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Call yourself an artist?

Glittering Shards: Call yourself an artist?

Glittering Shards

Monday, October 10, 2011

Call yourself an artist?

Picture this. I am exhibiting at the weekend. My work is on display as part of the annual "Artsists Open House". The sun is pouring in, catching the edges of tiles and glass, making it gleam.

My daughter, Isabella, comes for a visit. After a while of hanging around, she takes a piece of paper and pencil and starts drawing.

Minutes later,  I see her confidently sticking her picture on a blank bit of wall by my art. I look and see her own pencil-line drawing of one of my mosaics, a picture of ‘mummy’ and the following words:

My name is Isabella. I am an artist and this is my mummy”.

Now that's confidence for you!

I know from my own experience and discussions with other creatives, that it is often hard to say the words  "I am an artist?" Why is this?

It is as if 'artist' is a status which we have to be given (by whom?) rather than an inner state of being which we develop (or not).

I am firmly of the opinion that art is everywhere, that life is art (think interiors, think food, think gardens, think use of space, body, clothes, words, finger nails,  think dancing and music...).

I know, I know....back to that old 'what is art' debate. But if art and creative expression is so fundamental to our humanity (which I believe it is), then to have that identity taken away from us, turned into a job tile and given over to the power of some bestowing institution or financial transaction, is like giving away a part of our soul. Or am I being a touch dramatic?

I am with Isabella.
Sit down and write
"I am an artist"

then stick it on your wall.

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