Courage and creation: What makes an artist

For most of my life, I never considered myself an artist. I actually told myself I was a terrible artist, basing this assumption on the fact that I couldn’t really create two-dimensional images that looked how I imagined or wanted them to. I had established this in my mind as the benchmark for what makes people good artists, and knew that I clearly didn’t meet criteria. I believed this until around my mid twenties. This is when I discovered my medium.

A friend of mine showed me how to open and close a jump ring using two pairs of pliers, and that was it. My love for manipulating metals was born, pairing nicely with my pre-existing love for pretty rocks and gemstones. Turns out I art in the third dimension. 

Imagine the surprise of my younger, "not artistic" self if I could tell her I'd one day open an art studio.

This post is for those among us who have yet to tap into their inner creator because of an old, self-critical tape playing in their head, or an outdated idea that art is supposed to look or be a certain way. I submit the argument that everyone is an artist, and if you don’t think you are, I  think you just haven’t found your medium yet.

I challenge you to tap into what inspires you. What has always drawn you in? What is the thing you have always been interested in learning but perhaps lacked the confidence to try? Ceramics? Cello? Installation art? Up-cycled fashion?  Ecstatic dance? Photography? Digital art? Poetry? Mixed media? I think it matters less what it is, or that is resembles any particular modality or style, and more that it is uniquely and authentically reflective of what truly moves you, something you can get lost in, that divine connection to your creative core.

As the French artist Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage”. Be brave, friends. Give yourself permission to be bold, to try and make mistakes and try again, and to be responsible for creating even more beauty and inspiration in this world that surrounds you.