Nov 27, 2010

I am an Artist


About 13 years ago, I decided to call myself an ARTIST.

And I took great offence when people asked me if I still did crafts. It really bugged me. :)

Slowly people caught on. And when they would ask me what I did, I would say matter of factly,“I am an artist”. At first it felt kind of weird, but now it feels just right. 

If we create, and we all should, I think we truly need to claim it, no matter what our art may be!! Perhaps it’s cooking or baking, writing, sewing, or photography. If it’s your passion, it is ART. 

Art is pure and wonderful and full of light and darkness and depth. 

Since i claimed the title of ARTIST, there have been ups, downs, and plenty of in betweens. 

But one thing i know for sure... when i claimed it, life took on a whole new meaning.

It allowed me to declare: 

I would get my art published in magazines

I would have a licensing rep and print publisher

I would develop a line of primitive art

I would have my work on giftware and in people’s homes

it allowed my dreams to come true, over and over

And it lead me to this moment, sharing this with you...

Claiming that title was the best gift i could have given myself. It opened up a rather small world into something big and amazing. It allowed me to be more than just a mother and wife. It gave me an identity of my own.

Your dreams do not have to be my dreams. Perhaps your dream would be to paint a mural, take a class, buy a camera, learn to stitch or sew, start writing, or create a blog.

Claiming my artist has lead me on an amazing journey. Has it been perfect? Heck no! That’s where the ups and the downs come in. 

We have been way up there, not a care in the world, and we have been way down low. We were sailing along, thinking we had made looking back. All our struggles were over (at least financially). But it kinda all crashed. I’m grateful for the crash. It may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. It lead me to this moment, sharing with you. It lead me to my camera and photography and flickr. It lead me to put my faith back in God....To trust and believe that with Him all things would be okay. You see, if things kept going so perfectly i would not be here. I would still be in my ‘perfect world’. I probably would not have fallen in love with my camera. I would not have started my blog, or the 2bbb blog with my kindred spirit PG, or joined Flickr (my happy place).

As an artist, I have to create. It’s not an option. So between balancing the artist in me, with the reality of life... it can be a challenge. 

Oh, the reality of it all. Teenage sons, dirty dishes, laundry, messy house, bills to pay, interruption upon interruption, meals to make, books to keep, stacks of paper, knocks on the door, phone calls, family needs... i could go on. ‘sigh’

There are no dreamy actions that you can order that will turn your life right side up. There are no magic photoshop tools to fix it all. Hey, perhaps that is why i am madly in love with photoshop? Hmmmm... It’s a little like magic. It reminds me of the old sitcom "Bewitched". Gosh I loved when Sam would just wiggle her nose and everything would be just right. ‘sigh’

But if life were that easy, would I be so reflective? If things had continued so smoothly would i be so grateful? No, I don’t think so. But as I move forward and upward, I vow to stay on the ground, if that makes sense. To be smart in the things I must be smart about. To dream the things i must dream about.

Being an artist has taught me to believe...with every morsel of myself... that anything is POSSIBLE. Anything. 

And to believe that there is an artist in all of us.

Have you found your artist? Have you claimed the role? Are you scared to claim it? What steps have you taken to claim the title? How has it changed you? What is the hardest part about it, what is the best part about it? I’d love to hear.

article originally written for Simply Hue.  


Suki said...

Wow, what a powerful and inspirational post my dear Kim! And yes, I would love to have a "Bewitched" life once in a while.
Truthfully I have not taken a lot of steps to reach my goal to sell my work and see it on someones wall.
But little by little I get there. Year by year, month by month and day by day. I get better in my visual art. I lie to tell stories for others through it. And yes, I love it!
I am an artist in every way even when people tell me they don't believe that.
Those are the ones who wish they did take the step earlier in life.

Anonymous said...

This so resonates with me Kim! Last year around this time I saw that MeRaKoh was sponsoring a contest called Soar! I went through the steps to make a 2 min. video explaining why I thought I should win equipment, software, coaching, website etc. to start a photography business. I thought well, you can't win if you don't enter, right? Well, over this year it became clear to me that that was what I needed to see that I could really do all this on my own. Yeah, the three winners got lots more advice and help, but they went through the same struggles as the rest of us. I started calling myself a photographer, it felt weird at first too ;) So I just jumped in. What was the worse that could happen? I build a free website, watched & learned along with the Soar recipients and Cosi Bella Photography was birthed! I've been busy enough since. I homeschool my kids so it's okay for me to not be too busy yet - slow and steady wins the race :D I guess what I'm trying to say is all I really needed was within me already. Thankfully the Lord has seen fit to bless me in my venture, just has He has blessed me with the gift of photography.

Claudia (aka Cosi! on flickr)

Kristin said...

you have taken this girl's soul and put words to her thoughts...i said to myself last night those exact words...i am an artist...i have yet to utter the words out loud, i can just imagine some of the snickering and eyeball rolls...i continue on a creative journey with the strength those words have given me...thank you for giving voice...

Carol said...

Great post, Kim, I loved it! I am an artist. It took me a long time to call myself that. For me,the hardest part was showing my work to anyone but I made that leap. I'm juggling the same things you are (except for the teenage boys) and things get in the way! But it's my passion, not my hobby, and my's mine.
And the very best part is that magical moment when you did what you thought you never could.
Thanks for such a moving post.

kelly@thebluemuse said...

Kim, you are a true artist! And such a generous spirit as well. I could relate to this post in so many ways, still navigating my way through all these words and titles and ways to make a living as an artist, all those ups and down. But I know what you mean, even with them, I wouldn't change it, this life we love.
I am so glad that you took that leap, took that title and made it your own.

