When one of my most loyal customers, Amy requested a new painting, I decided this project was the perfect opportunity to collaborate with an up-and-coming artist.
It's safe to assume I do ordinary things in “unique” ways. Let me introduce you to dream clouds. It is basically goal setting, but instead of making a list, I draw empty clouds on a few of the pages in my journal, and as I come up with dreams for my life, business, family, I write them in the clouds. I have found that creating dream clouds is much more fun than lists, and zero intimidating. When I see the dreams become a reality, I get to color in the clouds. Win. Win.
One of my dream clouds is to intentionally use my experience, passion, and platform to disciple at least one young artist coming up behind me. This was the perfect project to move past the talking phase and add practical experience. I shared the idea and what I hoped to accomplish, and Amy was excited to be part of it. I have the best customers. I just love y'all!
A couple of years ago, the artistic tendencies of one of the sweetest now thirteen-year-olds I know caught my eye. Over the years, she has taken classes with talented local artists, and her skills have just come alive.
We have talked out strategies and how she should price out her art. We've processed finding a healthy balance that lets her make some side hustle money but not get so busy or overwhelmed that art loses its magic in her life. We have discussed how she can use her art as a blessing; we have hashed out fears and dreams. Yes, she is that introspective and that talented. I have commissioned her to paint art for me, but this would be a fun new step: Creating a piece of art together.
I shared a picture of the inspiration, and she agreed. She would watercolor the background, and I would add the details and lettering. I watched her ride all of the artistic emotions: elated with how it went, something went wrong, she had to start over, the highs, the lows. I saw her push through discouragement and prove to herself that she was even more capable than she realized. I think this art is just stunning. I am so proud of how it turned out. Collaborative pieces are the best-case scenario because the recipient gets the talent of multiple creatives.
What is in your dream cloud that ensures you leave a lasting legacy? It's so easy to get caught up in your to-do list and forget that our bigger purpose involves relationships and investing in other people. It's so easy to micromanage and control things in the pursuit of perfection, but miss the point of living. We each carry the banner of someone who gave us a chance and invested in us or the scars and holes of those who didn't. We each have a choice to expand our dream clouds or clench things so tightly that we dry out.
Isn't it poetic that this piece reminds us all to 'just breathe'?
Release that tension, release our need to control, then expel our influence, encouragement, and impact on the next generation. It's the perfect time to look around with deep pondering breaths and put your eyes on a couple of people who show a propensity to sparkle doing something that's in your wheelhouse.
Set out to disciple them, encourage them, equip them, make room for them on your platform and give them a chance to outgrow you. Let them drink from the wells you have dug so they can carry the work you started so much further.
"A life that is all about you and the meeting of your own needs will never be a great life as it can never get any larger than you."
Here are some samples of her art. She is taking a small amount of custom orders. You can email her mom: Holly.firstname.lastname@example.org