Artist as Leader

Hey all, it’s been a while!

Things have been a little wild here, between shifting careers and finding time to be creative. I want to let you know that I am still around. Just a few updates for those of you who may not know me!

Artist and Maker

I identify as a female and use my preferred pronouns of she/her/hers. I acknowledge my privilege of my racial identity as a Caucasian and my privilege due to being of able-body and able-mind.

The past few months, I’ve been participating on a journey with like-minded individuals as we chase our dream projects and most recently discovered our identities as artist leaders. I know what you might be thinking, artist leaders? I know what an artist is, and a leader, but an artist leader? I will say at the beginning, I felt the very same way. I never associated my art practice with my leadership style. I thought they were separate. I thought my identity did not overlap in ways that I now know, they actually do. So what is an artist leader? Great question!

Artist leaders vary, the journey began with A LOT of self discovery. The opportunity to assess our privilege, our identity, and what’s important to us. My journey began with an introspective look as to how I became “Gracie Love”. In the beginning, there was just art. And my art lead me to build the brand of Gracie Love, of who I am as an artist. Bright colors, LOTS of patterns, and a bubbly personality. A lot like other creative individuals, my identity became entwined with my brand. After looking inward, there was still a lot to understand about how I could be an artist and a leader, together, as an artist leader.

Strengths and weaknesses were next. But let’s not call them weaknesses, how about opportunity zones? I knew as a leader outside of my artistic endeavors, I always was a leader through love and support, but now my lens was through my actions and identity as an artist. What were those strengths? What were those opportunity zones?

My strengths included developing instincts, experimenting, authenticity and most important to me failure and resilience. These strengths had connections to my artist identity, to my leadership identity, and fully embody my strengths as an artist leader. My opportunity zones included my passion, my discipline, and my rigor. These are areas that I let fall to the way side. I know my goals but I don’t always follow through and some times that passion is lost. My opportunity zones are ones that will benefit me as an artist leader and fully in my life.

I learned through this course and discovery process of myself as an artist leader, that there is overlap in many aspects of my life. There is a connection to the way I create art, the way I lead, and the way I contribute to society as an artist leader. So what is an artist leader? To me, an artist leader is someone who is self-aware, understands their identity and privilege, knows who their audience is, what their goals are, and how to accomplish those goals.

An artist leader may not always have the answers, but they will do their best to find them.

Until we create again,

Gracie Love

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