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I Am an Artist (Spoiler: You Probably Are Too)

Learning from Others

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.

Feb 27, 7:00am

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  • Kelly Anne Powers on

    Laurelle- I love this. You are so right that that label is a commitment. And that part of being an artist is an acceptance that we, and the language we us about that commitment, will be in a constant state of flux. So incredibly true.

  • laurelle on

    This comment resonated with me so deeply. I am in my 60s and it was not until six months ago that I unashamedly called myself an artist. It is as if I kept the self-description as a reward that I would eventually be able to give myself once I produced art of a certain quality. And yet when I did it, it wasn’t a reward; it was a commitment to myself, an acceptance…and recognition that whatever adjectives and nouns we identify ourselves with, they are in constant flux…simply part of this life process that we are all a part of.

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