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The Artist In All Of Us

The Artist In All Of Us

Is an artist someone who makes money from their art?

Someone who has their sculptures in a museum or takes formal classes?

What about a child drawing a picture of their house?

Or someone painting their first self portrait for the fun of it?

They’re all those things…and more. Smile

In “What is an artist anyway?”, Tera Leigh has this to say;

“Being an artist is about more than just creating original work or mastering every skill! It pervades every facet and moment of our life. If you’ve ever rearranged your furniture, you used your artistic ability. If you’ve ever painted a white room a different color, you’ve change and created”.

Pay attention to the moments in your life when you are creating, and remember to acknowledge it. You are being an artist. Creating something makes you an artist. It really is that simple. Smile

Tera again;

What if you just decided to call yourself an artist? Right this second, pick up a tablet of paper and write: I AM AN ARTIST on it. If it makes you laugh or feel nervous write it over and over and over until those feelings diminish. If you have struggled with defining yourself as an artist, those feelings will not go away overnight. When people in your life question you about it, you will feel those old doubts creeping back up. You will have to continue to work at it but like anything else in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets.


Here is a quote that I love from Nina Wise, from the book “A Big, New, Free, Happy Unusual Life”;

“You already know everything you need to know to live a big, free, happy, unusual, enthusiastic, and amusing life. Creativity is an inborn aspect of being alive. All you need to do is relax and let it out. And if you do, you will find yourself, without the slightest hint of effort, dancing in your living room, singing in the car, writing poetry on cocktail napkins, and noting the dinner plate is a perfect canvas for a painting made of food.”

Also, from the same book;

“I’ve been told the story of a six-year-old girl who asked her mother where she was going one afternoon. The mother replied that she was headed for the university to teach her students how to draw and paint. “You mean they’ve forgotten? her daughter asked, amazed.

I never felt like an artist. Not until recently anyway. Not until I started unschooling my children and deschooling myself. Not until I had a daughter (Jacqueline) who would accept nothing less than being an artist because she draws comic strips and being a writer because she writes stories.

My daughters and I have been creating Artist Trading Cards for several months now. ATC’s are miniature works of art that are the same size as a baseball card. How you create them are totally up to you. There is no right way or better way. It’s up to you. You can draw, paint, collage, melt wax, use metal, ribbon…the only limit is your imagination.

Creating these cards has given me a whole new perspective on what it means it create art and what it means to be an artist. Who would have known it could be so much fun when the pressure is not on you. Smile

YOU are an artist. Don’t save the word artist for “other people”. It belongs to anyone who creates.

Originally posted by Joanne 12/31/2006

© 2011 An Unschooling Life

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4 Responses to “The Artist In All Of Us”

  1. Ed says:

    A wonderful and insightful article! I forget exactly what book this concept comes from, but when we were young, we were all artists! We could sing, dance, draw, sculpt and generally create with no worries about being “good enough” or our art being “right.” We lose this freedom as we get older. As a performer, I’ve often struggled with the “worth” of my work. But when I was a kid, such concepts never entered into my thinking.

    Art has always been the “extra” in public education. As one lecturer put it, the attitude is, “if you eat all your math and science, then you can have a little art at the end.” As great as math and science are, art is how we define ourselves. If I mention the 1940′s, the 1960′s and 1980′s, you’re mind will probably recall images of dress style and you’ll remember music from those eras before you remember which scientific theories or inventions appeared in those decades.

  2. Terri says:

    Art and creativity are the most important reasons we continue homeschooling. This is part of every day and I can’t imagine sending my daughter to a cookie cutter school where everyone makes the same bluebird from construction paper in exactly the same way. When I was a classroom teacher, I had a huge banner across the front of my room that said, “:Why Copy When You Can Create?”. I want to instill that confidence in my daughter who is highly creative and expressive.

    When I was in intermediate school, I had to take two art classes. The only thing I learned in either of them was that “I had no talent but tried very hard.” I owe so much to Dr. Isoline at Baylor who saw more in me than failure and encouraged me to try again and not be afraid! Thank you Dr. isoline for changing the way I see life!

  3. Joanne says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words Mandy. I deeply appreciate it. Smile
    I feel the same way as you about being judged and graded in art when I was in school. Give ATC’s a try! I think their a lot of fun because they’re small and not so intimidating. Thanks again Mandy!

  4. Mandy says:

    I love what you write here. I’ve always struggled with calling myself an artist, and I think it comes from high school art class where you are rated or graded for your art. I so enjoy doing art with my girls, pretty much on a daily basis. Even though I’ve been doing stamping, painting, photography, altered books, scrapbooking over the years, until I read this post, I think I still didn’t really consider myself one. Thank you for your insight. I love both you & your daughter’s ATCs, I will have to try that soon….

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