Art Unmade Does Not An Artist Make

I was an artist in college. I don’t believe I’m an artist at the moment. 

Is being an artist a permanent quality? Or is it more ethereal? Can one be an artist temporarily, perhaps abandon it entirely only to regain the title later?

Being an artist isn’t really a job description (unless you’re one of the lucky ones). At any rate, no artist I’ve ever known is only one from 9-5, Monday through Friday. But it’s also not simply an attitude. 

I haven’t made any art in quite a while – longer than I’d like and much longer than I care to admit. How, then, can I be an artist? My conclusion is that I’m not. And I don’t like that. 

I can’t make art the way I’m used to right now. I can’t do ceramics because I lack the space, as well as the means to rent space. I never thought much of my 2D art ability, and the leatherworking I’ve been doing doesn’t feel like art. So apparently I’ve given up. 

But, believe it or not, I set out to write this post with an inspirational message in mind rather than a depressive one. And the message is: MAKE ART. Stop worrying about it, because if you cease to make art, you cease to be an artist. If you’re like me and want to maintain your artistry, just make things. Don’t expect perfect things. Don’t insist they come about in exactly the way you expect. Focus on the making, and whatever drove you to see yourself as an artist in the first place. Holding onto that is the most important, and while I seem to have lost track of things I like to think I’ve found a foothold in it now. 

On a different note, my bi-weekly posts seem to have gotten off kilter sometime between June and now. It’s a mystery. But one thing I expect will help keep me planted in the art world, or that least the art world mindset, is more blog posts about my artistic thoughts – and I need to stay planted there. So I hope the word “artist” hasn’t gone and done that thing where it doesn’t seem like a word anymore. More to come.