You Aren't An Artist; Not Yet, Anyway

“But yeah,” people confess to me, “I’m not an artist.”

“When will you be?” I wonder. 

When a bespectacled collector places a red sticker next to your name? When the canvas starts mattering more to you than sleeping and eating regularly? Does every creator have to bleed out fingers and drown in tears to arrive at a place worth sharing with others? 

Emotional scar tissue isn’t the only currency of honesty in the creative world and a rise to fame and financial viability isn’t the only story arc that qualifies you to share your work with a larger audience. At the end of the day, we’re all working from the same colors, lines, shapes, forms, and textures. We start with an empty canvas, putter around, call it done before the second-guessing devils take over. And if you keep coming back no matter how many times the white space has beaten your ego into the dirt, you’ve got just as much right to wear the creator’s tag as the ones with their names pasted on gallery walls. 

We’ve all got more in common with each other than we’re letting on. Perhaps if more of us were calling ourselves the same thing on the outside as what we’ve been calling ourselves on the inside, it would start feeling more like a community than a crowd.