By Shannon Orr
“I’m not a real artist.”
“I always compare myself to other artists and feel so fake.”
“It’s just a hobby I could never share this with other people.”
Oh the excuses I’ve heard and every time someone starts to degrade whatever beautiful project they’re working on I want to pull out the spray bottle and just –
Alas, I can’t do that. It’s considered rude or something. However, maybe I can help define an artist for you. According to our friends at Oxford Dictionary:
- a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
- a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.
There you have it folks, from the people who wrote the dictionary, even if it’s a hobby you’re still an artist. Even if you’re bad at it, but as long as you are producing work you are still an artist. So now that we can throw labels out the window (don’t worry they’re pretty much useless) let’s get to the real issue.
You’re putting art on a pedestal. It’s not meant for that; unless your a collector, but you’re more. As an artist your duty is to create, express, and feel. Human beings are complex creatures with limited space in our wee brains. To hold on to so much is detrimental to our individual growth. To compare what we are feeling and expressing to what someone else is feeling and expressing is detrimental to our individual growth.
When it comes to art, for it to be authentic, it must come from you. For it to be of any worth more than some mass production piece, it must come from deep inside of you. What you produce will always change as long as you are true to yourself. Practice will make your media better but being real will make you outstanding.
The more you tap into your personal freedom of what makes you, uniquely you, the more defined your audience gets. There are ways of arranging elements in a way that appeals to people’s senses and emotions, yes, but I hope you always start with what is appealing to yours. Appreciate other makers in your life; allow them to inspire you as I hope you inspire them. Even unique snowflakes are still made of the same stuff.