Years ago when I took the random art class here and there, I used to think that in order to be an artist you had to be this special cosmic cool entity that somehow by forces of nature inherited the ‘I can draw’ gene, that there was this special club of people who could paint and sketch the hell out of an image and have it look exactly like the thing they wanted it to look like. As creative as I was with singing, dance, theater, astrology (even in high school I was known as the class meditator), I never once entertained the idea that the label of artist would fit who I was.
Or who I wanted to be.
I like to draw. I like to paint. I like to collage. I like to write. Even the concept of calling myself a writer, which I have been doing my entire life, has escaped me. Somehow, the notion of owning the title meant that I had to live up to some crazy ass standard imposed by somebody outside of me or worse, my own neurotic need to be perfect.
Here’s what I know now.
It doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself, or I tell myself that I’m not an artist, I am.
And so are you.
I can tell you the reasons that I know this about myself. I get up every morning and make decisions about how I am going to live my life. I see the magnificence of the sunrise everyday as I head east to work, taking in every shade of pink, purple and tangerine that I can contain. I am a mother, I am a counselor, and damn if I didn’t bring my artistry into having raised two kids into fully functioning adults, and bring that same artistry into motivating my high school kids on a daily basis.
But more than that, I am an artist because I dare every single day to put some graphite onto some paper, paint to an art journal or canvas, words onto this page. I am am artist because everything I see inspires me to be a better version of what God intended for me to be. Everything. And in the joy of that inspiration, I can attempt to create and honor what is in my soul that begs for expression.
Does the critic in me kick my ass at times? Of course she does. But she screams a little less now. She knows her place, and even when I am feeling that something I am working on is a piece of shit, I say to her it’s only a piece of shit FOR NOW. Wait until tomorrow, and I will have that bad boy singing.
I am an artist because I say so. What do you say?
I’m curious to know….