I have never claimed to be an artist. I’ve identified myself as a doodler, a crafter, and even a creative person, but I’ve never said “I am an Artist”. I think part of it stems from not feeling good enough to claim the title. When I look at the definition of artist from Merriam-Webster, it says
art·ist noun \ˈär-tist\
: a person who creates art : a person who is skilled at drawing, painting, etc.
: a skilled performer
: a person who is very good at something
Ahhh there is it is. Skilled. I don’t get paid to create artwork. I don’t get paid to doodle. I can’t draw realistically, it’s just not in me. My perspective is often askew. I am by no means a professional… this is just something I do as a hobby because I enjoy it. It is a great stress reliever for me. There are times that I just NEED to create, to make those cute little quotes or doodles, to drag out the supplies and literally put pen to paper. It is odd, having this driving force – to have this creative piece of you bubbling inside until you just can’t do anything but get it out… There are times I’ll find myself at work, doodling my notes in a meeting. I’m still paying attention, but now my notes have squiggles or curly q’s or is in 3D lettering with cool shading.
There are many artists out there that I enjoy or admire. They aren’t realistic either, but they do have a style that I love. Something freeing about the way they draw. I like the curves and the simpleness of their art. It’s not complex or overly thought, and I enjoy, truly enjoy, looking at their illustrations. I love artists like Carla Soheim and Andrea Zuill. I also like illustrators like Karen Hallion and Katie, that can merge geeky and cute together in cartoon form. And I adore some of the art my friends create like Carol and Susan. Until I started writing down some of my fave artists, I never realized that I don’t absolutely LOVE realistic artists… and that’s ok. I like the fun and the quirky, the cute and the colorful, whimsical and adorable! No wonder its how I draw and paint and illustrate!
It is so easy to be critical of one’s talents. But today as I started to pull out supplies, I stumbled across a collection of my “doodles” from last year. And in that second, I admired my art. Not my doodles, not my sketches or my little paintings… but my art. Pieces that had fed my creative mind as I jotted or doodled or painted or sketched had become art. The same doodles that I didn’t like or that I had been really critical of “in the moment” of creating, after months of not looking at them, I admired… in that one moment. And then it snapped. I need to quit looking at my work from the artists point of view, but from the point of view that admires the artists I enjoy. I still won’t put myself in the same category as most of them, but today… today I am an Artist.