My Daily Stream of Consciousness

... but not daily or necessarily true

What is an artist

Published at 26 February 2018 12:59 PM EST in 'General'

What does it mean to be an artist?

I use to think I knew.

I would have defined it as someone who could paint or draw or sculpt. None of which I was able to do. In fact all are things that teachers along the way told me that I definitively could not do. I didn’t have that inborn ability to pick up a piece of paper and create.

Recently my mother was cleaning and stumbled upon a clay self-portrait I made in grade 4 or 5. And it is truly a work of horror. I think there is even a pair of scissors pressed in the back. A mistake I likely did not care enough to fix.

What did it matter? I wasn’t an artist, I had no talent. I was only playing with clay.


But I always took pictures.

I had a camera on class trips and at summer camps.

I photographed everything I saw … poorly, but still.

When I was in university I hung a picture on the wall that I had taken in high school.

People started to comment.

People I knew and loved,
people I just meet,
people who were artists.

They said I had an eye. An ability to see the world and photograph it, I was talented.

I was an artist.

But I did not want to be an artist, I wanted to be a scientist or a professional. I wanted a job and to make money. I wanted to do something worthwhile.

Art would not give me a life. Art was for people who were talent and who could create things that people would want to buy. I could not create, I could just see. Seeing did not make art.

Did it?

And so I struggle trying to be an artist, feeling like a fraud, but still taking pictures.

Not as many as I want
Not as many as I should
Not as good as they could be

Yet once in awhile I still see something.
I Capture something that no one else sees.

… and I think maybe I am an artist

… Maybe …

but honestly I don't know

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Brenda writes:

Published at 26 February 2018 1:17 PM EST

You make me smile. And, here is why. I was always creative, I could draw, and paint, and even went to an arts High School, where 6 out of 8 classes a day were art centered. Figure Drawing, Anatomy, Photography, Design. When I graduated, I wanted to go to Art school, but it didn't happen, and I gave it up (?). Eventually, I tripped into being a full time, highly paid artist at a worldwide Ad Agency, creating beautiful images for print ads. Even then, I did not think I was an artist. Then, no longer being creative on a daily basis, I missed the process, the trial and error, the creativity of losing myself in my work. The forever - second - guessing - everything and agonizing if it was good enough or not. THAT, my lovely cousin is the true stamp of being an artist. You are already there. HUg.

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Christine Morton -

A mother, a daughter, a magic bean grower,
a hoper, a lover, a dandelion blower.
A dreamer, a wisher, a photograph maker,
a writer, a hoper, a lesser road taker.

© 2016 Christine Morton Redhead Snaps