How do you know if you're an artist?
Autumn Leaf Card For my Blog Triage class, my latest assignment involved reviewing a previous blog post, and as I looked at one of my earliest posts, I started thinking about how I've gotten to where I am now as an artist. I'm wondering if you've ever done that.
4 3/8” x 5 ¾”
Blueberry leaves, handmade paper
For me, I see mundane "random" pieces that have somehow come together.
First, feeling like I made a huge mistake after my first child was born. I didn't think I was cut out for being a mom, and I kept feeling this overwhelming desire to "create." I didn't have a spare moment to myself, but all I could think about was having a few minutes to make something beautiful for my home with my own two hands.
Second, one dreary January day while folding laundry, I watched a TV show about making handmade paper. It seemed really easy. Later I watched a show with a woman pressing flowers in a microwave. I was amazed at how colorful they were. Maybe I could combine handmade paper and pressed flowers?
I did. I sold my handmade paper pressed flower cards and pictures at craft fairs, and made enough money to pay for all the flowers and garden supplies I needed. I had a nice hobby going.
Then one afternoon, at a noisy Holiday Craft Fair, a stern looking older woman stopped to look at my cards. She wasn't the usual friendly faced craft fair shopper, and she made me uneasy. Finally she held up one of my cards and said, "This does not belong here. This is art. You are an artist." I didn't know what to say, but I thanked her as she gave me a business card for a local art foundation.
I joined that art foundation, got to know the artists there, and eventually during the last few years I have given myself permission to call myself an artist.
For me, being an artist has been an unexpected journey. Isn't it amazing how God graciously gives us seemingly random experiences, and uses them to make us who we are? I am thankful.