I was recently asked what I did to become an artist, and at the time I was completely and utterly dumbfounded. Was it here, or there, or when I did that cool thing that others thought was awesome? It certainly wasn’t the exact moment that I graduated, but it wasn’t apart from that either.
There is art in all our daily choices, from the wearing (or not wearing) of make-up and clothes, to the way you perform the actions you take. There is that, and there is being an artist.
An artist is someone who forms art specifically for performing. Richard Schechner’s commonly known theory is that, everything is a performance but ‘being’ an artist, is different to performing. The concept that you ‘are’ confers that it is a part of who I am, and not who I perform as. It’s not a face I put on and suddenly I'm creative again. The amount of times I make a creative breakthrough while asleep or (god forbid) during a game of League of Legends, would astound you.
Simone de Beauvoir once wrote that “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” This philosophy is awesome because it makes you think not only about what it takes to ‘become’, but about what you were before that.
But when specifically did I become a creative artist? Well... Wasn’t I always a creative artist?
Now I’m not going to spout some bull about everyone being an artist, because it simply isn’t true. I won’t give you some philosophical sounding Yoda lingo like, “You will never become an artist, because you never weren’t one”.
I will however, confirm that everyone has the potential to be an artist if they so wish. If I said we are all artists, I would be devaluing myself and anyone else who identifies with being an artist, and that is not fair. And there it is, ‘identifies with being an artist’.
You have to allow yourself to be an artist. You have to be able to sit back and say that “I acknowledge myself as that. I know that what I do is art, and I deserve the title of artist.”
I am an artist because I want to be an artist, and I think I’ve earned it.
Are you an artist yet?
If not, instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be. I always knew I would be an artist, and so I walked this road trodden least, and it has made all the difference.
May the artist be with you.