You are different than most of the people around you. Maybe you have felt this all your life or have heard it from others. You dress different, you think different and you feel different. Not for the sake of being different... you just are!
Because of your unique character, you are very perceptive. You feel with great intensity and often discern the motives of people and the atmosphere in spaces. Situations that seemingly don't bother others can make you feel distraught or euphoric. This sensitivity can sometimes feel overwhelming or leave you with a sense of vulnerability.
As an artists you challenge the status quo. Some may call you stubborn but you have an inherent conviction of what is right and often express this with great passion and with the necessary drama. Or on the other hand you may be extremely shy and quiet not wanting to be judged for the things you so deeply feel. You are not impressed with trends or fads and prefer to create your own. If everybody seems to be going right you would prefer to go left.
Your strong convictions drive you and you feel compelled to express your beliefs. Whether you are a painter, musician, poet or architect. The 'why' is inseparable from who you are as a person and your art. You are willing to defend your convictions at great costs.
You need to be alone. Not that you don't like people but being alone allows you to process the things that you so deeply feel and experience. It is not always being physically alone but it could be a retreat within yourself. When you are alone the world seems to make more sense and you have a better understanding of who you are. When others are involved you find this more challenging as you could feel misunderstood or not accepted. In this solo space you create, come up with ideas and can truly be an artist.
You tend to see things that others don't see. The shimmering of the sun on a lake or a beautiful song sung by a street musician. You have the ability to capture these moments and savour them. They are your lifeline. You perceive the visible and imagine the impossible. Your vivid imagination is alive and an ally that allows you to create things not yet seen.
You love a challenge! Whereas the unexpected and unpredictable could send many running for the hills it makes you come alive. The surprises that emerge as you create give you a deep sense of being and excitement that energize and fuels endless session of painting, composing and creating. Creating is your sustenance.
Is your mind naturally inquisitive and you love discovering underlying structures, stories or secrets. This is part of your make up as an artist. We discover, inspect, research the often hidden things which we then in turn paint, sing or play into a song, painting or poem bringing these secrets to light.
Artists have their own rules when it comes to order. You need a certain chaos to function. Chaos helps you create and put ideas, thoughts and images into a new order. Rearranging truths or reality so that match your convictions. Once ideas or images are (re)ordered you feel a sense of relief and satisfaction. This is one of the secrets of creating.
Being an artist is a gift. A sacred journey, a calling and a vocation that is to be nurtured.
You may feel artistic but being called an artist seems out of reach. Maybe it is too abstract or you feel inadequate.
It starts by giving yourself permission to 'be'. Permission to be be YOU! You are different, you are special. Develop your gifting, nurture your talents and take every opportunity to mature in your art. Embrace this journey of self-discovery as you grow from being artistic to becoming an artist.
This quote sums it up for me:
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." Camille Pissarro
Look out for my next post: HELP! I AM AN ARTIST.
I once attended a wedding of an artist friend of mine. As the wedding official introduced the couple he stated their professions. 'Artist' he said as he gestured to my friend. A gentle chuckle rippled through the crowd.
I remember feeling quite taken aback. Why the laughter? Don't people understand that being an artist is serious business, one that deserves recognition and is to be valued. I don't think is phased my friend, he had found the love of his life and is still very much a successful artist. But it got me thinking.
For both artists and audience there is still work that needs to be done!
But first things first.
This summer I taught at an Summer Art Academy in Germany. I spent a week teaching and mentoring creatives and the question they most frequently asked me was... 'How do I know if I am an artist?'
This is an interesting question. As we do not come out of the womb with a label saying 'artist' we need other guidelines to help us discover if we indeed are one.
I am no expert but here are some traits I have discovered artists have in common. Do you recognize yourself in any of these traits?