Who gets to be an artist?

I spent most of my life thinking that I wasn’t a real artist. I missed out on opportunities and didn’t take risks because I hadn’t yet attained ‘artist status’. I’d get caught in a toxic idea of what an artist path is, what an artist looks like, and how they work. In my mind, an artist got their BFA from a school with Art and Design in the title, they wore clothes that were cooler than mine, they were particular about their materials and knew how to keep fingerprints off their work. I’d feel like I might’ve missed my shot.

But the idea of becoming an artist is a myth. The idea that only other people are artists is a myth too. In fact, I believe we should all think of ourselves as artists. Would we be more thoughtful about our possessions? Our trash? Our conversations? Our time? I think the only ones who benefit from the commodification of the title “artist” are those who can profit from selling it (I’m looking at you, private art schools with exorbitant tuition prices).

I think of art as creation with care. The more practice you have caring, and learning how to care, the better the art. Everytime I create, I am an artist. I get better at translating ideas into a visual form when I challenge myself to do so, and the more care I put into my work the better it becomes, and I always always am an artist (and so are you).

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