How does someone become an artist? Everyone has the ability to 'make art'. Some people use paint and paper, others use fabric... then again others create using sod and bushes. Art can be made with anything and everything. So... at what point would you call someone an 'ARTIST'? Is a landscaper an artist? How about a house painter? A hairdresser???
A few weeks ago I proclaimed myself an artist. How pretentious is that??? I made the decision to give myself permission to tell total strangers that I am an artist. I then proceeded to paint a local icon, Tillie in watercolor. From there I printed Tillie on pillows, postcards, and made charms... and sold them at a local outdoor show. The charms and postcards were a hit... and I made enough money to repay all of my original costs with a little left over to pay for my mother's birthday dinner. All in all I was quite happy with the whole experience.
The original watercolor of Tillie was prominently on display. I thought the painting would be an 'attention grabber' and it added a nice focal point for my booth. The surprise was on me however, as quite a few interested customers inquired to PURCHASE the painting. Silly me never thought to actually sell PAINTINGS of Tillie. Wouldn't a REAL artist have thought of that??
Attending this show has taught me a lot. Not only the commitment it takes to get everything organized and ready for a show, but the strength and fortitude it takes to put yourself 'out there' for total strangers to see. You squirm as they scrutinize your painting, not knowing where to look... should you ignore them... or engage in conversation? I usually choose to engage. I slap a smile on my face, take a deep breath and ask, "Can I answer any questions?"
"Oh" they reply, "Are you the artist"?
Gulp. "Yes. Yes I am"... And I steel myself for whatever comments they might have. Some good, some bad... but hopefully constructive.
So I guess I can officially call myself an artist... although I'm not rushing out to print that on my business cards yet.
I urge you all to go out there and CREATE!!! Proclaim yourself to be the artist you know you can be. If I can do it... anyone can!!! Use whatever skill you have and enjoy... then MAKE SOMETHING!!! You too can be an ARTIST... just give yourself permission!