I'm not an artist.
"Oh, I'm not an artist."
Yep. I could buy a big house in Boise, ID if I got $1 for every time I've heard that phrase! (Sorry, just a little house-hunting joke there...)
I’ve discovered that I’ve got a big soft spot for all those “not-an-artists” out there. I was lucky to be affirmed from an early age for my artistic skills. And obviously, I liked to be affirmed, so I kept doing art. And of course I got to where I am today because of that practice AND that support.
"I'm not an artist.”
What’s saddest about this phrase is the pain that hides behind it. It breaks my heart to hear about that “black and white” teacher, perfectionist parent, or high-achieving sibling that first spoke “you’re not an artist” into a young heart.
And then to see how that young heart (now grown-up) repeated that phrase over and over again, taking less chances, then avoiding creative activity all-together, until that prophecy became a reality.
The thing is, you ARE creative because you ARE created.
The highly-successful artist Pablo Picasso once said:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
When I look at Picasso’s art over the years, I see an established artist trying HARD to UNLEARN his skills, trying hard to get back to that pure childlike creativity he once enjoyed.
I write this because someone out there needs to hear it: you can do art. It’s not a precious club for the select few. When you make art, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your art is valuable if you find the time you spent making it, worth it. And art can look like many different things: writing, cooking, knitting, talking with elderly people, gardening, you name it.
So, tell me, what small, creative act have YOU done today? Comment below.
PS: If you're looking for an art instructor who's encouraging, supportive, and engaging, I happen to know one ;) I'm taking virtual students adult to age 9 now. Visit here to learn more.
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