Many times, I have heard the line--"oh I am not an artist! " and I want to reply--why not, why can't you call yourself an artist? What is about calling oneself an artist that is so hard. Do we think that artists are just born that way and if you hadn't picked up the brush and begun making gallery worth work by the time you were four years old that you could never be amongst the great artists?
So here are a few little things that I have learned along the way.
I have been practicing my little mantra "I am an artist" for a while now. I am ready when someone asks " and what do you do, Karen?"
My answer is this. I am an artist. I work in fibre and make colourful, wall hangings. I sell my work in galleries and I lecture and teach." WOW!!!
So how do you become an artist??
practice, practice practice!
Yes, some people are born with great artistic skills but most artists will tell you that becoming a good artist takes a lot of work. Skills have to be developed, the work has to be done. Mistakes have to be made and solutions have to be created when mistakes happen. Robynne calls mistakes "Happy accidents"
|see other peoples work, |
You have to do the work.
Learn from other artists. We have not been born in a vacuum. Study how other people make art, then try to incorporate some of it into your own work. It doesn't hurt to copy famous artists work as a beginning of understanding how they did it. Then go on to make your own work. You don't need to reinvent the wheel.
Take lots of workshops with people you admire. Search out work that you like and find workshops that you can take. We are in a wonderful age where we can really find anything we want electronically. How lucky for us that there is such a wealth of information so easily available. Search out other mediums also. I have always been a sewer and a quilter but it wasn't until I took some painting classes that I was able to add an artistic look to my work. I also have taken weaving and pottery and even sculpture classes. They have all been absorbed and sometimes I see little things that I have learned in these classes emerge in my work.
|At Jo's cottage--just having fun|
Search out friends. One of the very best things that has happened to me is joining this little fibre arts group--the Fabrigos. We all have different styles, we all work in different ways but we have developed a tight, close knit friendship that I love.
When people say to me that they would like to join our group, we all reply "This is a closed group. You have to wait for one of us to die before there is an opening. But you can start your own group," We all highly recommend that. It was just a case of all of us joining the local SAQA group and meeting up. Jo stood up at the meeting and said--I want to start a little group--and it went from there.
I hope that a couple of my Fabrigos friends will add to this post. We all have a lot to say about being artists.