In the past, I've painted for others' entertainment, teaching rooms full of people that were only half paying attention. Being a paint and sip instructor was a valuable experience. I was able to share my love of art with others and help them find confidence in themselves to wield a brush and create their own works of art.

I also encountered many people that sat defensive and disgruntled at the experience, convinced that their lack of artistic ability was reason enough to avoid embarrassing themselves. That's when my job there was the Most rewarding. When I could stand beside those people and meet them in their anxious state and see past their deflections to the fear below.

They were simply scared to be laughed at, to be judged harshly on their self expression. They thought the painting they produced would be a reflection of who they were as a person. That their inability to reproduce my painting made them look pathetic or lesser than. It happened more than you would think. At least one person in every class I taught had this mentality. Why would someone weigh their self worth on the outcome of a painting? Ah, there's something interesting there.

I took great joy in coaxing them out of their shell. After all, a 3 hour painting party was by no means a serious art class, but many were discouraged because they paid for the experience and wanted to leave with something they would be proud to show others. How often our pride works against us? How often would we prevail in situations if we set our pride aside and allowed ourselves to be honest and vulnerable? And how often our pride would be bolstered and affirmed by the results achieved by doing so? Self expression and pride go hand in hand, right? …Don't they?

To express yourself in front of others openly, you must have some sort of pride and/or confidence to be able to do that..Right?
I say Nope. Does self worth come from creating and expressing yourself? Does it come from getting positive feedback from others in response to your self expression? Is pride necessary to make art? Or are we chasing that high of approval? I'd argue that one must be brave, and a bit foolish, to share their art with the world. It's risky. It's dangerous. It's exhilarating. It's terrifying. And if it goes well and one person 'gets it'…it's Magic. And if you can store up enough Magic, you can transform it into Confidence. It doesn't lessen the Fear, but your experiences…your Magic help you overcome it.

I think most people are motivated by something that is harder to define…that human urge to create.That insatiable urge to pull something out of our minds and manifest it in physical reality so that we may examine it further with more of our senses to, perhaps, gain a better understanding of ourselves. And hope that others will come to know us better, too. We yearn to practice our human Magic.

I create art because that’s the way I've learned to express those deeper truths that I can't find the words for. I create art because the act of making something brings me a feeling of wholeness, of fulfillment.

Art is my Magic.

I can't wave a magic wand and make a tree grow, but I can gracefully pull my paintbrush across a canvas and grow a tree, one stroke at a time. So, perhaps that's close enough? Whatever I see in my mind's eye can be manifested on a blank page given enough time. Even if I can't yet visualize what I want to portray, I can instinctually sink into my emotions and draw from that inner well. I just have to give myself over to the experience and not get in my own way.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with that 'zone' or 'flow state' where your surroundings melt away and time has no meaning. And I use my sacred tools, while in a trance, to conjure up something from nothing. Well, maybe not nothing. Because when it's finished and my Self clicks back into place inside my body, I can feel the physical, sometimes emotional, price I paid to perform the ritual of creating art. Totally worth it.

Art is Magic. So fuck AI. Peace.