Claiming Your Inner Artist: The one thing you need to be a REAL artist.
If you’re reading this it means that you’re probably artistically inclined. Perhaps a craft enthusiast, but you may be wondering when you become a real artist?!?!
Well, I have the answer for you…
Are you ready for it?!?!?!
It’s right NOW!
I firmly believe that as soon as you pick up the paintbrush (or artistic tool of your choice) you’re officially an artist.
How does that make you feel? Are you like,
"heck yes Kate! I’m owning it!!!"
Or does it make you feel all squiggly?!
Well if you’re feeling all squiggly then you've come to the right place.
Today we're going to talk about how to and fully embrace your identity as an artist.
Step 1: You Are an Artist - It's Time to Believe It!
For the longest time, I struggled with feeling like an imposter every time I even thought about calling myself an artist. I constantly doubted my skills and hesitated to embrace the title – I felt like my work wasn’t “deep” enough or I wasn’t skilled or practiced enough, I didn’t have formal training. But then I realized the biggest roadblock to me becoming an artist was …
So, with a newfound determination, I decided I was going to rip the bandaid off and start calling myself an artist. I began to start every TikTok video with "Hi, I'm Kate, and I'm a watercolor artist." And you know what? Slowly but surely, I started to believe it. It was a monumental shift that revolutionized not only my art but also my entire creative process and even my business. It felt weird at first, but the more I said it, the more I started to believe it. Now I don’t even think twice about it.
Part 2: The First Steps to Unleashing Your Artistic Potential
Once you take a stand and claim your title as artist, it's time to start walking the walk. Here are a few things that have helped me:
- Call Yourself an Artist: Start by saying it out loud, whisper it to yourself at first if you must, scream it under water. Maybe even tell your next barista. It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time. Fake it until you make it, baby!
- Do some self exploration: Recently I’ve been working through The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron and it has been so beneficial to take time to reflect on what it means to me to be an artist. FYI it does have some religious wording, so if that is triggering, you may want to skip this one.
- Play and Explore: Remember, not everything has to be a masterpiece. Take time to play and experiment with your art. Allow yourself to NOT know things and ask questions. Come at your art with a child-like curiosity--with no agenda other than to experiment. It's through exploration that you'll truly develop as an artist.
- Challenge yourself: Try joining an art challenge! Participating in artist challenges like Inktober or our very own "Fall For Watercolor" challenge can provide a fantastic framework for growth. Whether it's daily paintings or a challenge you create for yourself, these exercises offer an opportunity to push your boundaries and learn along the way. Don't be too hard on yourself if you miss a day or two—remember, it's all about serving your artistic journey, so you make the rules.
- Make a Schedule: Carve out dedicated time for your art. It doesn't have to be strict or rigid, but make it a priority. Protect that time like the last flakey croissant at your favorite bakery – ain’t nobody messing with it but me!!! – and show up for your creative practice. Your art deserves it!
Bonus Tip: Share Your Work and Connect with Fellow Artists
Sharing your work, even if it feels vulnerable, can be a tremendously rewarding experience. It not only serves as an accountability tool and can be a great way to connect with new people – a new customer, new BFF, new art buddy?!? You won’t know until you put yourself out there! I say this with the caveat that if sharing feels too intimidating and is stopping you from creating– scrap this idea. This is your journey so do whatever it is that encourages you to create.
My greatest tip, however, is to find yourself a creative community. Whether online or in real life, being in the presence of fellow artists and creative buddies can truly ignite your creative spark. Even if your aunt Shirley or your old boss doesn’t get it, your artist friends will. The artist community is full of really great, kind, encouraging folks! Not sure where to start?!?!
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You’ve got this artist!