Why I’m Not an Artist

I am daunted. I love art and it has been a passion of mine for a long time (6 years). I draw daily now just as I hoped I would write daily. I have a few old sketchbooks piled in the night stand by my bed and they show better than words my progress. I can’t draw everything but what I can I do well. However, I must continually remind myself that I am not an artist.

Let me explain. I draw, yes. I have even made some money from my art ($2 at a convention). Therefore it would not be unreasonable to call myself and artist. The problme lies in what calling myself an artist means for me. It means that I must have a clear vision every time I sit down to do a serious drawing. It means that I must have a disctinct style by which everyone can see that this is my work. It means that what I draw must either look cool, resonate, or be so mindblowing that you can’t tell what you’re looking at (ahem abstract art and cubism). It means that to a certain extent I should be making money from my art or at least doing art trades. I know that is doesn’t have to mean these things and in many cases it doesn’t. Still, everyonce in awhile I’m looking on Instagram (where i post most of my art) and all the amazing artist there. I find myself looking at my sketchbook comparing and critising and making list of things to improve apon. I’ll find myself doubting and looking at all the materials I still have (markers on the other nightstand, a case of colored pencils by the bed, charcoal barely touched waiting in the closet) and wondering if it was a waste getting them. I should be able to use them afterall I’m an artist. Or, at least, if not use them, be proficient enough in another medium that leaving the other mediums out won’t matter. Then I’ll feel a little guilty as I look on these abandoned things and I’ll count how much all this has cost me and I’ll wonder if its worth it and-. In all this the one thing I’m not is happy. The one thing I’m not doing is enjoying creating.

This is one of those times where the phrase live in the moment comes into play. Well, I don’t know how to do that. So I won’t say that. Instead, what I’ll try to do from now on is to focus on what I am and try to put that back into my art. I am a storyteller. I was telling stroies before I was drawing and started writing (seriously) at nearly the same time. If I focus on telling a story with my art rather then making a style, or having emotional resonance, or making something that I can sell later, or any of those things then perhaps I won’t get so frustrated when it doesn’t turn out right. Perhaps I can focus on the ideas that I’m trying to show rather than how it all looks in the end. Becuase as long as I got that message across- as long as I’ve told the story I want to tell then my job is finished. And I have done well.


If you would like to see my art. I use eclecticnovice as my handle on pretty much every site so you can find me at Deviantart, Instagram, and Tumblr.

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