Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here is why I feel no threat opening up and sharing all that I can with other aspiring artists... this career is tough! We need all the encouragement we can get. This profession has a way of weeding out those who are anything less than determined to stick it out through the valleys. In no way am I trying to complain or be ungrateful for what I have. However, I understand that there are those of you who want to be artists yourselves and that from the outside looking in it could appear as if "things just happen for some artists, while others "just don't seem to make it". While there are many factors that add to the reality of that, my message to you is this: Pursuing a career as an artist is tough, perhaps one of the toughest things you will ever do. For one because you will have to believe in yourself long before anyone else will. I remember reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and her talking about first calling yourself an artist and then becoming one. Something which I began doing many years ago. Like anyone else I felt like I should "earn" the title by proving my worth by selling paintings, or illustrating a children's book but I decided to take the leap of faith and claim my place as an "Artist". The only reason I am producing the work that I am today is because I didn't give up years ago when I wasn't putting out anywhere near the quality of work that I am now able to create. I am older, a little wiser, and have painted for thousands of hours since then... but my soul, my desire to create things of beauty remains the same. Don't give up! Sometimes I can't believe that I didn't, and sometimes I still want to... but you need to know that yes, the journey really is this hard, worth it, but hard!


David Bernal said...

wise words :) and sooo inspiring!! thanks tons Melissa!!

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

How did you know I needed a pep talk today? I appreciate your encouragement.
Not too long ago, I was asked what I do and I paused and then answered, "I am artist", without much conviction. But as I gave voice to those words, something inside me took flight. It was liberating. I thought, I AM an artist, now get to work so it's not just words but action. You are so right about thinking, believing and then becoming. 'Credendo Vides', as James Christensen says in "The Voyage of the Bassett"....'By believing, one sees'.
Thanks again, Melissa.

Nelka said...

Thanks for sharing these words. I know you wrote long ago now, but it was a good reminder for me now in my life. I am just getting to the point where I feel okay calling myself an artist. I am actually currently reading The Artist's Way, and I couldn't agree with you or Cameron more.