Monday, June 18, 2012

What Makes a Real Artist or Photographer?

They say when you ask a group of children who among them is an artist, almost every child will raise their hand with confidence. However, when you ask a group of adults the same question, only a few (most likely those with a paying job in an art-related field) will identify themselves as an artist.

So often I'm asked what I do and so often I feel embarrassed and muddle through a strange explanation that I like to take pictures and document them--for some reason feeling a bit silly about it all, and hesitant to simply state that I'm an artist and photographer. After all, I don't create paintings to be hung in galleries and I loathe shooting wedding and family portraits. I take pictures of everyday moments and the little things that stand out to me as unique and beautiful; I print those photos and paste them upon layers of pretty paper, and embellish with buttons and ribbons in an aesthetically pleasing manner. I realize it isn't rocket science, and it may not be that interesting to anyone else... but that is what I do.

Many people have a rather narrow, and often negative, perception of scrapbooking; Likewise, many people only consider you a "real" photographer if you shoot weddings or families dressed in coordinating outfits out in a field or orchard somewhere. Sometimes I listen to these people; sometimes the louder voice is my own inner critic, telling me that I'm really not that good and should probably just give up. It's time to claim my talents with confidence. Am I a "real" artist? YES. Am I a real photographer? YES. What makes a real artist? Someone who sees with their own unique vision and has the courage to create without conforming to anyone else's standard. Someone who sees with their heart.


(Thanks to my amazing sister Stephanie for helping me define what it is to be an artist, and more importantly for helping me define myself.)

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Love you. Love your art. Keep on creating, no matter what!