, the beautiful, messy symphony of my restless, creative soul.
The Restless Wanderer
My creative process is a fickle beast. I wake up each morning, sometimes with a clear plan, and get to work. I might start with the goal of painting a canvas, and some days I do so with laser focus. This might go on all week and I’ll finish with half a dozen pieces of great new art. This obsession, often the way it feels when I dive into a new thing, is the only air I breathe, the only language I speak. For days, weeks, even months, the world shrinks to the boundaries of this new project or medium or idea.
Then, just like that, the wind shifts. A stray thought sparks an idea, or my mind gets restless, and the once consuming project finds itself on hold, a half-painted canvas in a dusty corner with the others. A partially written story or idea in a file of dozens. Another business endeavor that could fill another lifetime of work, but may never come to fruition. I was recently certain I was going to start painting a series of movie themed art, like vintage movie posters, but after starting two, my mind switched over to creating a whole new line of horror merch and adding a new section to my website, The Horror Market.
See? I didn’t know that was coming, but I absolutely love it, and I now have over 35 products in just a few short weeks.
The internal conflict is a constant tango. I want recognition and success. But success, they say, thrives on consistency, on a brand, a signature style. How do I build a castle on shifting sands? How do I carve a niche when my artistic spirit is constantly unsettled?
The whispers of doubt creep in. "you’re unfocused," they hiss. "Scattered," they sneer. "A jack of all trades, but master of none." Am I a chameleon, blending into every canvas but never truly belonging? Or am I a mosaic, each fragment contributing to a bigger, breathtaking picture?
Artistic passions aside, I feel that way in life, in general… and I don’t know the answer. Because I haven’t found that financial “success” or "fame" or even widespread recognition yet, I’m forced to work mundane “regular jobs” to survive, and they inevitably take my time away from my passions, drain my energy, and fuel my fear of never achieving anything I want in life. It’s a real struggle. To be financially successful in “the real world” you need to do well at work and put in the effort, but every minute of effort spent there is one not spent on my calling, my path. It would be easy to just settle and find a career, but my career is my art… one day.
Yet, amidst the doubts, a defiant spark ignites. A will that lives deep within. It awakens every morning as I do and speaks to me.
“I will not give up on myself. I am worth more than this job. I will not give in and settle for this life. If other people can do it, so can I.”
This drive, this insatiable hunger to explore, evolve, experiment, it's not a weakness, it's my superpower. It's the fuel that propels me forward each day, the compass that guides me through uncharted territories. It's the reason I wake up each morning, not with trepidation, but excited to see what new adventure my restless muse will conjure up.
So, yes, I may be a chameleon, blending into different artistic landscapes, but I'm not lost. I'm evolving, growing, becoming a richer, more vibrant version of myself with every brushstroke, every mouse click, every line of text I type. And maybe, just maybe, that's the true definition of success – not finding “one thing," but embracing the boundless beauty of the journey, the endless possibilities that lie within the restless heart of a creative wanderer.
The challenges will remain, the doubts will still echo. But remember, dear fellow wanderer, your soul is not a singular brushstroke, but a vibrant, ever-evolving canvas. Each experiment, each exploration, adds a layer of depth to the masterpiece that is you. Embrace the journey, celebrate the constant change, and find joy in the knowledge that you are a living, breathing testament to the boundless beauty of artistic exploration.
Forget the golden trophy of traditional success. For restless souls like us, it's time to forge our own paths, redefine our metrics, and create our own version of "making it." True success, for us, lies not in a singular masterpiece, but in the vibrant tapestry of our artistic evolution. It's the personal growth gleaned from each experiment, the joy of pushing boundaries, the thrill of discovering hidden facets of our creative spirit. It's in the quiet fulfillment of knowing that our diverse expressions contribute to a unique and impactful body of prolific works of art.
To the restless hearts, the artistic nomads, the ones who wake up each day with a kaleidoscope in their souls: let the whispers of "find your thing" fade into the background noise.
We are not broken puzzles in search of a single piece.
Forget the cookie-cutter molds of traditional achievement.
Shatter the boxes that try to contain you.
Choose joy over validation, fulfillment over fame.
I choose the path less traveled, the winding road that leads to a summit only I can see. And there, on that peak, bathed in the warm glow of my own artistic truth, I will find my success. It may not be the success others see, but it will be a symphony only my soul can play, a masterpiece only my heart can create.
Unleash your heart, with Blair Mueller Art! Join me, fellow artistic nomads, in this revolution of creative freedom. Share your stories, your struggles and your triumphs in the comments below.
Until next time,