Not Identifying Yourself As An Artist

We are what we do and a lot of what we do hinges on how we see ourselves and how others see us.

By definition, artists create art and by extension, those who create art are artists.

When someone asks you that annoyingly common four worded question; “What do you do?”, how do you answer?  What are your reactions in your mind and your body?

For some the prospect of saying the four worded answer of “I am an artist”, is too much.  This is sad.

Coming Out

Declaring yourself as an artist to folk you know and strangers you meet can take guts and is a coming out like any other.  Just as there is a plethora of sites and pages dedicates to help young folk come to terms with the person they have grown up to be; to love who they want, so this post is to assist, support, encourage and otherwise hammer home the reality that if you spend your time creating art, you are an artist.

What is interesting is that most artists will remember the time they either first introduced themselves as an artist or they will remember the first time they were introduced to someone else as an artist.  It is a moment, which you should try and savour.

Hiding Behind The Old You

For many, it is such a shift, such a swing that it is easier to say or even do what they have always done.

Assuming you make art which you sell or hope to sell, the idea that you would say anything else to the question is a little bizarre.

Imagine, you meet someone new and maybe they will like your art enough to buy it and they ask you, “What do you do?”.  Visualise their reaction when you respond “I am a school secretary, but I paint whenever I get time.”

It screams ‘sad’. it does not declare ‘professional artist’, which is what you are going to need to project more and more until in the end you can give up the day job and make all your necessaries from what you love doing.  It screams amateur and unfortunately until you say the word ‘artist’ first and foremost; you might forever waste your potential answering telephones and making coffee for governors meetings.

Everyone Loves Artists

Private views, gallery events, dinner parties, actual parties, debates, holidays – once you are an artist, you will have so many invitations to go and just be yourself with similar open-minded people.  Nice people who might either want to buy some of your art or they might have a cousin who has a gallery.   All good.  You need to make art but you also need to press the flesh and spend time with people who will want to give you money – its a balance.

Be who you were destined to be! Be an artist and tell the world you are an artist!

Try it today.  In truth, like all things it gets easier the more often you do it.

Everyone loves artists!  It’s true.

Be Strong

As much as the life of an artist has, and please pardon the pun, is one that is more colourful; it also has trials which can test the strongest of us.

You will need support from friends and family.  The journey you are on is one which is easiest if travelled together.

Be Prolific

The life of an artist can very easily get quite busy and you need to be prolific to back up what you are saying in public.  You will need to show that you are what you say you are and so the positive reinforcing circle starts to move and with that movement inertia and procrastination are overcome; until in the end positive creative momentum take over.

Where once part-time you were only ever able to complete a painting every three months, now you will be completing a painting as two more have been planned out in your mind and one sketched and ready to paint.

The prospect of sitting and thinking of the perfect name for a completed piece will be a thing of the past since you will have had a list of titles written and waiting before you simply move onto the next piece of work.

Let us not forget that that is what ‘professional’ means.  It means work and lots of it.  Then you have become what you always wanted.

You are an artist and proud of you we all are; welcome to the other side!




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