Being an Artist: Take The First Step and Call Yourself An Artist
Are you an artist?
Do you shy away from calling yourself an artist because you think others are better at your chosen artistic endeavor? I used to do that, too.
I can still remember one of my first real drawings; it was of a brown horse. Before that I’m sure I colored in coloring books and did the other artsy-craftsy things that children do when adults are trying to keep them occupied on a rainy day or when it’s too cold to play outside. My grandmother commented on how pretty my horse drawing was and that she liked it. At that time children’s artwork wasn’t displayed on the refrigerator or hung proudly by parents and grandparents so my first real drawing was probably stored in a drawer or inside a book. It wasn’t that my family members didn’t appreciate my first work; they just didn’t flaunt it.
Even so, I can remember being proud of something that I had created. This was a powerful feeling, one that has driven me to seek out ways to create my whole life.
My fourth grade teacher also recognized that my artistic efforts were a bit better than most of my other classmates. So once a week Joyce (a fellow budding artist and my best friend at the time) and I were allowed to go to the art class along with the seventh graders. I still remember some of those lessons, drawing squares and then coloring them in from black to white with shades of gray in between, or making a color wheel, or studying perspective. There was so much for me to take in and I ate it up.
In high school an art class was not offered but the teacher who had taught art in past years used one of her free periods to allow me to have an art class all by myself. She gave me simple assignments to do, but since the school had no materials or supplies for art, and my parents couldn’t afford them, most of my time in this class was spent working on projects for student council or band.
Still, I wanted to pursue art. My plan was to take art in college, majoring in art and becoming an art teacher. I did enroll in the art program at college, but the direction in the artistic world at the time was that art should be avant-garde and impressionistic and totally modern. They didn’t even offer one class in drawing, and all painting classes were for upper-classmen only. Needless to say, my first year in college was a total disappointment. What they offered as ‘art’ was nothing close to what I wanted to learn. So I switched majors to interior design where I could actually learn about drawing and painting and use it in my career.
Since college I haven’t always had a job that allowed me to use my artistic talents directly, but I did use my creativity in every job I’ve ever had. Even as a computer programmer I would work for hours to get a screen to look just right, and don’t ask me how many times I’ve reworked a web page because I think it can be improved; just a tweak here and there, you know, to get it just right ! So, while I wasn’t earning a living as an artist I was using what I had learned those many years ago.
So when did I become an artist? Actually, when I started calling myself one. It was hard at first to actually say the words. I am an artist. I’m a glass artist. I’m a jewelry artist. I do say it proudly now, because I do consider myself an artist. I try not to diminish my talents or to gloss over my accomplishments. I might not be a Da Vinci or a Renoir but I am an artist.
So, are you an artist? Do you belittle your talents and not claim them because of your perceptions of your own works, or that others are better than you are at something? If so, you need to realize that if you want others to recognize you as an artist you need to do it, too. Stop hiding your talents and begin to accept them and even flaunt them. Call yourself an artist.
Some of My Artwork
Links to check out...
- Why Do Artists Create?
As a writer and artist, I frequently deal with the frustrations associated with making the visions inside my head real. Writing poetry or fiction or creating a new oil painting often presents setbacks and...
- Tina Julich Lampwork Beads and Wirework Jewelry Home
My website has several examples of my artistic endeavors.