Telling A Big Part Of My Story
It all started about 10 years ago. I was a homeschooling, stay at home mom looking for a hobby. I tried painting and fell in love with mixed media and acrylic paint. I painted at night at my desk in our school room where I taught the kids every day. Creative ideas were flowing. Excitement was abundant. I had found my “thing”!
I was having a lot of fun trying different subjects and sharing what I was doing on the internet. Then, something amazing happened…. people began responding to what I was doing and actually started buying my paintings. This was so exciting! Now I had extra money to buy more supplies and make more art!
Eventually, I began to realize that this was a real opportunity to actually make money from home doing something that was really fun. So, I started learning about the online art world and comparing what I was doing to what I saw other artists doing. This wasn’t exactly a great move. You know that saying…”Comparison is the thief of joy”? Yeah…it’s true.
I started wondering if I really knew what I was doing. I kept painting, but I was having trouble sharing my work and excitedly telling others what I was doing. I didn’t consider myself a “real “ artist and a huge fear of doing it all wrong came flooding in.
I started searching for answers to all of my questions and doubts.
What makes a professional artist a professional artist?
What is a fine artist?
Who gets to decide if you are an artist or not?
The more I learned, dug, and searched; the more I realized that my lack of confidence was drastically draining my creativity, my fun, my ideas!
I can remember telling my husband that I just don’t fit in. I’m not like the people in any of the groups I see online. I’ve never done a paint party. I don’t know who decides who gets to call themselves fine artists. Illustrators are in a different league, and licensed artists don’t seem to share a lot about what they actually do. I just can’t find where I belong, and I don’t know what to call myself. He said something that changed everything.
Am I A Real Artist?
Here’s what my husband said, “Why do you think you have to label yourself in some way?”
That was a big moment for me. I realized I was putting way too much pressure on myself. I am an artist. I am a real artist, and if you are creating art, you ARE an artist, too. Period. The End.
Oh! AND…most of the time if you are doing something different…you aren’t going to fit in. Guess what, friend?…if that’s the case you may be an innovator making the way for others who are feeling exactly the same way that you are feeling!
It is almost like the less I know about the “real art world” the better off I am. I have to keep my head down, and do the work without all the distractions of others and what they are doing. I had to come back around (full circle) to my original way of thinking. My experience has led me in the direction where I am today.
I can confidently call myself an artist…a professional artist. I am using my creativity to earn an income that helps my family and hopefully helps other like-minded creatives who are ordinary people (like me) who want to do extraordinary things.
Why am I telling you this story?
I’m sharing this with you because I get emails, comments on social media, and messages on a regular basis from others expressing how much they like painting, but that they are not real artists or do not consider themselves artists. I’m sharing this because I love teaching others how to paint and be creative, and it breaks my heart when I hear my students echo the same fear that I once felt.
Just like art itself, the titles and labels in the art world are very subjective. If you are creating art…you are a real artist.
Who get’s to decide that? YOU DO!
Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Listen to the audio version here on my Podcast.