Friday, February 21, 2014

How I Realized I was an Artist....

I believe I've written some of this story before. My mom and dad separated when I was twelve years old. Through my father's complete anguish, and my mother's nonchalance, I realized a lot of things about my parents, that went unsaid. At that point, I resolved to never be anything like my mother. At one point in my childhood, my mother went to Art School, so I associated my mother with Art. As a consequence, even though I loved drawing and making things growing up, I swore off Art as a field of study, and even a hobby. I continued to enjoy making crafts and jewellery though, but I guess I considered this to be something else. I studied Math, History, English and Music and did well, so who needed Art. I found Photography in tenth grade, and decided this was a permissible Art form because my dad's dad had been a photographer, so it was something I inherited from dad's side, not mom's.

The problem is, you can't swear off being a creative person. It's just an extension of yourself. I didn't realize this though, and refused to allow it, until well, not all that long ago. Someone said something about me being "creative", and my cousin replied, "it's not a long shot. Anyone can tell by how she dresses". At that time, I loved photography and crafting and already had an etsy shop, but I actually felt sort of guilty for enjoying it. As if, I was inevitably going to become my mom because I was an Artist.

I decided to update my flickr account the other day, with my recent creations.... and as I was photographing the things I hang on my walls, I realized, I have fully become an Artist. Here's how I know.....
I love to use paint. I never learned to paint, but I find the process of blobbing colours on a canvas very therapeutic. I don't even care what the result is, I throw 99% of them in the garbage once they dry, but I love picking a colour and just seeing what happens. The tree one, I saw that one in my mind before I made it. It doesn't look anything like how I imagined it, but it feels how I imagined it, so that's kind of a good thing.
I stash embroidery hoops and cross-stitch projects. Cross-stitching is very relaxing. I never do anything fancy, just small, pop culture related projects, but it all adds up.
I have a closet of craft and Art supplies. In my recent de-cluttering process, I got rid of A LOT, but I couldn't part with the colourful button jar, nor my large assortment of markers and paint brushes.
I see Art everywhere. I have a collection of letters that spell love. Occasionally, I cut out other words, but love is my favourite.
When I'm low on cash, I find other ways to create. I love these mobiles. I actually made them to sell at a Craft Show, but I wonder if I'll actually part with them. I'm working on two more as well.
In the midst of the cross-stitch, mobiles, and poorly blobbed paintings, are my favourite photographs.
And Art made by my family and my favourite Artists. My dad's brother gave me this painting he did. My grandpa loved trains, so the painting is based on one of grandpa's photographs
Anything can become Art, including magazines, jars, tissue paper and pipe cleaners.
And there are often creative messes everywhere.
I even made my own Totoro, who is hanging out with a Fan Expo Totoro, and Super Ted ( my dad's teddy bear who fought off thunder storms).

I guess the point of this all is, creativity is a wonderful gift, and we all have it, we just have to stop fighting it.
You'll feel better if you do.

Part of this is, (the part I need to realize is okay), I need to create and preserve my vision, even in photographs, and the moments that I want to collect, not the Art others want to see. If I could stop focusing on being "good" and technically correct, and just enjoyed Art for the process and photography for how good it makes me feel, maybe eventually I would become good, and develop an artistic niche appropriate for me. 

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love this so much. I love seeing so many different types of creativity in one place. I'm the same.
I'm still not sure when to call myself an artist. I have fine art degree, so i guess that makes me an artist, and I'm always making things. But it still feels weird when people ask me what i do to say 'I'm an artist.'