Kat Sloma said...

Earlier this year I made that same statement, surprising myself. And you are right, it has opened up so much for me. I am at the beginning of my journey, it is good to hear the passion stays from someone further down the road. Thank you so much for sharing this post!

Marcie said...

What a powerful and inspiring post. Saying - out loud - that one is an artist is such a huge step!!! Love how you've shared parts and pieces of your journey. Beautiful!!!

ELK said...

i can hardly think it much less say mom was one sister was one but me? you have encouraged me today friend

Carola Bartz said...

Kim, this is such a powerful post. Just two days ago - on Thanksgiving - I said for the first time that I am a photographer. It felt weird and good at the same time. I still can't really say that I am an artist (except to complete strangers) because I expect the eye-rolling, the "who does she think she is?" question in their eyes. However, I hope to be there one day. Sadly I'm also a hopeless procrastinator, and that bugs me way more!

Anonymous said...

Kim, your post makes me think. As I have said before, I've always wanted to be artistic. As a small child, I would draw and color all the time. But something happened as I got older, I began to think I couldn't draw well, and became extremely self-critical. This self-criticism continues to haunt me to this day. If I try something and it doesn't work -- it says, "See, you aren't artistic - that's terrible. What a waste of your time." And I also think that if I was artistic, I wouldn't have flops -- you know projects that really don't turn out like you want-- so that voice will say "If you were REALLY artistic, you wouldn't mess stuff up like that." So your post has made me think that I have a lot of work to do about this critical voice that keeps blocking me. Thanks for making me think! I can learn all the technique I want, but if I won't practice, make mistakes, and keep pressing on...the magic won't happen. :-)

Marie Young (Young Creative) said...

This is a very empowering post. I agree that "artist" is a title we should embrace.

I don't know why it is so difficult. I claim the title, "writer," far more easily, but I think that is because it is in the job description of my official 9-5 job.

deb said...

so wonderfully expressed Kim, thank you.

I keep saying and thinking that I'm still dipping my toes in all of this. still, still.

I feel the need to the core of me to be creative.
Does that make one an artist?
Does publication make one a writer?

I am still struggling with this.

But not in the belief that my "creativity" touches people. I do believe it. It's overwhelming and humbling and I haven't decided what to do with it,
but I do believe finally.

~Kristina said...

by far, my favorite post!
you inspire me.
I struggle with everything you have delved into here. Thank you for sending me back to my heart to think, to be, to create.

Jamie said...

What a glorious post!!! I'm still afraid to claim the title artist - but I dream of doing so one day

Kia said...

Awww, what a lovely and inspirational entry, Kim! :)

Irma said...

This post really hit home with me! I struggle with calling myself an 'artist'. But aren't we all artists? Whether you are a home decorator, photographer, scrapbooker, knitter, etc. ...anyone who places high value on the visual aesthetic is an artist.

Lori said...

Oh man, I LOVE this post.

It speaks to what so many of us have gone through/are going through. I have been saying "I'm an artist" for a while now. I'm comfortable with that, but the issue for me is the (sometimes) silence at the end of that.

"Oh." ??? And I think that they are thinking "How does she make any money?" Or whatever.

Then they say, "What kind of art do you make?" Here is where I can get stuck. So, "I'm an artist" comes out good, then I flounder. I am working on a little "speech" to say when people ask that. Just to build my confidence. Then hopefully it will come naturally.

Thanks for such a thought-provoking post!!!

Lisa said...

What a fantastic post. I'm not "there" yet, but someday I know I will be.

Lisa said...

What a fantastic post. I'm not "there" yet, but someday I know I will be.

dbalyoz said...

kim, this is the most beautiful and inspiring of articles. thank you for being and artist and for inspiring the artist in us all! I'm very much working on claiming mine. :)

blue elephant photography said...

love your post! thanks for being an inspiration =)i still just say i am an engineer or a photographer still not fully on the artist part...

BonnieRose said...

Such a fabulous post....I too am now an artist, no longer a cardmaker, scrapbooker, crafter, I AM AN ARTIST. After attending BRAVE GIRLS CAMP this past Oct I began to believe in myself more.. and then joined an online e course and learned new techniques with new forms of media.. and now it's like something has become unleashed within me.
I am an artist.
yes I am.
Loved your post...
so so beautiful.

I too want to make my living from doing what I love.

xo love love

Lynn Richards said...

I have just seen this post and along with the others, it resonates deep within my soul. I keep asking myself, "what am I missing?" I think saying I am an Artist is what is missing. And meaning it. And believing it. I can't not create. I truly believe it is a gift-why would I not believe it is a gift for me?

From now on, when someone asks, "and what do you do?" I will answer with the truth, "I am an artist." And I will rejoice in it!!!


maureen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s important for us to do that. Important for us women, for us artists, for us photographers to share our struggles and triumphs, and to have the opportunity to support each other.
I have finally begun to say ‘why, yes, I am a photographer’ and that leads me to saying ‘yes, I am an artist’ because my camera is simply a tool for me to create my art.
It’s imperative for us to own that, to become what we dream, to follow our passion. And I believe, as you have found, when you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone, and own it, that’s when the real growth begins, and the doors open.
And you my friend, most certainly are an artist. A very gifted, loving, generous artist. It shows in all that you do.

Color Cat Studios said...

Love it. You put our collective artists' voices into words. I think I'll direct people to your post when they say, 'aren't you that artsy-fartsy person?' GRRRR!!!

Yes, it is freeing. And it is a responsibility, too. And a constant struggle to balance my artistic desires with real life, just as you so aptly put it. Thanks for the encouragement!