Cult of Stuff part 10

One of the things that really gets me going in the online art world is the concept of the online art instructor saying things such as, “You’re an artist because I say so, “and the “I give you permission to create.” It’s patronizing, condescending, arrogant and downright self-absorbed.

I am an artist because I believe I am; I create because I must, not because someone on the internet says so or gives me permission to do so. I’ve voiced this opinion before and the major argument was that these statements are put out there to give others self confidence. I submit that the reason you are here (reading my blog or at aj ning) is at least partially because you have an interest in art, maybe you don’t call yourself an artist, and that’s fine. Maybe you are looking for inspiration, and that’s fine too. If you are looking for permission  you are looking in the wrong place.

I can’t give you permission to create or to call yourself an artist.
I can’t do that because the permission comes from within.
You have to give yourself the permission to create.

You have to make a conscious decision to call yourself an artist. Maybe you never will. Maybe your kids think you are. You could be like my Mom and call yourself a really good craftsperson.

Maybe if you are looking for me to call you an artist (or some other online art instructor) then maybe you aren’t ready to call yourself an artist? Maybe you don’t want to say it. Maybe you don’t want to be labeled. You could need more time. It’s not up to me or anyone else to slap a label or pigeonhole you into something you may not want.

You need to make that choice.

You need to grab permission and take it for yourself. If I give you permission to create you’ll always be looking for my approval. I don’t want that. I want you to create art because it is inherently wonderful for you. I want you to create because you love it, it relaxes you after a hard day and because you learn that you cannot live without creating.

You need to make your own permission.