Have you ever been blessed with a ton of artist talent, but had no idea what to do with it? Have you ever just sat around like a stale muffin, wondering what you should do with your life?
Well, friend. You’ve come to the right place.
Today I’d like to give you five whimsical suggestions for what to do if you have no life, and you’re looking for something to do.
1. Become a traveling muralist
Imagine this: a person with a healthy amount of creativity wakes up in the morning, goes through their usual morning routine, packs a suitcase full of paint tubes, and sets out to conquer the world with color.
Their first door (okay, let’s be realistic, it would probably be their 43rd door, at least) is cracked open by one of those lovely old ladies who most likely lives with 43 cats and promptly snaps, “Whatever you’re selling, I don’t want it!”
But before she can slam the door, the artist smoothly whips out the suitcase, and says, “How about a world full of color?”
She cracks the door open again, and says, “You know… what the hey?”
And the artist goes on to create a one of a kind masterpiece, specially for this lovely old lady. Something that will make her happy every time she sees it.
The artist leaves with a little less paint in the suitcase, but they’ve made a new friend. And then it’s on to the next door.
and the next…
and the next…
Until someone else opens the door and says, “Whatever you’re selling, I don’t want it!”
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Well, maybe you don’t like knocking on doors. Maybe you’re more introverted, and would rather have an occupation that you can pursue at home. Well, my friend, this next one is for you.
2. Illustrate the dictionary
Now when you hear this, you may think, “Oh, wow. An illustrated dictionary. I already have one of those.”
Well… I actually had something else in mind.
Get this: a dictionary, but with ONLY pictures.
You’d have to figure out how to take words like “Inspiration,” “Metaphysics,” “Socks,” “Set,” “Oscillococcinum,” etc., and turn them into pictures that illustrate their definitions in a way that’s completely comprehensible, even to the most average joe.
Sure, it would be hard. Maybe even impossible. But impossible was never a word that stopped us creative people. And you would go down in history as a true innovator, who wrote a dictionary without using any words.
Which may be appealing to some, or maybe not, depending on where you’re coming from.
Perhaps you want something a little more fun and less work.
(Wait… who am I kidding? Good art is always work.)
3. Paint other people’s instruments
Because when you don’t know what to do with your talent, you should always opt for painting on things that—under normal circumstances—would get you in trouble. This may include cars, your washing machine, the underside of your friend’s dining table while they’re not home.
The options, or dare I say the painting surfaces, are endless.
But even with all these different possibilities, I believe I could make the argument that custom painted instruments are the most beautiful.* (Please go look at Julie Borden‘s work. I’ve been staring at it for about five minutes, and I better stop before I decide I need to do a piece on my sax.)
And hey, when you do custom work for others, they might even pay you money. And then you’ll be defeating the great myth that artists have to starve.
*If you disagree with this argument, please, by all means, paint your washing machine to be more beautiful and prove me wrong. (And please send me a picture when you’re done, because I need to see that.)
4. Get counseling with a business counselor, start a business making art, be successful, and prove to your fellow artists that they don’t have to starve.
Now this is indeed a noble calling. Someone please do this for me. I don’t want to spend my adulthood eating canned potatoes.
5. Become a Jack-of-All Trades
Well, if you’re still stumped and feeling restless and full of unrealized artistic talent, but can’t decide what to do with your life, why not just do it all?
Say yes to every opportunity. Especially those opportunities for learning and growth.
If someone says, “Hey, you do calligraphy, right? Can you do my Ketubbah?” or “Hey, I know you don’t usually draw animals, but I’d really love a portrait of my camel,” or “Hey, we’re starting a band! Can you play flugelhorn?” Just say yes to everything! Even if you don’t know how. You can always learn along the way.
And pretty soon (if you’re anything like me), you’ll get so overwhelmed, you’ll realize that this isn’t how you want to spend your life.
Maybe then you’ll realize what you TRULY want to do with your life.
And maybe you’ll have the gumption to actually do it.
So there you have it! Five ways to use that amazing talent you’ve been gifted with. If you decide to take up any of these propositions, please ring me a line and let me know how it goes. (Personally, I kind of want to try that first one…)
Until next time, no matter where you’re at in this life—whether it’s deciding what you want to do, or being in the middle of a bunch of stuff that you don’t like doing, or living your dream—I hope you’re making the best of it, and choosing joy no matter what.
Stay lionhearted and conquer the world with color.