During this past month I have read some wonderful articles on line and in print regarding the different obstacles we artist always seem to meet. Through the words and thoughts but present in just about every article was the frustration felt by artists. First was the economy, a given, second galleries, third marketing but the forth was how artists and their contemporaries judged each other and harshly for the most part. Living a life as an artist is not an easy one and for many of us not a chosen one. Artist work in solitude and are far more sensitive to the world they live in. The average person may find this behavior unusual odd or dare I say abnormal but artist never seem to mind because deep within they carry that deep desire to create and to inspire others. So to think artists are criticizing other artists because they might not have top credentials or gallery following or a tribe (word used by gallery know it nots) or attended art schools and workshops I ask you now-are those who criticize other artist at the core artist or just skilled people?
Yesterday I happened to have Oprah on in the studio and as I was listening to her guest (a pilot who helped a women get over her fear of flying) say he believed an artist is anyone who inspires another person and his words resonated with me. Does it matter what it is an individual really does to inspire themselves or another? Is there any difference between the art schooled painter and a glass blower or floral designer and a sculptor? In any creative endeavor there is a degree of talent, skill and learned knowledge and it does not matter where an artist acquires it. Don't let an ego driven fearful society dictate whether you are an artist. Instead let that part of you that is deep inside shine through, that part that when you are truly in the moment creating, time disappears and your ego no longer has its hold on you. Some say this is what is known as oneness with the source of all creation.
I am old enough to remember when first starting out in the world thirty plus years ago, my artist friends were a source of inspiration. It was an ever growing group of different types of creative people working at a wide variety of occupations and not all as "artists". People took real joy in an others accomplishments and successes. It was a brotherhood of like minded creative people, a loyal family. Those days are long gone and I honestly miss them. Today we live in such a high level of fear with these huge fortress walls around our houses and lives afraid to connect to anyone outside our little group of people. No matter what you do artists need to support each other more than we ever have before. Take down just a part of the ego/fear based wall and stop judging and experience an others concept of creating. You might actually learn something new and grow as an artist.