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Remembering Your Purpose

Interview with International Artist ~ Daniel B. Holeman

* All art used for this article is a Daniel B. Holeman creation and protected by copyright

What stops any one of us from believing in ourselves enough to follow our heart and realize our dreams?

Why do we have deep inner yearnings to express our natural talents, yet think that we are not good enough to do so?

When we will stop expecting that the money should be available first - which rarely happens - before we take the leap of faith required to be true to our nature and do what we love for a living?

The world is filled with talented people from all walks of life. Those we think of as being successful very often struggled for years and became discouraged in the early stages of their careers. Nevertheless, they persevered in spite of their fears and uncertainty to eventually become successful in their chosen fields.

I am pleased to know quite a few gifted individuals who rose up from a place of destructive self-doubt, financial devastation - and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become successful, happy and fulfilled.

One such person is Daniel Holeman. As an artist whose unique artistic technique took years to develop, Daniel has finally achieved a growing level of international recognition and success that proves that perseverance pays off – no matter how long it takes.

I first met Daniel many years ago just before he began to paint. I loved his first paintings: they were simple, yet his blending of colors and his choice of images were attractive. Over the years, however, his skill evolved and developed to such an enthralling pitch that I found myself gaping in awe at his latest artistic accomplishments with each new stage of development he achieved.

Daniel went through a lot to get to where he is today. He wasn’t always successful; in fact, he struggled quite a bit. Since his journey to success can be a message of encouragement for those who want to pursue their own dreams, I asked Daniel if I could interview him and share his experiences with others so that those who struggle with self-doubt may be inspired by his life and encouraged to take flight on their own path of self-fulfillment.

Remembering Your Purpose
and Do What You Love

Interview with Daniel B. Holeman
by Paula Peterson

PJP: What happened in the very beginning that eventually launched you into a career as a successful artist?

DH: It started in the late 80’s while visiting art galleries in Sausalito and Hawaii with my girlfriend at the time. I remember looking at the paintings while telling her, “ I can do that”. But I had no clue how to do it. My only other previous experience was long ago in high school where I had done an acrylic painting – a seascape –and it had turned out pretty good.

After that, I thought for a long time that I would like to be an artist. But I didn’t have any skills as an artist and didn’t know how to get started. At that time, I worked for a company that paid me to travel around the country to train people how to use computers.

I eventually purchased a home in Grass Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and that’s where I first met you. I went to hear your presentation at the Harmony bookstore in town. You spoke about following your dream at that time. Inspired by what you said, I went home after that and thought about what I learned. I said a prayer and asked for help and guidance to become a painter.

Within one week, the company I worked for went out of business. I realized that this must be the answer to my prayer! However, since jobs were hard to find in that area, I wasn’t sure what to do.

That’s when I went down to the art supply store and asked the owner, Gordon Sparks, to show me what supplies I needed to purchase to become a painter. He took me through the store and I bought canvas, paints, turpentine, brushes and other things I needed. I went home and just started painting.

At first, I didn’t know what to paint, so I painted the impression of a dolphin and it was very elementary. I brought it down to the art store to show Gordon. His remark, “Oh, that’s really nice” was just enough of an encouragement to keep me going.

As I continued painting, I experimented with different styles and showed them to Heidi Fox who was a local artist. She was a professionally trained artist and her suggestions and advice helped me a great deal. And that was how I learned in the beginning.

Then, of course, the more I painted the better I became. My paintings became more realistic over time and then I started using the air brush. From there, my style emerged.

PJP: I remember seeing your work in its beginning stages. It was impressive to watch your skill blossom over time and see the different stages of development. I watched your technique become more refined, more expressive and using more colors.

While you were developing your skill, there must have been some obstacles that challenged your thinking and progress. Was there ever a time when you thought, “Oh, I’m not good enough” or “I don’t want to do this anymore”?

