For the longest time I had trouble identifying with the label of an artist.
It was difficult for me. When I had a brush in my hand, I was one. But when I put on my other various caps – writer, project manager, teacher – was I still considered an artist? I felt like I was juggling too many things at once to be able to catch a ball long enough that truly defined me as one. But as I struggled internally with the question, I finally realized something: being an artist isn’t a label. It’s what you do that truly counts.
Being an artist means putting your best feet forward everyday and to create things that makes a difference; whether that difference is for you, or for others. That’s what being an artist means to me. Being able to bare your soul for others to pick at, not knowing what brickbats will befall you as you put your work out there. That’s what being an artist means to me. Being unsure if what you do will resonate with others, but you need to say something all the same. That’s what being an artist means to me. People who have a fear of the unknown, but who are willing to take a chance – to jump in to do the work anyway. That’s what being an artist means to me.
So while I may not fit in the conventional role of being a visual artist, I think of this website, this blog – as my own personal space where I am able to create; just like artists who need a studio, a long worktable and glorious paint – all I need is my laptop, a space and undivided time to call my own, and my trusty computer (an empty notepad will suffice too).
I’m still not sure if I can be called an artist. All I know is that I want my work to matter. My goal is to raise questions, and create an awareness about artists and illustrators and their amazing potential to create, and not just illustrate.
Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. ~ Edgar Degas
I have a long way to go (and I’m enjoying the ride so far), but here’s hoping I can make you see what I can see.
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I’d love to know – what does being an artist means to you? Do you believe what you do is art? What’s your definition of it all?
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