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Not an Artist (Creativity Matters Podcast 462)

Amy Creative Journey | Featured | Philosophical Threads | Podcast , , , , , , ,

Episode 462 Not an Artist

Episode 462 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — Are you an artist? Am I? Do you ever hear yourself say, “I’m not an artist”? What does that really mean?

It is always important to do the work and to do the work you most enjoy, the work you love. If you don’t do the work you love, then if it ends up being “just for you,” it may not be satisfying. But if it’s work you love, then the doing brings satisfaction, balance, mindfulness, and a host of other positives. Plus, you’ll be building skills along the way.

Do the Work

Doing the work is integral to improving, getting better, becoming the artist you want to be, and creating work you love.

I know that, but when I heard myself counter a jealous moment recently with, “I’m not an artist,” it took me some circling around the drain to finally admit that a) I don’t really believe that and b) the issue was more that I didn’t “do the work” (or didn’t do that specific work).

Don’t Just Accept the Voices You Hear!

Faced with a very human jealous moment, my brain explained it away. “Oh, right, I’m not an artist.” It surprised me to even think it, so much so that I puzzled over that little prickly voice and where it was coming from. Ultimately, I admitted that in this case, I hadn’t really done the work — even though I had lots of plans and ideas and good intentions and even half-hearted or sometimes impetuous starts. Once I faced that fact, I was able to take that responsibility and also quiet down the niggling voice that was throwing around claims about not being an artist.

I don’t think there is real value in playing a game with the label. For most of us who are not making a living from our art, I think it can be a damaging game, one that diminishes the value of what we are doing and how we think and feel about our art. So don’t do it!


  • FOMO can be overwhelming! So can decision fatigue! I’ve been battling both, and even though I know I’m caught up in a fruitless loop, I definitely am watching myself go through this. For anyone who has been at all interested or intrigued by the 100-day dress challenge (from Wool&), there is now a 30-day option, too.
  • I haven’t stopped wearing my dress and haven’t stopped posting at Instagram. I have been batch posting, but I’ve morphed my feed into a rumination on light and life, with a dose of wool thrown in. It remains important to me to be in that space. (@oamyoamy100 at Instagram)
  • I just completed week 36 (of year 51) of weekly self-portraits in my illustrated journal. I have also been doing the #whimsyandwonderartclub prompts, drawing a quirky/whimsical thing selected by Karin Winter each week. Her space and deep collection are amazing. Even as I struggle to declutter and simplify, I am fascinated by her “stuff.” It makes for a nice thing to draw and work into my illustrated journal each week.
  • Our current read in the CMP group is The People We Keep by Allison Larkin. We’ll be discussing it on the first Saturday of April. I finished that, and I’m now starting on another very long fantasy series (after much debate). This one is by Brandon Sanderson. With the few series I have lined up, I feel like I could read for years! (I do still have three Hobb books left to read. I need to get through one more before I get to that final trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings, and I just haven’t loved the dragon series. I could just skip it and go on to the final Fitz books, but I hate to do that. So, for now, a divergence.) I’ve been listening to the Murderbot Diaries books (all available on Hoopla from the library). Someone told me about them, and I’ve listened to five so far. The reader is so perfect for these books. Even when I don’t give 100% focus to them, I find them comforting.
  • I enjoyed this video from Goulet Pens about how Drew only keeps 3 pens inked at a time. I am SO the opposite of that. If I own it, I might as well be using it. I keep a large number inked up and use a dozen or more pens a week when working in my illustrated journal.

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