Thought Starters

Are you an Artist? Answer: You might surprise yourself!

Art is a selective recreation of reality based on a person’s values.  -  Ayn Rand

If you hold that statement true then anything can be art and anyone can be an artist. I love that sentiment; anyone can be an artist. It makes me feel good.

Sit and think about it a bit.

How does it make you feel?

Think about what you consider art to be and how you would see yourself as an artist. How about imagining a studio in the Costa del Sol or the south of France; a breezy loft space with tons of natural light, you in your tan and white linens billowing gently in the breeze, you’re wearing a beret, maybe smoking a pipe while working on a canvas that is so big you need a ladder to get to the top of it. Paint is flying off your brushes in big sweeping gestures, lost in the moment. That’s my FANTASY of an artist.

All Vicky Cristina Barcelona or Eat Pray Love fantasy type s**t.

That’s not what I am talking about here though. EVERYONE has a fantasy (TMI and I don’t need to know yours if it’s weird or kinky) but what I am asking is if there is a possibility that you consider yourself an artist in your life. Does your reality allow you to bring art into it?

Now before you blow this off as flighty bulls**t and before you go back to your numbers, charts, graphs and general left brain tendencies (we all have them) let’s consider the possibility that it might hold true for you. The only way I would think that you wouldn’t consider it, in fact, is if you had not considered it at all YET.

That’s what happened to me.

We all get lost in life and by lost I mean busy. I have been busy since 1987 when I entered the real world of “get a job and get busy” earning a living. Sad, I know. Back then, when I first struck out in the big world, I considered myself an artist, hell, I was 22 years old and wet behind the ears (sorry Millennials, it’s just a Gen Xer’s way to validate their experience – I am TRYING to get over myself).

I painted back then (custom designed t-shirts) and I wrote some poetry. It was a priority but like many people life slowly crept in and I did less and less of that stuff I loved. I eventually moved out of my studio apartment and practically forgot about how painting and writing made me feel.

I got busier.

Maybe it’s my generation, maybe it’s my value system, maybe it’s just bulls**t because I know it’s me. I have always been a good boxer when it’s come to my own needs and I have always been good at losing the personal battle over doing the right thing for everyone else instead of for me. Boo hoo.

Result? I got my bell rung.

And so 20 years have gone by.

Last summer my wife and I were at an outdoor patio having a rare Sunday pint in the afternoon sun. It was just one of those gorgeous summer days. We were discussing our careers, as we often do, and I had an emotional moment about how much I miss the art in my life; my painting and my writing. I had no idea at the time but what it means to me now is that I was somehow missing the passion for it and how it made me feel back in my younger days. We discussed some ways to bring sexy back (back off Justin Timberlake) and the result of that conversation is this blog.

I am still, to this day, extremely passionate about my work.

I love what I do. Management in the design profession is what I am good at and where my core strengths lie. I have found writing again and I love it as much. I have also found photography and Photoshop as a means to practice my creativity (as a substitute to painting) and boy is that stuff fun to play with. Who knows, I may find a way to weave that into my career somehow but what’s most important here is that I have the passion for my art again.

Am I lucky? Nope. I just decided to go for it.

Am I any good? Well, I really don’t care so much because it gives me great pleasure to create this stuff. Do I want people to enjoy what I produce? Of course I do but it is not the main reason I do it. It’s for little old selfish me and if it helps you out then that’s a bonus.

So, here’s my call to action (apparently you need to have those is your blog posts).

Take a few minutes today and think about what you really LOVE to do. Are you doing it? Don’t tell yourself you are (I’ve done THAT before) but make sure you are honest with yourself. No one else is around and you don’t have to tell anyone about it. So, if you are, then carry on. If not. Write down what it is, your art; what’s missing from your life. Send it to me (sign in below and write your “thing” in the comments box) and together we can figure out a way for you to get back to it.

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If you are open to telling the world how you got there or if you want to share your thoughts about how you manage your art (passion) in your daily life leave your comments below.

Like Alfred E Newman used to say, “I’m all ears.” Well, he actually said, “What, me worry?” but he was all ears so I thought it might be appropriate.

About this Author: Ralph Dopping (195 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday: www.designdialog.ca


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