You want to be an artist?

Who says you’re not? You? Well, so you have to convince your self that you are an artist. Eventually, hopefully, one day. When you try hard. When you prove it.

First, you have to define ‘artist’. At least you should understand what artistry is when you claim or deny you are an artist. And that could mean you should stop thinking about it in the sense of a social standard, a description of a type of person, living a type of life (mostly struggling financially and using pain to express themselves).

Why should you be interested in becoming a financially struggling, pain-needed-to-create person? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

So start with the standards you believe in about artists. Do you want to be that kind of person? Are you looking for a special type of life, an attitude? Not working. All you will get is the suffering (remember: the pain, the financial situation) and it will be a mask, a role, a way to live a life. But a life may be not your life. And when your creations are not filled with real life, they are just pictures on the wall. *

Don’t get me wrong: pictures as decoration are good for the heart, the eye, the concept of an atmosphere at home or at the workplace, and thus for harmony. And of course, art can be decorative too.

Ok, art can be decorative. Not all decoration is art. The theme of inductive : deductive can be a magnifier of your idea of an artist. For example:

When you believe in the deductive assumption you probably think when you don’t look, behave, talk, or live the way artists usually live, look, talk, or behave – you may not be an artist. You would tend to look, behave, talk, and live like ‘them’ to become who and what they are. Should work in a deductive world.

Don’t do that. Don’t re-create a lifestyle. Re-creation is a pattern themed on copy and mimicry **. That’s quite the opposite of art. I’ll share some thoughts on repetition some other time.

So when you’re struggling with the identification of an artist, you could take a look at your ideas about that kind of person. And maybe it’s just a label called ‘artist’ on an old box, nothing in it but some faded accessories like a black beret or a red scarf from back in the day.

This black beret may prohibit accepting yourself as an artist, bc you don’t like labels in general.

This black beret may be the headgear you are longing for but don’t wear because of the labels about the black beret in particular.

This black beret may look like the black beret a parent, a grandparent used to wear. You don’t want to follow in their footsteps.

This black beret may remind you of someone you loved or admired, or inspired you. Or it reminds you of your own inspiring, untamed youth. Makes you feel good. Ah, the nostalgic … but the next moment you’re sad because it’s gone.

This black beret may maintain to be your entrance to a world you’d like to be part of, and you use it as a ticket. Do you know what the tickets are about? You’re a guest, an attendee. Not the initiator, the creator.

We are all attendees in certain areas. That’s a beautiful thing to be. Especially art likes to be shared with recipients. We can be the attendees to each other’s events.

You may wonder (like I did after revisiting this text): Where is the definition of ‘artist’? I had to remind myself by the headline this is about the desire, the longing to become an artist. Because right now you think you are not.

The substance of a real artist is one thing. What you personally want, hope, seek, or deny in being an artist is something else. Completely different. Separate it. Be honest. Lots of black berets out there. You want to be one of them? Why?

Just for a second: Imagine you hold the one black beret in your hand that happens to be the true symbol for an artist as the essence: Would you put it on? Would you own it? Does it feel right to you? Or is there hesitation? What do you feel (first) and think (second)? Ok, this sounds like the Harry Potter Sorting Hat. Does he speak to you? Are you an artist?

shortlist: art may lead you to a certain lifestyle. A certain lifestyle will not lead you to art.

* No bashing on the song picture on the wall by The Carter Family here. Their song is about a picture that defines its appreciation through personal attachment.

** the background (of copy and mimicry) in nature is protection, survival.