DH: Oh sure. In looking back, I questioned my sense of value and likeability and associated my self-worth with my art. I sometimes thought, “If my art is really good, then people will like me and THEN I can feel good about myself and THEN I will be financially successful”. I discovered that this kind of thinking actually held me back from progress and success.

Once I realized that I was already a valued human being - regardless of whether my art work was good and regardless of whether I was a financial success - then I began to look at myself and life quite differently. This in itself began to clear away many of the obstacles to taking my talent to a greater level. Then the money began to flow in bit better.

PJP: It sounds like you doubted yourself a lot in the beginning. Many people do this and it stands in their way of realizing their talents and following their dream.

DH: Yes. Every one knows about self-doubt to some degree because every one has had to deal with it. We learned to doubt ourselves at a very young age because we adapted the limiting beliefs from our parents and teachers.

PJP: We are conditioned from childhood by the opinions and beliefs that others have about us, and if we believe in these opinions, it’s enough to stop us from believing in ourselves.

DH: Exactly. And there is no truth to these beliefs.

PJP: While you were perfecting your artistic skills over the years, did you have to rely on other jobs to bring in an income?

DH: I did need to resort to other means to supplement my income for a few years: like renting out my house for workshops. I was winging it from month to month and eventually had to file bankruptcy. This ended up being a good thing, though, because I was able to start over with a clean slate, so to speak. Then gradually, I began to do better after that.

PJP: And all along you were still devoting time to your art?

DH: Well … I went through periods when I was not painting all that ambitiously. I was trying to “find myself” and improvising. When I sold my house in Grass Valley, I didn’t know what I was going to do. In fact, for a while I considered dropping the art and keeping it as a hobby even though I was selling everything that I painted.

But I was still struggling with self-worth and was not putting the same amount of time into my painting.

However, after I sold the house, I was given a computer. I scanned photos of my old paintings into the computer and started experimenting with the images and manipulating them with Photo Shop. Then I built a web site. After that, I got into web design as a way to supplement my income.

PJP: You taught yourself how to do web site design, right?

DH: Yes, I did. I also tweak and embellish existing websites and art for other people.

PJP: You have a very beautiful website. And it’s impressive that you taught yourself how to do design well enough to build sites for others.

DH: Thank you. Brian is a good example of the style of tweaking that I've done with images of his work that already exists on his site. He and I are planning other collaborations, too. It’s really fun.

PJP: I’ve seen your work displayed in many publications all over the world. I’ve also seen your art floating around on the internet, too.

DH: The internet has provided a way for many people to find my work - through links and word of mouth. It’s brought me a lot of interest in my work; throughout America, Canada, Europe, South America – even in China. People contact me from all over if they want a cover for a book, magazine or a CD. Sometimes they will trade, too.

I love doing my work in different countries. The biggest job I got was down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: they had found me and my artwork by doing a search on the web. They flew me to their location - all expenses paid for two weeks - and I was paid well for my services to boot.

We worked as a team and it was fun. I created the art and they animated it for the introduction to a Portuguese television show. It was a series that was seen by about 50 million people five days a week for 6months. The theme music for the show was John Lennon’s song “Imagine” and it played while my art work was displayed.

It was really cool: I was in the room when they received the phone call from Yoko Ono who gave us the approval to use “Imagine” as the music for the program.

PJP: That’s awesome! What I also remember about you is that you were often generous with your time in helping others. Sometimes you even gave away your art.

I remember that when I got started many years ago in my work of offering counseling and giving presentations, that I often gave it away at first. It helped to give momentum to my efforts as well as provide an opportunity to develop my skills. I also loved doing it and enjoyed the feeling of giving. Then, through freely giving, opportunities began to arrive where I got paid for my services.

It seems important for people to know that following their heart and realizing their dream does not have to be put on hold because the money is not yet available.

DH: Particularly in the beginning of one’s career: many times an artist or musician will give themselves away to get exposure. But there are different types of giving.

When we give freely from the heart it always comes back to us in a good way. However, if we give because we think we “should” give or when we give so that others will like us, then that kind of giving ends up being draining instead of energizing.

