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When can I call myself an artist?

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

So! It's been almost a month since my last blog post. And why was that? Well. September was CRAZY. Yup. Mainly coz the kids were on a 3week school holiday. It's also Springtime so there's just a big pull towards outdoors, activities, events and all of the things. I had my birthday in September. Yes... 42. My gorgeous mum visited from Singapore and stayed with us for 3 weeks. She made so much delicious food and took care of so many household chores that I am normally bogged down with so I am very grateful for that. We stayed in the city for a couple of days for a friend's wedding. So that was lovely and a cool break from home life! We also had our first official house guests since Covid! It was nerve wrecking at first, because I was just not used to having guests anymore. The main anxiety is that I didn't want people to see the kind of mess and filth we live in. HAHAHA (also since I started art, I haven't been cleaning as thoroughly, if you know what I mean!)

Also during the stay in the city, I got to visit the Picasso exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne. It is really my FIRST art exhibition I have gone to since becoming an artist 2 years ago. How insane is that? I still cannot say out loud that I am an artist. Instead, I add the word "try" in it. And it sounds ridiculous actually. This is how it goes ... "Hi what do you do?" ... and my reply "I am trying to be an artist." The self-belief here is that I don't feel qualified to say I am an artist, because I am just so new at it!

Art, I truly believe is something one needs to learn, consistently, over a long period of time. For one's art to develop and bloom into some kind of maturity and sophistication, it does need experience and a level of depth and complexity. I felt a bit like this at the start of my yoga teaching career. Yes I had done the teacher training. Yes I knew how to sequence a class. But to teach a great yoga class. There needs to be a level of depth and experience from the teacher. That said, I started teaching yoga at aged 30. Which meant I did have a level of life experience. And lots of yoga is about life. Not just the physical shapes and movement. So I did feel I had a sense of authority when I spoke and shared about yoga in my classes. Because if you practice yoga. You will know. There's a difference in going to a class where the teacher is maybe in their early 20s, vs a more mature teacher. When the young teacher talks about the difficulty in life. It's not as convincing is what I'm saying.

Art though.... I suppose my life experience does make a difference. Or does it? That's an interesting thought. Whether life experience, the stories, the journey of one's life affects the depth of their art. Maybe it applies to artists that intentionally create art that expresses that part of themselves - like some abstract artist, or landscapes. But how about botanical floral art? Perhaps the fact that I don't have a clear answer to this question, shows I have not reached that maturity yet in my art.

Or am I just taking this whole art thing WAYYY to seriously? And that a 5 year old can be an artist. Because art is not some level you need to achieve, but it's the joyful process. The act of creating. Not everyone wants to reach the level of Van Gogh or Picasso. And everyone's an artist whether they have been creating for a few years, a few months or even a few weeks. I suppose as well. Is if you call yourself a FULL TIME artist and its your profession and you make your living doing art. It's always back to the making a living thing isn't it!

But that's me. Anything I find interest or passion in. I dive fully into it. I don't hold back. I fully immerse, engage, bathe and flood myself with. I want to get GOOD at it. I want to keep trying new things and figuring out what my version of perfection is. And that's the exhilarating part. I fully understand now what it means when people say - the only person you should try to compare yourself to, and get better is yourself. I'm sure many many artists, musicians, actors, writers, craftsmen feel this way too.

Leaving you with a wedding bouquet portrait of my friend's wedding bouquet a few weeks ago.

Just. Love. Painting. Flowers.

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