Dizzy Miss James - A Travel / Food/ Lifestyle Blog


6 Jun 2017

Am I An Artist With A Capital A?

For those of us that sweat paint and cry ink, art isn't just a hobby, it's our lifeblood. Not only do we rely on it for our income, but it's the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning, every day. But sometimes we can doubt our work and ourselves, and wonder whether we are a true Artist, with a capital A? So, if you have ever worried about whether you are a real Artist, read on for some advice.

Selling your work
You can say that you are an Artist if you sell your work. You could make the point that real Artists sell their work for a profit, while hobbyists don't. But to be honest, I don't really like this definition. As for one, people that do art for a hobby are in fact, real Artists. As well as the fact that many very famous Artists such as Van Gogh never sold a piece during their own lifetimes. In fact, this view can be a bit capitalistic, as it’s just based on sales and not creatively, joy or expression.  
Having said that if you are relying on your creative work to bring in income, it's pretty important that it sells. To help you achieve this, first of all, you need to pick a platform or even better, multiple platforms on which to display and retail your work. You can choose to do this on your own website which you create yourself. Or in physical shops and galleries, as well as other online spaces.

Having your own website; whether you sell your work or not is always a good idea. As it can act as an online gallery or portfolio of your best pieces. Just remember to use that editing eye and be selective in term of what you display. As not everything you have made needs to go up.

Using other online selling platforms can have an added advantage as well because they not only promote your work but also provide protection against fraud. However, you should expect to pay a percentage commission on what you sell and be willing to adhere to their sometimes strict rules. That are usually in place to maintain consistency across multiple individual sellers.
Seeing potential everywhere
Another factor that could mean that you are a true Artist is if you're creativity tends to be a little obsessive. Do you wake up at three o'clock in the morning with new ideas for a clay model that you want to make? Or do you see new bag designs floating around in your head when you are meant to be talking to your other half about what to have for dinner tomorrow? Then you are probably an Artist with a capital A.

Also, do you find that the majority of your budget is spent on the latest artists accessories? Such as acetate sheets, fine liners, and the newest tools to hit the market, like the ones available from Glue Guns Direct? Then it’s a pretty good bet that you qualify as being a ‘proper’ Artist.
Dedication, commitment, and obsession
But to be a proper Artist you need to not just buy the materials, but also commit to using them every day. That’s right, real Artists create, and they need the dedication sit down day in, day out, and produce work, whether they feel like it or not.

They trust their process and give themselves the space to make something every day. By doing this, not only do they ensure they're productive, but they also get to hone the skills that they already have and get even better. That helps to progress their work as well as their career.
Art school
Some folks think that you can only be a proper Artist if you have been to art school. Now, you can't knock all of the experience and knowledge that you can gain from a formal art education. But for many people, especially those that find their creative passion later on in life, it can be an expense that is just not practical. Also, it's important to remember that many successful Artists are self-taught. So it's vital not to discredit their works, just because they haven't got the educational credentials that others in the field have.
Expressing yourself
Some say that you can only be a true Artist if you use your work to express yourself. This idea comes from the concept that art is Truth, and to make it is to express one’s own truth in a creative way. However, this idea can be a little controversial and also a little highbrow. Not all art has to have hidden depths, and secret meanings, and not all Artists have to be sharing their innermost soul with the world to creative anything of value.
Critical acclaim

Lastly, some folks believe that you are only a true Artist of you work receives positive critical acclaim. They live for the reviews of their work by professional critics, and their success stands or crumbles on the words they have to offer. But, it's important not to get too carried away with what others are thinking. As fashion changes very quickly and what is out one minute can be the new big thing the next. Also, we live in a social media-dominated world, and while highbrow art critics may not be commenting on every piece of your work, your followers on Instagram or Twitter might. While it’s best not to listen to trolls, it can be useful in it give you a good sense of what will be popular and sell. As well as giving you an all important confidence boost.

So am I an Artist with a capital A?

As you can see whether you see yourself as an Artist can be a complicated issue. But the definition that I love best is that an Artist is: ‘someone who makes art.’ So if you are doing that, then you are good. That means keep on creating and don't worry too much about how others see you, or even how you see yourself. What matters is that you enjoy the process of what you are doing and that it is adding positively to your life.  

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