Why I don't think of myself as an artist

photo credit: Ian Kingsnorth

You will see it all over this website, on guest posts and in interviews, when I talk on social media about the courses I create, or the work I do.

If it’s not written it’s implied. If I’m not actually writing or talking about myself as ‘an artist’, you’ll see images of me wearing a paint splattered apron, or of paintings I’ve made, or talking about something art related. I chose the image for this post on purpose.๐Ÿ˜‰

And in spite of all this, I don’t think of myself as an artist.

It’s not because I don’t think I’m ‘good’ at art; I’m no Da Vinci but I can draw and express myself in paint in a way that’s pleasing and meaningful to both me and others.

It’s not because I don’t have a Fine Art degree. I don’t haveย a degree at all, actually.

It’s not because I don’t paint every day, or even every week.

It’s not because I don’t make a full time living from selling paintings.

It’s because ultimately, it doesn’t mean anything. Not anything real about who I am, or about who you are.

It’s a useful label so you can identify what I’m doing and whether or not that’s going to be interesting to you, or supportive of your own path.

If you visit here and like what you see, that’s wonderful. I love to connect and share with you.

I love to make art; that much is evident. I just don’t care what I’m called while I’m doing it.

And I spent too long worrying that those six letters in that particular order contained something that meant that I wasn’t really ‘allowed’ to use them.

Eff that. {To put it mildly!}

And to be clear, I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to own the word ‘artist’.

For many, thinking of themselves as artists is empowering and meaningful, and that’s important.

For me though, owning the label was a place I passed through on my artist path, not a destination.

Much as I might like to, I can’t alter how you see yourself so it’s more in line with the truth.

I can’t make you put brush to canvas and experience that unique connective high.

I can’t make you feel anything without you choosing it for yourself.

But I can be myself and let that be permission for all of us {myself included}.

And whether or not I think I’m an artist doesn’t even really matter.

I’m still going to paint. I’m still going to share.

I’m still going to do everything I do that aligns with the impulses within me, because it feels good. That’s it.

If other things come from it, which they inevitably will, then that is wonderful and I love and celebrate that.

{Or, you know, cry and gnash my teeth. Depends on what those things are!}

I might even choose to influence how often or in what kinds of ways they happen.

I might create a course because I have something to share that I believe is of use to you, and because I want to share with you the beautiful gifts of art and creativity that life gives us.

I choose to sell my art too.

Beyond that, you can call me an artist, but really I’m just being the person I can’t help being.

And that’s a person who likes to play and experiment and express herself with paint and colour, through writing and creating, and whose art asks her to keep doing it and sharing it with whomever might enjoy it.

Criteria and definitions are not important. Fulfilling yourself is.

So what do you say? Shall we not be artists together? ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐ŸŽจ

If you’re struggling with fully stepping into calling yourself an artist and would like to feel more comfortable with that so you can just crack on and make your art, I made you something.

It’s called the ‘I am an Artist’ Challenge, and offers seven days of thought provoking, and sometimes weird, but highly effective prompts, direct to your inbox, completely free.

Find out more by clicking the button below, and take the next step to becoming your truest, happiest artist self.

I’m cheering you on all the way.๐Ÿ˜Š

Click this button to take the 'I am an artist' challenge