That's what one of my music history professors told me are the subjects of history's most groundbreaking art.
The word "holy" comes from the Hebrew qodesh, which translates to "set aside." And truly, being detached or othered by the world around us is a sentiment most creatives can relate to. When I was in the second grade, I had such a miserable social life that my grandmother showed up in the middle of my math class to pull my foremost childhood tormentor into the hallway and give him a stern talking-to (classic filipina matriarch move, amirite). Similarly, anecdotes of bullied kids turned superstars are too numerous to count. It's natural, right? We don't fit into the reality around us, we're "set aside" by society, so we create our own.
One of the common societal tropes that sets artists apart from the rest of the world is the idea of the artist as a dreamer; head in the clouds, high on the helium of their own ideas. Hundreds of songs idealize creatives for their capacity to dream ("Here's to the Ones Who Dream," La La Land; "A Million Dreams," The Greatest Showman; "Dream On," Aerosmith; and the list goes on). There are even anomalies like Charlie Puth and Ladysmith Black Mambazo who draw their inspiration from music that they've literally heard in their sleep. Yet while the world champions dreamers as an ideal, it generally mocks the dreamer in motion---the artist who has not [yet] attained a universally idealized version of success (anyone else have awkward family convos this Thanksgiving that started with "so, when do we get to see you on the big screen?").
However, in most religions, the power of dreams is incredibly potent, even revered. In the Torah, the humble shepherd Joseph received divine premonitions in the form of dreams, transforming him into one of the most powerful men in Egypt. After the birth of Christ, both Jesus' father and the three Magi were warned in a dream that King Herod would try to kill the baby. After the Fajr prayer, the Prophet Muhammed would solicit the dreams of the Companions and proceed to interpret them.
But in faith, much like art, the efficacy of a dream can only be determined by the dreamer's ability to act once they've awakened.
The Hustling Creative is led by the vision of a dream. We dream of a world where artists are equipped with the skills to unlock their power to flourish professionally, personally, physically, and spiritually. Where they harness their abundant creativity to enact change and solve the problems of today's broken world in a way that only they can. Because when we hustle with vigor and create with abandon, there's no stopping a dreamer.
This post is part of a series of essays that explores the parallels between faith and art. Be sure to subscribe!