I am growing! Even though I don’t have any real measurable skills as an artist, I have a burning desire to share what is in my head with people. While forest bathing the other day–fancy for ‘walking in the woods’–it occurred to me that at its very core, all being an artist is, is simply having the confidence to let your unique freak flag fly and share whatever YOU create with the world.
Simply. Yet we know, things worth achieving are hardly ever simple.
Making art is creative (selfish). Sharing art is confidence (selfless).
Somewhere in my journey to adulthood, I was told I was the “smart one,” and so, in law school, I started to suppress my artsy side, with occasional relapses into beehives, hot pants and fishnets, and drugs, lots and lots of booze and drugs, on the weekends.
Even though I’m grateful I developed my logical, rational, legal-minded side, I do regret not continuing to do personally fulfilling “fun stuff” like singing, dancing, and painting, at least as hobbies. You don’t have to be great at something to take pleasure from doing it… and who knows, with enough practice, you might even become good!
I was doing an interview with NBC Boston recently. In response to a “what’s next” type question, I said I’d like to “retire and become an artist,” mostly in jest (I will never really retire), but the interviewer glommed onto it, asking, “What kind of artist would you like to be?”
The question stumped me for a second–Wait! Isn’t being a writer being an artist? Remember how it took you more than a decade to call yourself ‘an author’ without having a full-on impostor-panic-attack!?!–then I said something like, “Well, I’m an author, and I dabble in painting (e.g. I painted the dogs you saw in my office), I take a lot of nature and food photographs, I cook, and, who knows, maybe in the future, I will have my own One Woman Show!”
(I will and it shall be called, “Disturbia.” :P)
But as I was answering, I was aware of that voice in my head, you know the one, Cunty McCunt, telling me how pretentious I sounded, and how dare I lay claim to such idyllic dreams! Who do you think you are, she started, but when I heard that second-person voice, that “you” voice, the one you have to teach yourself to hear so that you can snap her back in place–which is NOWHERE NEAR YOUR DREAMS–I re-framed my negative thoughts to this: I am who I am and I will do the things that feed my spirit and make me happy.
I am who I am and I will do the things that feed my spirit and make me happy. Like a well-rounded, authentic, balanced human-being. One who has, through hard lifestyle choices, including changing to a keto diet and quitting alcohol, developed the confidence to show you her crazy… as ‘An Artist’… one Post-It at a time!