Being an artist can be a frustrating life. If you do math correctly, the answer is always right. 2+ 2 = 4. In every language, in every format. But art is subjective. Whether it is the man sitting in the park selling his wares for $15 or Picasso, the quality of one’s work is in the eye of each and every beholder. I can see a distinct artistry in a Jackson Pollack and another can look at the same painting and simply a colorful mess. I adore Shakespeare, others don’t. What is this elusive thing known as art? Why does an e.e. cummings poem sound like music to my ears and a haiku leave me wanting?
Growing up, I always embraced the label of dancer, singer, performer, but I rarely called myself an artist. Why? I don’t know. I suspect that it came from the gravity of the word. I doubted my ability to live up to the title carried by so many others so greater than I. Now that my life centers more around homework, made beds, and laundry, it is even harder to claim that moniker.
I write but very few see it while I decide if it is any good. I sing but these days only to my children. I used to act. Am I an artist? It is a difficult question. If art is in the eye of the beholder, than there will always be those who would answer “no”. So at the end of the day, I think it is my eyes that must answer this question.
As I contemplated it, I tried to distance myself from my insecurities and answer the question as I would if it were anyone else. And in that case, the answer would be yes. If someone else, anyone else, was putting their time and energy into anything, I would say that they were an artist. Heck, I would say making a beautiful home, giving time and care to one’s family is an art. So I am going to give myself the same gift that I would give them.
I am an artist.
I am a writer. I am a singer. I am an actress. My audience may be small but that does not dictate the value of the art.
As a bigger statement, my life is art. My canvas is my life. My home and my children are often my medium. And they will be the lasting marker of my artistry, They are my masterpiece.
Are you an artist?