How can I tell if I’m an artist yet?
Am I a real artist?
What do I have to do to become a real artist?
My students have asked these questions, and more. In the spirit of “there are no stupid questions”, I will try to answer.
In Ghana, and perhaps other places, they have no word for artist. In that society,
it is assumed that everyone is an artist. I agree.
In America, we call anyone who sings on a stage an artist, but we imply that singing
in the bathtub, is somehow less. Some think that dancing in a tutu is artistic, but
on a dance floor, it falls short.
Everyone agrees that artistic ability and creativity are intimately linked. Nevertheless,
people do not necessarily see that everyone is creative.
Here is a list of some creative acts:
- Writing on the walls just before the new paint job.
- Dancing in your underwear.
- Re-arranging stuff on your dresser.
- Selecting furniture
- Making yellow circles in the snow
- Saying something funny.
- Making up a lie.
You get the idea. We are all artists.
Now, if you are asking about being a painter, that’s very different. It’s
a skill that you acquire, and never stop acquiring.
So being a painter is journey, not a destination.
Edgar Degas said it best.
Painting is very easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.
And I say.
Infuse every part of your life, every move you make, everything you say, with
your personal creativity. You owe it to yourself and the rest of us too.