Have you ever spent days, weeks, months or even years searching for something, or wrestling with ideas that just won’t fall into place? This pretty much describes me as I have been trying to figure out and develop my identity as an artist.
I have struggled with everything from what to call myself,, to whether I am a “real artist” or just a “wanna be,” to whether my technique is proper or good enough. And it has kept me from creating my art.
Then I began having a series of epiphanies. First the river/lake where we live froze and I was aware of texture all around me. I took pictures which I shared with others and they began to see textures around them. I realized this is what my work as an artist is all about — helping people see things they have never seen or see things in a new way.
Several weeks later I was talking to a neighbor and she mentioned the word texture in reference to clouds. As I walked and continued to think about that I realized that I am a mixed media artist and the materials I use, which include textiles, fiber and found objects give me the perfect opportunity to create and convey texture in my work.
I had recently been reading articles on business for artists. In article after article I read that real artists don’t wait to be inspired, they find out what will sell and they work full-time turning it out. Anyone who does anything less is at best an “amateur.”
Well I guess I am an amateur then. I also guess I will pretty much stay that way. At first I was offended by those remarks and started questioning whether I really was an artist, but there is no denying it.
I have always been and will always be an artist. People may call me what they want but I have the eyes, mind and heart of an artist. Being an artist is who I am not what I do. Attention to detail and the ability to see things in different ways and develop new ways of doing things serves me well in my daily life as well as in my art.
Artists have a tendency to create their own little worlds and take up residence there. That has scared me a little as I have often feel pressured to stay grounded and present in the physical world. At times I have felt that perhaps part of my calling is to be an “interpreter” of the physical world, but I get world-weary and sometimes long to retreat into my own personal art world. Now I am beginning to feel the call to at least visit that other world artist’s come from more often.
For many years I was led to believe that I had to constantly “work on” myself. That I had to deal with all the bad stuff and get things right before I could have a real life. While I am sorry for the years that kind of thinking cost me I am grateful that I did finally realize how wrong that was.
Answers don’t always come by focusing all our attention on and struggling with questions. Sometimes answers come while we are going about our daily life.
These words from the song You Will Do Amazing Things by Megon Mc Donough and Jana Stanfield say it all. “Sometimes deepest answers come when you’re out there having fun.” Please join me in listening to this beautiful song. You will do amazing things. Be open to it. Believe it.