"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.
Comment below and tell me: What small, creative act have YOU done today?
"But, what if I mess up?"
"What if what I make looks horrible?"
"What if I can't do it?"
Ok, friend, Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel in a day. Certainly his statue of David took more than one Youtube tutorial to complete (haha...). Little Michelangelo wasn't able to hold a paintbrush or chisel as soon as he left the womb. He certainly showed interest and artistic aptitude when he was young, but he had to develop and practice his skills. Plus, he was apprenticed to a master artist, who knew how to channel his young enthusiasm into hard and (eventually) lucrative work. (Learn more about Michelangelo's story here.)
Did you get that? His APTITUDE wasn't enough to make him into a master. His aptitude had to align with his ATTITUDE - one that allowed him to learn all he could from those around him.
So, friend, how can you hope to get anywhere when you keep saying, "I'm not an artist"?
Nope, bring that phrase over to the window. Now toss it. Don't look back.
There's an artist inside each of us. It's just waiting for a little boost: ATTITUDE, and maybe a good teacher who knows how to encourage, train and support.
Good art teachers are everywhere, but so are not-so-good ones (those who reinforce your belief that "you can't do it right."). So find a good one in your local arts or education scene.
And if you can't find one, or if I'm stating to "speak your language," then by all means, let's connect! I want to help you learn how to express your unique voice through art.
Wether you're a creative individual looking to add to your skills, or a cooped-up mom looking for something for the kids to do, I'd be honored to be able to teach you or your student some new art skills.
And yes, all lessons are virtual, using a two camera setup on Zoom.
You'll leave each lesson feeling both encouraged and accomplished. You'll also leave each art lesson with a beautiful work in progress that you can finish on your own time, or save for your next lesson with me.
Find out if I'm the right art teacher for you!
I'm currently accepting new virtual art students (kids age 9+, teens, and adults). Visit here to learn more.