For years, I’ve been making art: painting, lettering, line drawings and other dabbles here and there. I sold several pieces, created a website and posted consistently on my Instagram account. Still, I never confidently declared myself an artist. I shyly would mention it here and there to friends and family, but never did feel confident in saying it. Why?
I think it’s because it takes a bit of guts to say you are an artist. As we know, the answer to the question: “what do you do for a living?” really says a lot about who we are. It’s usually the first question when speed dating, isn’t it?!
Anyways, if I say I’m an artist, people naturally have follow-up questions. “What kind of art do you do? What medium? Is your art in galleries? Where can I see it?” I totally understand the questions and appretiate the curiosity, but it can feel a little intrusive. It’s always been far easier for me to say what I did for a day job — I worked in the food industry making nutrition labels and ingredient statements — people get that, we can move on. Art? Not so much.
On a deeper level, we all know that art brings something out of us. Whether we are looking at artwork or creating it, deep inside it begs to be looked at and critiqued. For the artist especially, it becomes a reflection of who we are, which can make us feel a bit vulnerable and exposed. Call it insecurity or whatever, but I never really ‘owned’ the artist title like I should have.
Until recently, I’ve hidden my inner artist under a bit of a shadow and lived a much more “typical” life working from 9-5, sitting at a desk, wearing buttoned-up clothes, bringing in a consistent paycheck every two weeks. But it's time now to put on my big girl panties and work through these things that have held me back. I finally realized one day that I will never know the depth of my art unless I just go for it, fully, 100 percent.
Because I currently stay at home with our daughter, I now have the flexibility to make this happen. I can devote more time to starting over, creating new pieces and letting the world know that: I am an artist.
So what's next?
My plan is to document every step of my artist journey. The good, the bad, the ugly and the glorious. I know that there are so many emerging and even established artists out there who are also gun-shy when it comes to proclaiming their artist status. We share many of the same challenges and have many of the same questions as we figure it all out. I would love to help create and take part in a community of “learn-as-you-goers” that can help each other out, empower one another and move forward once and for all, declaring ourselves as artists.
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