'Call yourself an artist'
First, I will tell you about my creative journey.
As a child I absolutely loved drawing, it was the only thing I could do that made me focus, loose myself in and simply put - I enjoyed it and this carried on throughout school to GCSE level. I remember my art teacher mentioning that I had got the top 'A' out of all the schools! Unfortunately in those days there was no recognition for that top 'A' just my teachers words. After GCSE level I stopped practising the one thing that I was passionate about; although from time to time throughout my adult life I dipped my toe into the art scene.
It was soon after my son James was born I started to get overwhelming creative urges to make something, paint something, use my imagination in any way possible and at that point I started jewellery making, beading, silversmithing, metal clay making, kiln fired enamelling..... you name it I did the course in it! I loved this time in my life and even set up a small jewellery business called 'Rustic Dove Designs' which I worked at for 10 years.
Eventually, a switch went on, I can't even remember the turning point but I decided to go on a painting course to learn oil painting and the love affair was rekindled. I think I am very lucky with where I am in a short handful of years. I have actually sold more art than I can count, people just liked my work.
I was always naturally talented in art but I still knew I needed to learn some of the basic rules, even if I decided to break those rules ha! But some rules you shouldn't break, fat over lean, black is dead and avoid using it, mix other colours to create softer blacks and if you get oil paint on your jeans don't rub it off with white spirits and carry on painting (yup I did and got badly burned). I am still learning and experimenting every day.
My advice to anyone is to just go for it in life and do what you love. Pursue what you love and do it with all your heart. I may never get recognition in the stuffy art world but hey I'm in my own artworld and if I can create something that another person can look at, appreciate, enjoy and connect with then job done! Yes degrees can help, but truthfully I believe in practise, patience, experience, passion, exploration, self belief and confidence.
All of these are equally as important...…. I am still exploring and learning every day. I used to feel like a fraud and my inner voice once said mockingly "call yourself an artist?". I would think how can I call myself an artist if I don't have a degree, but now I realise this is so not true. In fact, a marketing degree is probably more useful in this day and age. If you create art then you are an artist....simple. If you get sales and people react to your work a bonus.....
What you think you became
What you feel you attract
What you imagine you create
You have to say 'I am an artist' before you can believe it