"Am I an Artist?" I can't help but wonder how many nuclear physicists get up out of bed each morning and ask themselves whether they are nuclear physicists. Granted, if one is a nuclear physicist, one has concrete evidence of the fact–education, background, job title, and hours of working each day with whatever it is that nuclear physicists work with–but an artist has a few concrete pieces of evidence as well:
|"Am I a fisherman?" You've got a boat, you head out to sea, you
catch fish, and you come home. The question answers itself.
Peruvian Fisherman by Steve Henderson.
Paint; canvas; brushes; paper; pencils; clay; some sort of easel, palette, or workspace–all of which are jumbled together somehow to create an oil painting, a drawing, sculpture, piece of jewelry, or some other product that others look at and call "art."
So it would only make sense to call the person who made it an "artist." Ah, but nothing in life is simple, and many people–some of whom are nuclear physicists–work at a day job and do art on the side, in the evenings, on the weekends, in place of eating lunch–and while what they produce looks like a painting or a sculpture or a piece of jewelry, they torture themselves by asking all the time, "Am I an artist? Am I a real artist?"
Some people ask themselves this so much that they stop producing whatever artwork they have been producing, until they can get an answer to the question.
But to some extent, does it really matter? And whose definition of "artist" are you using anyway?
This is what I recommend: go ahead, keep asking yourself the question if you insist, but don't stop creating whatever it is that you create, and don't let the question fill your mind and crowd out ideas for your next piece of work. Your next piece of artwork, that is.
Does this question crowd your mind? Leave a comment and let me know.