Over the weekend, I gained a new fan on Facebook. She left me a great comment saying that she was looking for a cousin, but got inspiration from a wanna-be artist. Now mind you, I don’t take it as a slight at all and I hope she reconnects with her cousing. Yet it very quickly reminded me that I have to be more confident in who I am. Yes, I did look like a wanna-be artist. I probably put that face on more than I want to because I don’t like boasting and bragging. However, am I wrong in keeping the story straight?
When I first started showing off my paintings and drawings, I felt so strange because I hadn’t grown up with art. I’d been a writer. As I’ve stated on this blog before, it felt strange, like a betrayal because I’d moved from writing to visual arts. I stretched out to other visual artists asking if I was an artist. What I realized was that I had always been and still was an artist even if I had changed my medium.
More recently, I’ve questioned my level. I’m never as good as I want to be. Yet, I look at art that is “gallery quality” and I regain a certain perspective. I am trying to build a quality art career. Every artist has to follow what they believe in. I hope that I never see myself as a good artist. I want to keep growing and challenging myself for if I stopped it would become mundane. Who wants a mundane career? I want collectors to see me as a great artist with quality artwork, but I never want to stop learning. Because I’m not there, does that make me a wanna-be artist?
Here’s my theory. It’s not new; more recently I’ve read the same thoughts from Julia Cameron. A writer writes. A painter paints. A wanna-be writer or painter sits and watches tv rather than writing or painting. A wanna-be musician only listens to the music in his head other than getting it down on paper. The wanna-be is not developing a career. I’m reminded of a quote by Cay Lang which goes something to the effect of: “You are either painting or you are obsessing about the fact you aren’t painting. You choose. ” To me, that’s the difference between the doer and the wanna-be: doing or obsessing.
For the record, I have collectors of my artwork throughout the US, especially back east, then along the western coastline. Last year, I sold my first work internationally. I may not be able to work on my career everyday, but I do hope to get there someday (so I guess technically that makes me a wanna-be full-time artist). Still, I’ll spend every moment I have working on quality product and getting better. I hope you’ll see something you like to purchase and support me on my quest.
And to my new Facebook fan, thanks for joining and thanks for giving me something to write about as well as setting me back on track.