Being asked the question “How long have you been an artist?” always gives me pause. I assume, most of the time, they are asking how long I have been an artist that is trying to sell my work, but the most honest answer to that question would be my entire life. It’ a bit of a conundrum I say. What makes one an artist?
Swimming through the world of art can at times feel like one is treading water, diving off the deep end, and at others, being eaten by piranhas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the entire experience, swimming, not swimming, skinny dipping, LOL! But the art world can be cold, cruel, and at times, unwelcoming to those who ‘aspire’ to be artists, and I feel that is a bruise on the butt of it, just saying.
Some of us pop right out of the womb with one hand in a jar of Play-doh, instinctively artistic, and as we journey through life that path my not lead to an art degree. Does that mean we can’t claim to be artists? No.
That simply means our path followed a different course, but led to a common destination, one of being in a place where we are folks who create art. Create is the key word to me. Creating art, for what ever reason, repeatedly is a behavior I would say gives us the right to be called ‘artists.’ Notice I didn’t say Master artists, but artists none the less, joining a collective consciousness with other artists who do the same.
And, like most professions, there are levels of expertise and experience that makes one more successful, but as the art world is weird, a mere marsupial can place a paw in paint, walk across a piece of paper, and have it noticed. Then….that paper goes on a sells for thousands of dollars. The conundrum goes on, because placing value on art is and always will be subjective.
Thank God I haven’t bought into the premise that I must sell to be an artist. Personally, I choose to be an artist to express myself, my faith, and share my creative gifts along with way to make our world more beautiful than I found it. If I am lucky enough to sell a piece, then woooohoooo! and I consider that a blessing, but it’s not what makes me an artist. If I create, then artist I am.
Here is a video I made of how my art journey evolved since my childhood. I am self-taught, and I hope you might choose to share it with your kids so that they, too, can walk through this life believing in themselves, their creative talents, and the hope that all things are possible.
My Art Journey Video
Be Your Art and share it with others, give those piranha’s something to chew on!