This week I was talking to a friend about her business. She was trying to figure out whether to let a piece of her business go or keep it. I asked her what her mission statement is. She admitted that she hadn’t updated it in years. Coming from the non-profit world, I had to always check back to make sure everything I was doing, whether it was fundraising, programming, or creating partnerships, was in line with the organizations mission statement.
This got me to thinking about some recent conversations I had with other artists. We were discussing commission pieces. One of us was working on a commission piece that we were having trouble getting excited about. I’m guilty at this as well. It was a relief to find that I’m not the only one. We figured out that we don’t get excited about the projects that aren’t our own. They are not in line with who we are or what we do.
One artist friend told me that he was approached by a friend to do a commissioned painting. After the detailed description of what the guy envisioned the painting being, my artist friend turned down the work. He explained that it wasn’t the kind of work he did. I admired that. He spoke his truth.
I need to be more diligent about creating what I want to create. It’s why I love art. The first time I had a woman bring me couch cushions and throw rug to match for a commissioned painting, I knew with my entire being I was no longer doing what made me happy.
It is fine to ask yourself, is this in line with my mission statement? If it’s not, then don’t do it. The end result generally concludes in dissatisfaction from one or both parties, procrastination, and time away from projects better in line with what you want to be doing.