Art is Heartwork
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before."
Neil Gaiman, author
In the class I took to start taking my art seriously, the Montana Artrepreneur Program, we had to practice calling ourselves artists. We had to practice this self-identification because many of us, even some who had created and sold their art for years, still had this reticence to identify as artists. Why? For me, I felt like "real" artists were better than me, had a degree in art, had their work in galleries, had sold lots of artwork and created masterpieces every time they did their work.
What I learned is that I didn't need all those accomplishments to call myself an artist. I knew art was a part of me and was in my heart. And as I've grown in my practice of my art, I realize that it truly is "heartwork". I paint for me and can lose myself in my creations. Yet I've also found joy when someone else connects with what I've created.
We recently started an art group in my local community. It's for all kinds of artists; textiles, jewelry, knitting/crocheting, painting, sculpting, writing ... basically anything that can be created. I am amazed at how many people were interested. I sensed a hunger for community, space, inspiration and encouragement to create. A passion that can only come from the heart.
Teaching art at the local elementary school has made me realize that we all start out as artists when we're young. Somewhere during our lives, we lose that connection with the art in our hearts. Maybe we get discouraged, think we're not good enough, or are distracted by something we think is more practical.
All of us are still artists. It's still in our hearts waiting for us to recognize it again. Don't wait. Create.
There are lots of ways to get started and be inspired. Here are a few: