The term “artist”

I was talking with a friend last night about the term artist. He suggested that there are broad definitions of the term. I hadn’t really thought of it before in the way he suggested. However, as I age, my needs and desires in the realm of art seem to be more defined.

Let me explain. He suggested that there were some artists that create art as a means to an end, for pay. Just like any job. They have a skill, they use that skill for a purpose. They are artists. This would include any creative. – Writers, musicians, fine artists.

There are also artists, that have a deep need to create. They create because it is a part of the fiber of their being. While it is lovely to sell or share a piece of art, this is not the main motivation. The goal is to create. This can be again for any form of art. Personally, I always refer to the act of creation as my oxygen. My husband can testify, that when I am not making art I am much more stressed and unfun to be around.

My friend asked me what my earliest happiest memory was. I shared that it was my Gumby light board. I was six or seven creating a magazine that I had written and illustrated. I used the Gumby lightboard to make copies for my family. (and tried to charge them money to have a copy that I carefully copied on the lightboard) He suggested that from my earliest memories, I was happiest when creating.

“Do that”, he said.

I looked at him with a sort of disbelief. I wanted to say, “NO KIDDING!” I then calmly explained that being in any business, even an art business, seemed to be even more about the business aspect, rather than the creation aspect. I am honest to tell you that I shared my discouragement. The last couple of years (thank you Covid) have been rough. It feels like I spend more time on everything other than actually painting. Nope. That is NOT what I want.

My friend sat across the table from me with that sweet Irish grin he has and simply said,

“So, paint. Just paint. Create. We will figure out the rest later.”

It seems so simple when he said it that way. In my head, I had a hundred (or more) arguments about why this wasn’t possible. (this all happened in the span of a few seconds). In the end, I looked at him and said,

“Okay”.

So. I think I have a lot to think about. I know that change is in the wind. I just have to figure out where this is all going… I will let you know when I do. <3

Sending you so much love,

Susan

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