Is an artists someone who puts paint onto paper or canvas? Are they uniquely creative and able to make things from nothing or are they simply able to interpret the world around them differently and communicate those observations to us as an audience?
If you never share your work are you an artist? If you can imagine images, colours, textures, sounds, shapes and meanings in your head , but never make them physical, are you an artist?
I have no absolute answers so was forced to do actual research – in dictionaries, google, asking people who ‘identify as artists’ for their responses and the results were fascinating.
My research led me down a rabbit hole of wanderings and wonderings and led me to a subtle but profound conclusion: We are all artists! Every last one of us,.
Whether you think you can’t draw, have no interest in Botticelli and have never seen the inside of a gallery, I am willing to bet that every last one of you is, in your heart of hearts, an artist.
That is, you are capable of creating something beautiful and meaningful using the tools at your disposal. You are able to communicate your thoughts and feelings using words, images, colours or textures AND you have already created more art in the world than you realise.
I draw your attention to the way you read your children their bedtime story – so you enhance the tale with voices and actions, with creative nuance?
When you tell a story at a dinner party, do you perform, embellish and deliver a colourful and enhanced version of a banal truth?
What about the doodles you cannot help but scribble across your notepad whilst you are on a long boring phone call, or sitting in a dull meeting – the minute swirling of pen on paper literally releases endorphins into your bloodstream and creates a hypnotic state within which you can survive the monotony of the real world: and if THAT isn’t the very ideal of ART then I don’t know what is!
Now I know what you are thinking, there is a small voice inside you saying – no not me, this woman is delusional, I am not an artist! And quite possibly stamping its little foot firmly! (Its strange how inner voices can suddenly grow limbs when they need them, isn’t it?) This my friends, is called resistance, and is exactly what stops you from drawing, or painting, singing or dancing, acting or telling jokes and bringing a sense of joyous creativity into your life. But why?
How exactly is this resistance serving you? How is playing small, avoiding being a beginner, not ‘good enough’ (whatever that means) or even being ridiculed by others enhancing your life experience in any way?
Do you remember when you were a child, you would colour in for hours, for what reason? Absolutely none! You would draw pictures of your world, your family, house, trees, sky and sun (always a yellow corner with sticks coming off it – where did we ever get that idea from, I wonder?) and you felt so proud. You looked at your picture and knew it looked nothing like real people, yet you were happy with what you had created. You saw a smiling face which meant love, you drew long stick arms which meant cuddles, you drew long legs and people of different heights to designate authority and power amongst your family (dad was always tallest even when he wasn’t in real life ) and you were proud.
So I put it to you that we are all artists, capable of great things, if only we were willing to release our inner critic, embrace our inner child and take up the tools of creativity. Whether we are creating clothes from fabric, up-cycling furniture, sketching with pencils or working for a whole year on one canvas, we are artist. We each have a unique message to share, a personal journey which when translated in colours, lines, shapes and patterns becomes a universal language understood by all.
I would love to know, what art have you created in your life, what do you yearn to express and what fascinates you? These deep longings can be clues to the real you, the soul you, the reason you are here.
Stop hiding, take up your tools and declare yourself an artist – The Time Is Now!