Thursday, May 6, 2010


I will never forget the first time I called myself an artist. A girlfriend had talked me into taking several of my Coffee Pot People to a craft sale she was participating in. I was near one of the Coffee Pot People, some time after the show started, when a woman turned to me and said, "Oh, are you the artist?"

I calmly smiled and said, "Yes, I am," but let me tell you, inside I was doing that whole, "I'm ready for my close-up" thing, fingertips to the center of my chest, gaze lifted and off to the side, and mentally intoning, Why, yes. Yes. I am.

That was some years ago, but it still makes me happy just thinking I'm an artist, and working as one. Granted, I'm no Picasso, or Rembrandt. No. I just like to make things.

But I was thinking tonight of what it means to me, to say I'm artist. It's very liberating. People seem to accept that you might be just a bit out of the norm.

I can paint my kitchen floor with polka dots,

or wear a monster face on the knee of my jeans, or earrings that don't match.

I can stick a dismembered doll arm in a flower pot, so it looks like the rest of the body is there, but buried. It's okay--I'm an artist!

Of all the things being an artist might mean, that to me is the most wonderful. To be who I am, a kind of offbeat, sometimes macabre, almost always happy individual.

And you. Are you an artist? What does it mean to you?


majeral said...

I sweetie, sometime someone will say that I am an artist but I think I am just crafty! What does it mean to me. Not having to "explain my self" lol It is just me. Good , Bad or inbetween

Sarah from Toronto Gardens said...

Love your Gloria Swanson artist equation. I can just hear her saying that, Yes, yes I am! Funny.

And your jeans patch and buried person are so fun.

Saying yes to possibility and to your own impulses to create, however it manifests, is what being an artist is. Certainly seems that that's what you do.

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