Due to the fact that I am not a classically trained artist, and that I don’t paint (well anyways) or sculpt, I felt I didn’t have the right to label myself as such. Not that I’m in to labels, but more on that another time.
My lack of formal training in addition to not producing art in a traditional medium made me feel like an imposter. “I make stuff” I would say. I steered well clear of the “crafter” label as I tend to associate that word with pom poms, plastic canvas and popsicle sticks. Talk about judgements based upon labels. Jeesh.
Aside from this, I am not trying to make any political, religious or social statements through my art. Aren’t you supposed to? Aren’t I supposed to be creating jewelry that resembles lady parts and wearing hoo-ha necklaces to make a statement for women’s rights? Can’t do it folks. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the courage of artists who are able to make bold statements about relevant issues through their artwork, but to quote Austin Powers “it ain’t my bag, baby.” I guess I’m just not deep and serious enough.
Ok, back to labels. I looked up the definition of artist in my Scholastic Dictionary of American English. Yes, I still own a dictionary (I am a tactile person) and yes it is from 1981 (did I mention I was a hoarder?) but I’m pretty sure it’s still got the goods. The official definition of artist reads as such:
1. Person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.
Not encouraging, especially the “especially” part.
2. Person who shows creative power and skill in his work.
This definition is certainly more inclusive, but still. Definition 2 did not make me proclaim my artist-ness (I like to make up words, I use parentheses and ………’s a lot. Obviously this is all for dramatic effect).
What really made me comfortable calling myself an artist was deprogramming my brain to get rid of all of my preconceived notions as to what art means to me.
Yes, art is a beautiful painting or sculpture…..but it can also be an eloquent speech, a well written poem or book, amazing lyrics to a song that speak to your heart and soul, someone who can play the banjo like nobody’s business or a meal cooked with love that is so damn good it would make you cry.
These are only a few examples. How about that gal you know whose makeup is always stunning? Is that not art? How about your neighbor’s yard? You know the one….flowers, landscaping…the whole bit. I’d venture to say that is art as well.
Art is beauty…..and beauty abounds all around us. One must only take the time to stop and notice.
I make beauty. Therefore, I am an artist.
How about you?