In the last month I have had this conversation with many people, some of them SAVI artists about whether or not what they do is ART. This is not as unique a problem as you might think, in fact I am pretty sure it is one we all had to face at some time.
When I first graduated from college with my BFA, people I knew started introducing me as their friend the artist, every time this happened I would look around expectantly, an artist where? and then realize they were talking about me. Now of course, technically speaking I was officially qualified to call myself an artist, but I had been the Mum for so long I didn’t really feel as if this new title fit, and if it was right, how did that affect all my other titles, you know, wife, mum, car pool driver? I was AFRAID to admit I was an artist, I was afraid the universe would laugh at me and the other shoe would drop.
I’d love to tell you that there was an easy solution, but in reality other people’s definition of me wore down that fear. Like water rubbing away rock, until eventually I thought, well maybe I am. I do all the things artists do, that is I make stuff, nice aesthetically pleasing stuff (mostly!), I exhibit in art galleries (surely if the art establishment says I am an artist I must be?) and I even teach art at a college. I have a studio, I have art supplies, I make money selling art. But here’s the truth, deep down, I am still not entirely convinced. Some days I look at what I am doing and I say to myself in a harsh and critical tone, that’s not art! Is t?
I can relate to where you are coming from, and after all what the heck is an artist anyway? So just keep saying it until you too get worn down and start to believe (even just a tiny smidge).
And for further confirmation that you are not alone read this