Copic Colouring Guide released - yippee!
No Angel

Not a 'real artist'

OK like many others out there I have a tiny little complex about my own art-work!  I've never taken a formal art lesson, didn't get to take art as a subject in High School, know nothing about painting, lighting, shading, shadow, art theory and if you held a gun to my head and insisted I draw a realistic looking horse from memory you'd be lucky to recognise the finished object.  For some reason these things for me are inextricably linked with being a 'real' artist.  Sigh! 

I have learned what I know from experimenting, trial and error and loads of reading, but still feel a keen lack of artistic knowledge, comments over the years from people I've talked to about my passion have not helped, things like - Oh so you JUST coloured it in, WHY would you want to make that when you can buy one, Oh that's pretty - but don't you think you could spend your time better?  None of the negative stuff makes me feel any more like a 'real artist.  I've mentioned before that I'm a bit like a human photocopier - I can see and reproduce both shape and colour, I like playing with different mediums and I suppose in part because of my lack of training - I do things a little differently (I need to see this as the positive thing it is) plus I love creating.  Still sometimes I suprise myself by the negative, belittling things that come out of my own mouth!

A dear friend recently sent me an email (you know who you are!) we were chatting about what we were doing art wise, she has recently taken the plunge and has begun to make her art her career.  This lovely lady gave me a HUGE compliment and suggested I was heading towards the point where I could turn my passion into my job rather than a hobby.   I was telling my hubby all this later in the day and what comes out of my mouth but:   I could never do that, I can't draw and what I do is really just fancy colouring in!  Yep - you read that right - what a load of crap!

Now I'm not phishing for compliments here (please don't think I am).  If anyone said this to me about my work or anyone else's I'd be highly offended and point out the MANY reasons they were wrong, yet I don't mind putting myself down this way.  Sheesh - I KNOW I am a good teacher, I KNOW my artwork and teaching has the ability to inspire others and allow them to create new and exciting things.  I don't hold anyone else or their work to those same standards - I have sculptors, painters, photographers, mixed media artists, journal artists, stampers and jewellers - who I adore and whose artwork inspires be and makes my jaw drop - I don't stop to ask if they can draw from memory before I love their work and call them artists.  So my question here to you all, is at what point do you start calling yourself an artist? 

  • Is it when you produce your first piece that you like?
  • Is it when you produce your first piece someone outside your family or circle of friends likes?
  • Is it when you finish your Art Degree?
  • Is it when you sell something?
  • Is it when people know who you are and what you do?
  • Is it when someone else calls you an artist?
  • Is it something else entirely?

At what point can YOU call yourself an artist? 

I'd love to hear other people's views on this, so please leave a comment. 

For me my hubby came to the rescue, he's my biggest critic and strongest supporter!  When I spouted the drivel above, his response was - 'Well you may not be able to draw (from memory), but the way you take things, add colour, change them and put them together, really is art." 
I think I'll keep him :O)