In giving too much for the wrong reasons, a person can start to feel like a door mat and feel taken advantage of. In not getting our needs met, it becomes a trap.

In giving freely, a person needs to ask themselves why they are giving and be very honest with the reasons behind it. Then they can stay “clean” about it.

PJP: What advice would you give to some one to inspire them to live their dream?

DH: The advice that I would give to any person of any age - particularly young people - is for them to find a way that they can participate in life that is meaningful for them yet can also support them.

They need to take enough time to discover their true nature so that hidden beliefs or hidden influences stop sabotaging their view of themselves which can generate self-limitations, doubt and struggle.

When limiting influences are minimized, then it will become automatically clear what one’s natural gifts are and then the ability to act on them will emerge.

Sometimes it’s already clear what a person’s natural skills are and what they want to do. Perhaps they are a natural healer and they love to massage people or work with herbs. Maybe they want to be a teacher, an organizer - or they are a creative type. Then it becomes a matter of persistence on a given course: to stick with their path until they reach their goal.

PJP: And sometimes a person can change their mind.

DH: Sure. Let’s say that a person becomes a massage therapist and loves it. But after three years, they get burned out and want to try something else. It okay to change tracks and follow a new thread of passion.

Follow your bliss - follow the frequency of your true self - and a more true and natural you will show up!

PJP: It’s also about self examination.

DH: Yes. Self-inquiry is the most critical point … to inquire within and examine oneself. If one is leading a life of unfullfillment or inner struggle, then self-inquiry is the key. In other words - to search for the true nature of ones self.

And instead of identifying with false beliefs like, “Oh, I’m this lonely guy who never makes enough money” and carrying it around with you as though it were true, you can liberate yourself from the myth and live freely through realizing the truth of your true nature - and then abiding as that. This is done through commitment to honest self- inquiry and making true liberation one's highest priority above all else: above comfort, above security, above pleasure. When pursued with earnest, this ultimately leads to enlightenment....and there will always be ample and graceful support along the way.

PJP: In closing, what else would you like the reader to know?

DH: Some people are intimidated by others in life and may be afraid to ask for what they want or they may be afraid to be aggressive. Some people feel that being aggressive is disdainful. However, one can be in the heart and aggressive at the same time – and this is a good thing.

PJP: Perhaps a few would be more comfortable with the term assertive or willing-to-pursue?

DH: Absolutely. Assertive, willing-to-pursue, even aggressive is okay. Put yourself out there. If you find that you are afraid to risk for fear of rejection - and there are a million excuses - then face that fear by embracing it. Go through the fear by taking action and doing it … and the fear will soon dissolve.

In persevering on the given course your efforts will prevail and the right kind of support will be available to you in a variety of forms. Face the intimidation. Face your fears or whatever is holding you back from realizing your dreams. You will become the stronger and clearer for it.

PJP: And that can happen at any age regardless of how old we become!

DH: So true. Go through life with a heart-full attitude and you will achieve your dream.

©by Paula Peterson

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Daniel B. Holeman ~ Artistic talent combined with life-long exploration of consciousness and devotion to self-realization has given Daniel an ability to depict uplifting and profound sacred imagery.

His inspirational paintings have a strong impact on the viewer. Many are deeply touched – sometimes brought to tears - and describe his paintings as the most beautiful images they have ever seen.

His creations have appeared on TV and video productions; covers for books and CDs; magazines, prints, posters, cards and the internet.

His paintings and reproductions can also be seen and purchased at the Inner Space Gallery at the prestigious Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.

His web site, Awaken Visions, is a special world to explore and enjoy - a Domain of Beauty, Insight, Transformation and Awakening.

Visit Daniel Holeman's website:   Awaken Visions

You can also write to:

Daniel B. Holeman
50 Sonoma St. #12
San Rafael CA 94901
(415) 482-8209

Or you can send an e-mail by clicking here:   Daniel B. Holeman

Got comments or suggestions???   You can send one by clicking Here

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