Be an Artist Who Never Stops Giving Your Gifts to the World

The Human Touch of an Artist
Art doesn’t have anything to do with a paintbrush. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another. Some artists work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.
If art is a human connection that causes someone to change his mind, then you are an artist. Art is not related to craft, except to the extent that the craft helps deliver the change. Art is human. A machine can’t create art, because the intent is what matters.
The Gift Is to the Giver

In the words of Walt Whitman:

The gift is to the giver and comes back most to him — it cannot fail.

I strive to make this principle an essential focus in my life. The light that binds us is built upon a give and take, an influx of inspiration that’s then given back to the world in a way that only we can deliver. Godin writes:

You best give a gift without knowing or being concerned about whether it will be repaid. The magic of the gift system is that the gift is voluntary.
Some people think you can’t be generous until after you become a success. They have to get there’s, and then they will give back. The astonishing fact is that the most successful people in the world are the ones that don’t do it for the money. Artists say, this is for you.
“Real Artists Ship”

It’s gratifying to discuss this point on the final day of my November Writing Challenge.

Shipping means hitting the publish button on your blog. Shipping means showing your presentation to your sales team. Answering the phone. Selling the muffins. Sending out your references. Shipping is the collision between your work and the outside world.

says Godin.

Real artists ship.
The point of being done is not to finish, but to get other things done. Once you’re done, you can throw it away. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring, and keeps you from being done,

writes Godin.

Shipping something out the door, doing it regularly, without hassle, emergency, or fear, this is a rare skill, something that makes you indispensable. Not shipping on behalf of your goal of changing the world is often a symptom of the resistance. Call its bluff; ship always. The work is about making a difference. Ship things that make a change.
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