The first step to being an artist is admitting you’re an artist. No, but for realsies.
Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m an artist.
Phew. Now why was that so hard? So scary? So new?
What do you immediately think of when you hear the word “artist”? Let’s free flow for a minute. Bob Ross. Jackson Pollack. That guy on the corner selling watercolor paintings of the Empire State Building for $45. An entitled snotbag who grew up with so much money they could afford to hang around and paint all day. They’re not like the rest of us. They’re not hard working, serious individuals with something to contribute.
This is just a peek inside my brain. I know, I know… I sound like a judgmental prick, because I am sometimes. But so are all of you, sometimes. And the worst times are when you’re talking about yourself like that. I’ve heard SO many artists, writers, actors, dancers say the same about their crafts.
They don’t lead with it, they don’t OWN it.
SO now let’s get to the dirty little secret that crawls around your soul like bed bugs in a Lower East Side tenement: Shame. Thanks to Brene Brown, we can all admit how we’re really feeling. (Cue horror movie soundtrack.) That jerkface Shame creates a voice in your head that kinda sounds like this:
“Who am I to be an artist?”
“An artist isn’t a real job.”
“I’ll make my art, after (insert a list of tedious life activities and work here).”
“Art is a luxury to be earned.”
Well, fuck that.
I believe ART is a NECESSITY. And I’m getting kinda tired of the stigma attached to creating art.
It’s kinda like sex in this way. It’s one of those activities people rarely talk about it, even if they’re doing it. It’s sort of secret, private, shameful. People only like to talk about it if they can brag. (i.e. “You should have seen this guy I took home last night.”) No one ever talks about the guy who passed out drunk before he even had his pants off. Or the script pages that ended up deleted or crumpled up in the garbage or burned. Or the canvases that took a beating before they made it to the light of day.
Because no one wants to admit their perceived failures or what the fuck went wrong in their life. No one wants to display their vulnerabilities for the world to see. People only broadcast the good shit. That’s why everyone’s Facebook profiles are like an advertisement for what they wish their life could be. And in an internet world with no privacy, where every time you sneeze it’s like everyone and their mother got the memo, every move you make can feel THAT much more terrifying in a Shame-fueled landscape. Well what if you operated under a “everyone has shame and is afraid of looking bad”-fueled landscape? How would that look? What could you accomplish?
I’m saying let’s blow the door open and flash the world your stark naked creativity. Because if you are here, reading this, and experiencing a lack of inspiration in your life, well, I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON’T. (Na na na na poo poo!) Here’s what I know:
Your creativity is worth more than words can express.
Whether you are knitting a winter cap, painting murals, writing the next great American novel, or be-dazzling your little sister’s halloween costume: YOUR ART HAS VALUE. So much damn value and power that I want to shake it out of you. It can make the world a better place. It can make YOU a happier and more fulfilled person. So please, do us all a favor and let your inner artist out to play.
Want to play with some other artists and business owners? YAY! Head over here to The Champagne Room on Facebook (where we talk money-making, writing, and all things creative business).