(And Why I Think Everyone is An Artist)
Artists are insanely self aware
As artists, we are given the opportunity to be very self aware by the nature of what we do. We spend hours on end in the studio, usually alone with our materials, our thoughts, a snoring dog or cat, and likely coffee from last Tuesday. Being alone, in our element, gives us the opportunity to to really look inward and not just express ourselves through our work, but evaluate ourselves throughout the process.
We don’t just paint - we ask ourselves why?
When we articulate a rigid or awkward way through our art, we explore that a little further. As artists, we are very self aware and I think that is such an incredible aspect of being an artist.
Artists see the world different
Artists are little sponges. We float through the days soaking up every little and lasting detail of various aspects of our lives to bring back into our studio to unpack. Everything then becomes a muse, or an inspiration that we get to explore, express or unfold on our canvas.
When one person sees nasty rust, we see a beautiful inspiration for a palette. When someone is upset they split their coffee just as they added their creamer, we burst into excitement over the cool movement and patterns made while the creamer splits through the coffee as it dances across the floor. We’re sponges, and we’re constantly learning.
We can view another's work and become inspired, not jealous
Life can be competitive. In business, at the workplace, in sporting events or just in general. As artists, we fully appreciate our friendly creatives as we know how difficult it can be to consistently show up to a creative process, and fight the inner critic day in and day out. We see incredible work either in our field or category of work and become instantly inspired.
No one can do exactly what an artist can do in the exact way they can do it. Because of that, I think it’s beautiful to witness another artist's work in absolute awe and admiration and let that fuel further inspiration in our work, not jealousy or competition.
We are able to accept mistakes and shortcomings
I think being an artist should come with a disclaimer that you’re always going to be your absolute worst critic. Every single time. But being an artist is exactly that. Being. Always in process, or progress towards something. Inevitably, that leads to success. But success isn’t anything more than a series of enough failures.
As artists, we are very good at accepting failure and shortcomings and mistakes. Mess up on a painting? Well… it's not gonna correct itself. Get in there and re work it, or gesso over it and start over!
We see the potential in everything
Most people only see finished work and are amazed. As artists, we observe and absorb everything. We don’t just see what is, we also see what came before - the process, the time, the dedication and focus. We also see the “what can be” in everything.
A normal walking of the dog isn’t filled with social media doom scrolls, it’s filled with eyes wide open and our brains taking mental notes and pictures of everything we’re subjecting ourselves to. The birds of paradise plants lurking into the sidewalk. The neighbors lemon tree, ripe with incredibly vibrant lemons. It’s all feedback. It’s all potential. Potential patterns in the leaves or succulents, potential palettes in the flower beds, the feedback and potential is everywhere.
As an artist, having the ability to see the world through the lenses of potential is everything. It’s why we do what we do. We create because we have a desire to express ourselves. To say something that possibly hasn't quite been said in the ways in which we want to say it.
Everyone Is An Artist
I genuinely believe that everyone is an artist, regardless of if they believe it or not. I think we move away from things for the love of them as adults, and lean further into logic just by nature of adulting. I encourage you reading this to tap into that creativity that flirts with you. Maybe it’s while you’re making dinner, or your crafty cocktails? We all have a creative energy that pulses through us - some of us just choose not to ignore it.
How do you show up for your creativity? And how often? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!