Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creative Fingerprints

Preparing for my first paid calligraphy job of the year. Wish I could have this clean desk in a separate room as a dedicated studio. The dreaming continues!
Some people believe in fate. Others in coincidences. I believe in God-incidences.

I've written before about how I died and came back to life, and how when I came back, I questioned everything of who I was before the burnout. I've also shared how God gave creativity back to me delightfully and unexpectedly through a series of specifically timed opportunities.

I recognize the same divine fingerprints again, the pattern of multiple unsolicited creative jobs coming in a short period.

Shortly after I began the Writer's Challenge, I am quiet enough to recognize the inner voice of my scary dream calling out. Then I declare it out loud, almost accidentally: I am a calligrapher

Five days later, an old friend commissions me for a calligraphy piece. Two days after that, I receive an email from a total stranger. "Can you do calligraphy for me?" Umm, yeah! But how did you get my email contact? And did someone tell you about my declaration? It turns out he was sent by an old classmate who advertised her graphic design services on Craigslist. Calligraphy was beyond her scope.

I battle my usual fear. What if I can't translate their vision into reality? What if my style isn't what they're looking for? (This is a heightened concern especially when it's a friend who comes straight to me without shopping around to see if other styles suit their vision better.) I fear the day when I fail to deliver a client's vision.

Of course it is an irrational fear. Both have generously showered me with their positive feedback. Oh, the flood of relief that comes when they like a sketched concept in the first pass! I'm excited to buy new supplies as my old paints dried up with the last creative drought.

So I saw another fingerprint today, while taking a break after starting this blog last night. Today I receive an automated email from Behance, an online community of creative professionals. Apparently last year I began setting up an account for an online portfolio in my last creative spurt, but I didn't finish. Thus the email prompt to resume the account and showcase my work online.

Browsing others' portfolios triggers a whole host of other insecurities. It's one thing for my friends and family to say I'm talented, but it's another fear to share my work with a professional community who can recognize the difference between beginner's skill and a well-formed craft. Their work, and this Writer's Challenge, has given me a sober view of my need to practice and hone my ability. But they have also inspired me to do just that and cultivate what I've been given. 

While I do that, I'll keep my eyes and heart tuned for the next fingerprint. Because divine fingerprints, and the One whose hands they belong to, give me courage to face my fears.

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