The evolution of an artist

When I first began to scrawl out my thank you pictures for The Gratitude Project, it never occurred to me to call myself an ‘artist’.

In fact, despite the fact that I had created a huge amount of art, in a wide variety of media, over the course of my entire life, it had NEVER occurred to me to call myself that.

My mum’s the artist of the family,’ I would have said. I may even have gone so far as saying, ‘Oh no, I’m not creative AT ALL. I’m the organised one.’

It actually baffles me now, to see that written down. Particularly as I’m not even that organised! But that truly was the case.

However, I was compelled to create. Every week, I had to make a brand new painting for the project, and gradually, I began to paint more and more pictures (unrelated to gratitude) just for the joy of it.

I learned that the simple act of making art every day made me an artist.

I began to put making art first on my to-do list.

I made it a non-negotiable, because it made me so happy.

I discovered that whilst I love to draw cats and pots and cups of tea, drawing people just doesn’t interest me at all.

I discovered that I love to draw in pen & ink and paint in watercolour. I discovered that the smell and the mess of oil paints puts me off.

I learned what sort of artist I was.

I kept producing work, and I kept publishing it. Some of it was awesome, some of it sucked.

And then, a funny thing happened - people started getting interested. All of a sudden people were telling me that they loved my work and asking where they could buy it.

Someone got in touch and asked if they could sell my work for me.

I learned that I could make money from making art.

I learned that I could make a living doing the things that I loved – the things that made me happy.

I learned that I didn’t have to compromise. I could make up my own rules for living.

Gradually, I saw that I could combine all of my skills and talents and knowledge into one cohesive whole.

I decided to blend my marketing, business & organisational (left-brain) skills with my art, design & imaginative (right-brain) skills. 

And now, that’s what I get to do every day.

All of this was born from a desperate attempt to claw myself back from a pit of despair. All of this came from the tiny seed of a thought – that the only way out was to say thank you.

Being grateful forced me to be authentic, and when I approached my life from a place of authenticity and gratitude, everything changed for me. I saved myself.

These days, I call myself an Artist (with a capital A).


If you liked this post, you'll love my ebook: Demystifying The Artist: 31 working artists discuss what it really means to be "an artist". Click the button below to get your hands on the FREE ebook.
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