Day 5 – I Am An Artist

Yep, I went to school for it, working with my hands, clay, paint and any kind of craft is something I’ve done my entire life. I was the little girl braiding my friends hair in summer camp because no one else could braid it as well as their Moms except me. I am good with my hands and I’m good at expressing myself through paint, clay and any other medium. But sometimes I judge myself the worst.

I don’t alway feel like I measure up. My best doesn’t look photo-realistic. And some days this bothers me. The EGO in me wants to be the best. I want to be the most special and when I can’t sometimes I throw a tantrum (in my mind) and put it all down for a while. Cause if I can’t do it as well as someone else, why bother trying?

The only problem with that is that eventually I come back to it, because… I am an artist. An artist is an expression of my inner self in colour, form and texture. I can’t express myself in any better way. And I have to remind myself that when I’m letting my ego take over I’m trying to match what I think someone else expects of me. When in truth they have no expectations of my abilities whatsoever.

The label artist is something I struggle with. Because with that label comes a stereotype and a set of standards. The ‘starving’ artist or the notion that you can’t be famous until you’re dead.

It’s something I rejected for a long time I didn’t want the stereotype. I hate the hoitey-toitey world of artists in galleries. I can’t stand most conceptual art. I simply like pretty things, classical art and appreciate things for their pure beauty and expression vs. some intellectual meaning.  I want to be an artist on my own terms. I love the wine and cheese of openings at galleries but I hate how intellectual people get intellectual over stuff. Sometimes a flower is just a flower.

I’m an artist. Once I was told – why don’t you do ‘Native’ art – because I’m Ojibwe I was expected to channel all my creativity into a single stereotype style of lines and form that would have pleased this person. Apparent if I did I’d have made lots of money and every time I happen to create something with that feel – they say, “See, I told you you should do that.”

It’s infuriating to say the least. Perhaps that is why I am an artist who is not an artist. I create art but I have never wanted to fight to be an ‘Artist’ in the art world. I kind of think that if they want me, they will come and find me. This is a title I struggle with every time I paint something new. I want a new label but I guess the closest thing is ‘creative.’  Perhaps I can even blend the two to create a new one for myself Creartivist…. lol yep sounds good.

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