It’s October – that happened fast! The house renovation (also known as the Great Creative Disruption) is winding down and my studio space is finally ready, but still empty. Super excited to get back to the artist ways. Speaking of artist habits – do you call yourself an artist?
Claim Your Inner Artist!
Sometimes, you’re an artist if you sell your work for big money in fancy galleries, sometimes you’re an artist if you teach art, or maybe you’re an artist if you create solely for yourself and never show your work to anyone else. Which is it?
It’s all of it! Merriam-Webster defines artist as “one who professes and practices an imaginative art.” There’s nothing in there about having sold work or having someone else say you’re an artist or even about the level of work. It’s just two things: making art and saying you make art.
How did the term artist become so complicated? There’s a pervasive idea that to be and to be allowed to call yourself an artist, that you have to be a member of some kind of secret club. The problem is that the entry requirements aren’t clear or concrete! The accepted idea of who is, and isn’t, an artist is subject to change depending on the situation and the person using the term.
Hmmm, so now comes the thought – but I’m not an artist like Van Gogh or Monet. And, neither were they! Van Gogh famously died in obscurity – his work wasn’t appreciated in his lifetime. Monet became successful as an artist but only after his early impressionist works were rejected repeatedly by the Salon, France’s state-sponsored art gallery. Even these artists went through periods where they may not have been called artists either.
I know it can still be intimidating to take on the identity of capital A – Artist and it can be confusing to other people who are operating under their own concepts. I like to add clarity by specifying the type of artist: Graphic Artist, Textile Artist, Collage Artist, Mixed Media Artist, Jewelry Artist, etc. That narrows the idea and makes it more comfortable to step into. So, what kind of artist are you?