What makes a REAL artist?

Oh I have struggled with this so much recently.  I only did a couple of craft fairs last year and one show was so hot and miserable that I got kinda sick. I think I sold a couple of little pieces.  The second one was so wintery and cold that the attendance was low.  I sold 3 pieces there.  I didn’t make my booth fee back in both shows.  I was so discouraged – and I still am.  I haven’t been able to really make any fused glass since and painting has been a hit and miss thing.  I look at them and just can’t come up with anything to do.  I am stuck.

I am taking the figurative drawing class (SO FUN!!) and am drawing pretty much every day.  I am not good at it – but I can already see some improvement in being able to draw what I see.  I skipped this weekend but there are days that I draw more than one drawing so it evens out in my mind lol.

Intellectually I know an artist is someone who creates art to express something – beauty, love, angst, concern for the environment, protest, appreciation for the body as a piece of art, etc.  But if I am honest with myself, deep down I believe an artist is who successfully sells their art is a real artist.  They see lots of pieces sell each year – they are in demand.  The artist makes things that a lot of people like and want for their collections.  So I am not a real artist by my definition.  God that hurts.

I had breakfast with a friend yesterday and she showed me her newest art book – it is beautiful – it is stunning.  That doesn’t even do the book justice – but that’s the best descriptor I can come up with now.  Do I see my friend as an artist? You bet.  Does she sell her art? I know she has sold in the past.  I don’t know if she sells now.  Does she sell a lot of her art? I don’t ask so I am not sure.  Do people like her art (other than me)? Oh yes.  Is it in demand? Hell yes.  It’s authentic and powerful.  She knows who she is and she expresses that in her work.  …..and Yes I can see that I am applying two different sets of definitions for her and myself…but I can’t shake loose of that.

One thing that hit me as I write this, the difference between my friend and me is that she has a very clear sense of who she is.  She is very clear on what is important to her and what she needs to express in her art.  Am I? I think so – at least in my paintings.  At least most of the time.  I know I want to paint the human figure more (hence my class) – I want to paint people running – and swimming – and maybe even biking.  I also want to paint Goddess images and other Shammanic images that I am called to create.  And I have tried to paint a dog (FAIL) and horses before (another FAIL)…and would love to be able to paint other animals as they come up.

So maybe I am very clear on who I am and what is important to me…the gap is more of the technical part – my ability to to draw/paint those images I want to create.  So maybe I need to be more patient with my process – and draw more – and have the guts to try the dog…the horse….the bear again.   And women.  It’s just paint.  It’s just pencil and paper.  AHA!

Damn journaling works! Go figure!  Ok…so I will continue as is, be gentle with myself as I practice my drawing and creating what I feel called to.  It’s already getting better – I just need more time.

 

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