Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pretty, Pretty Please

"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint',
then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."
~Vincent Van Gogh

I was blessed to come from a a long line of creative people. So, when I started drawing and painting, my family members were very supportive. I decided at the age of nine that I wanted to be a professional artist. It never occurred to me that I couldn't. I just did it. That may be one of the reasons I am often taken back when I hear people say that they don't feel comfortable calling themselves an artist. Like the word "artist" means you have the ability to walk on water or something and someone just might ask you to prove it.

My friend, Harold, a wise old sage & very prolific artist says, "People are afraid of art because they have confused it with something else." I agree with him. I love what I do, but it's not magic or anything. It's just paint.

I met a guy the other day who said he was a photographer. He gave me his card. It was a beautiful card with a photo of a drooping tulip. (I'm a sucker for tulips). Of course, I loved his card. He was a bit flustered when I gushed over it and he began to make conversation that leaned apologictic. He was very uncomfortable with me calling him an artist.

Here's my opinion: if you make art on a regular basis (I'm not saying if you have talent & never use it), but if you are working on making art, any art, with passion and are an artist. Why do you need someone to lay a sword on your shoulder and dub you: "Artist"? You don't!

Give yourself over to your creative right. Sure there will be people (artists) who are more successful than you. Even better than you. So what? Don't make such a big deal out of it. Just keep going. If your work resonates with you, then it will resonate with others as well. (Which brings up the topic of honesty in one's work...fodder for another blog post.)

Q: Will there ever be another Mozart?
A: No. Now can we get back to work?


Jill said...

You got it! I am not great, or even real good, but have an art studio, and love it. Sometimes I have the time and motivation to paint, sometimes less motivation and make a purse, and when I have only a little creativity, I write a little Seussish poem. It all counts. Your post is encouraging.

Kathleen Cavender said...

Thanks Jill. Indeed it does all count. Keep up the good work!

Katherine Harra said...

Art and Fear, right?

I guess you are right, though, other professions or callings don't test the person for their level of accomplishment at that calling. Only that they are actively pursuing it. Lawyer. Golfer. Singer. Musician (oh, well that one's iffy). Waiter. Gardener. Bus driver. Anyway, if you do it you are it!