Artists have gypsy blood. At least many do as they travel inward through the layers of falsity to uncover their truth, their freedom. When not tapped they merely exist.

An honest artist searches for meaning and purpose. Surface living is not an option. They search the why of everything — the soul of life. They are rarely comfortable with restrictions.

Gypsy artists, by nature, are attracted to the unpredictable — the excitement of living on the edge. They balk at convention, and too much stability bores them. Risk is their second nature, and excesses ignite their senses.

Their artistic expressions reflect their inner journey, mirroring the complexities of their feelings. While far more than desired is exposed at times, theirs is the path that leads to personal liberation. To intentionally divert from their path or pretend it doesn’t matter is the death of the gypsy artist.

That is not to say that unconventional living on the edge is the hallmark of an artist or the place to reside full time. What the world needs are more spirited artists who travel to the outer margins of society and return prepared to reveal insights, aspirations and provocative new creations.

Balance is the requirement of such artists. A willingness to humbly share their talents within the confines of society based on the inner connectedness of all. We need the wild, unconventional artist to arrive from the outskirts to help make it a better world.

And not one drop of gypsy blood is lost. It’s nurtured and enriched through the exchange.

Some artists have buried their wild side. They play it safe and produce within the bounds of convention — polite, surface artists, hiding from the adventure into the unknown.

French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, “Do you know what is the greatest enemy of the artist? Talent, the gift he’s born with: facility, dexterity. In a word, chic (banal or empty facility) is what spoils us and ruins us. We think we’ve arrived at the summit of our art no sooner than we’ve produced something, and we look no further.”

Surface artists, who dare not to explore the outer margins and inner depths, live within the confines of self-imposed limitations. Their life is predictable, routine and dull.

Break out of your pattern. Try new techniques. Stretch artistically. Creative expression can be frightening as it leads us out of ourselves into something greater, more mysterious. Let it. Follow it. Embrace it. Your art and your life will be richer for it.

Gypsy artists who live on the edge and shun society also live within self-imposed limitations. They waste their lives and precious talents. Ego and arrogance are their chains.

Turn your passion into compassion and share with us the inner workings of your vision.

Surface artists need courage. Gypsy artists need grounding. Imagine if we met in the middle.

Susan Ann Darley is a creativity coach, arts writer and author. Through coaching and writing, she motivates people to use their talents and market their creative projects. For more information, click here, e-mail her at or call 805.845.3036.