Now without too much trepidation, I call myself an artist. Not big A not small a, just artist. It’s a good realization because it hasn’t always been that way. For most it isn’t. Not many people open their eyes to this world and proclaim, “I am an artist!” It’s a journey each of us takes, often slowly, quietly and internally.
I didn’t realize that this was a true identity switch until talking recently to a writer friend. She does not call herself a writer. Upon hearing her say she didn’t feel she had this right, I wanted to quote my mother and cry, “You’re going to have to get over that.”
But I quickly pulled back because while yes, I do believe that there are strides an artist can’t take until declaring herself, I also understand that each of us us walks a different path to getting there. And the journey to calling yourself an artist can’t be rushed. The confidence that we build to get to that pivotal moment is as important, if not more, than the language we use to identify ourselves to the world.