How to be an artist?
I ashamedly googled this question a few years ago…
I was working a dead end job I hated. All I wanted to do was make art and BE GOOD at making art. Be one of those extraordinary people on Instagram that are just so mind blowingly awesome it hurts. Yep, that’s what I wanted to be, but I wasn’t.
I was complaining about my life to a friend one day and he stopped, took me by the shoulders and said ‘stop trying to be an artist and just be an artist’. Mind. Blown.
It’s so true though, what defines an artist?
For me in my head I’d thought being an artist was amazing paintings, passion, and painting about the things we care about. Documenting our lives. Being rich and famous.
Where realistically it’s years of hard work, doing crappy work, growing, pain, being poor, never feeling good enough. You just do it coz you have to; you know you’d go crazy if you didn’t. All you can do is hope one day you’ll be better and hopefully not so poor!
The harder I try to be a ‘successful artist’ the further I get from it. It’s like the un-reachable goal. But by simply being and doing what I love I am a successful artist, I’m telling my story.
And so I started arting. And little bit by little bit I was getting better. I quit that dead end job I hated and did my arting. I’m not going to pretend my life was glamorous, it wasn’t I was poor and I sucked.
But I got better and better. I started a business doing what I knew I could do (graphic design) and slowly the arting became my work. Suddenly I was an illustrator and able to make a living off doing what I loved.
I love being an illustrator, it’s fun and I meet people. But it also keeps me going while I learn, grow and experiment with my own work.
I’m not going to say I’m finished getting better, because I’m not. I still see those amazing people on Instagram and go ‘uh I totally hate you, but love you’, but little bit by little bit I’m getting better.
One day I’m going to be old (and hopefully be one of those amazing crazy good people on Instagram) and look back and think ‘you know what, I arted. I arted my little butt off’ and it (hopefully) paid off, even if it didn’t who gives a rats. I can be old feeling like I’ve done what I wanted to do in life. I don’t want regrets.
To me that’s being an artist. Just. Be. An. Artist.
(P.S. all meme’s were collected from google images, because who doesn’t love a good meme!)