Monday, 28 April 2014

How to be an artist...?

I really strongly believe that being an artist is only a matter of ... decision we make on some stage of our life.
One day we simply grow up to the thought we want to create art of some kind. That is already a moment of bravery for some of us - naming ourselves "artists" doesn't come easy - especially if you are 100% self thought (like me), without any degrees in arts or courses finished (like me), someone who just loves to create basically useless pieces for the pure pleasure of the creative process (like me).  Only thing you can do in this situation is close your eyes and jump from the cliff, screaming, hoping the water is deep enough for you to swim. That's what I did.
Then there comes another problem: how to be an artist? I know many of us struggle with it - I have loads of doubts and hard moments myself, I stumble and fall all the time - but the answer seems to be really easy - and you can find it on the collage below:


That's it! Can you see it?
"Create Art".
Simple!
Nothing can be gained, nothing can be done without the act of creating. And it is crucial to be prepared the effect may be far from perfection. In fact, expecting your project will be perfect, beautiful, breathtaking masterpiece would be the worst thing you can do to yourself - because it never happens! It is impossible to create a project exactly the way we can see it in our dreams - and the best way to deal with it is to accept it, play with ideas, possibilities, learn and practice as much as possible. In fact: the more you do, the easier it gets and the better your art is.
A couple of days ago one of my friends posted this picture on her FB wall:


(picture by Kate Holden?)

I think it says everything you need to know about being an artist: just DO.
Try to do your best on your good days and bad days and don't expect it will be 100% success every time :)
(The collage above is a great example - I'm not happy with some elements of it, but I'm not going to make any drama or throw it in the fireplace - it is still something I had great pleasure making and I feel I learnt something during the creative process...)
During my classes I try to encourage people to try, play, experiment - and I wish they would remember it is all about having fun, expressing ourselves, trying - not comparing our work with other projects in the classroom or internet. It is about your personal progress and experience - and the best competition for you would be... you from the day before.
You may not agree with me - in fact I'd love to hear your opinion about "being an artist" and I hope to discuss a bit more about this matter in the comments below! As I said before - all I know and think I learnt from my personal experience and watching other creative people. And I MAY be totally wrong!

Sending warm hugs and hoping to hear back from you!


(Here is a list of products used for the collage above)



42 comments:

Vicki said...

I have struggled with this concept too. I spent all but the last 5 years of my adult life working in jobs that used the other side of my brain. When I retired, felt the need to find something to keep me busy and stumbled on art as an outlet - art journaling and some mixed media work. When my friends would say "oh you're an artist" I would always reply "no" - I'm just playing. I always thought of "artists" has having to be in "fine art" - like the Masters. Now I am starting to accept that the act of creating IS the act of art. I'm trying to be less critical of myself which is funny because I am so accepting of everyone else's work as "art". Thank you for this article - I love your work; it makes me drool it is so interesting and beautiful. It helps to know those artists we admire also struggle with this concept.

Stempeln und mehr - Evelyns bunte Welt said...

I totally agree with you! And I think: everybody is an artist! May be some things we do are not everyones taste - but hey! Beauty is no question of taste and ART everybody defines different. Let´s make art and have fun :o)
xxx Evelyn

finnabair said...

Vicki - I'm 100% with you. It was extremely hard for me to name myself "an artist" - for the same reasons!
Finally after few years I'm a bit more comfortable with this term - but I really do believe that making acts of art make you an artist (at least a kind of!)

Merrylioness said...

I was unable to take your workshops when you were at Absolutely Everything, however, Kate had a workshop using your techniques that I was able to attend. It has opened my creative art and I have been freed. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on creating art and for sharing your techniques.
Merci Beaucoup!!!!

Svjetlana said...

Finn, I totally agree with you and totally adore this canvas. I've never seen myself as an artist, but now I am starting to think of myself as one.

Scrapalex37 said...

Dear Finnabair, Thanks a lot for this, it's exactly what i'm living this time: the processus ! I really open me when i did a class with you. There is something you said during this class in Tours, it's always on my mind: "don't think when you create, let it go" ! You really gave me positives waves, you open my mind a lot. You are an artist, it's sure. Thank you so much to share it with us.
Bye

lilouscrap said...

I'm so in love with your work and your creativity ! you're so inspiring for me. Thanks for all Anna.

Deborah Wainwright said...

These thoughts resonate with me deeply. I was destined to be an artist from childhood. I always drew and created. Throughout school my highest grades were in art. My plan to go to art collage was realised by winning a scholarship at age 10 but then I was persuaded that being an artist was a hard job, how was I to make a living. What if no one like my art, were question posed to me until I relented and applied for an apprenticeship in hairdressing. Needless to say that didn't last long. I won't bore you with details only that I am 53 this year and have been playing for just over a year. Am I an artist? No not yet, but I am someone who makes art. I still seek approval of my art. When I make art just for my own approval then maybe I will be able to think of myself as an artist.

Brandi Matos said...

I absolutely LOVE this piece and truly am inspired your work!!! I can always point out your work on any online gallery because it is so unique, so beautiful, so you!!!! Art is about creating something and knowing it's "yours"... A true satisfaction! I have stepped "out of my box" more in the last few months and I am really enjoying the results! We try... And whether we've failed or succeeded, we've learned!!! And THAT is what is important :-)

Rae said...

I love todays blog post. A beautiful canvas and finns wise words of wisdom are so inspiring to me. I've never really thought about myself as an artist, other people seem not to understand or belittle glueing, sticking & inking. For me I just love the creative process even if designs change throughout the process. Creating allows me to switch off from everything else & do what makes me happy. As from today I am an artist!

Cardgenie said...

Thank you for saying what many of us believe. I'm struggling with the concept of calling what I produce art. You have got me really thinking with more confidence now! Jean.x

Teresa C said...

Thanks for this post! to make your words well, especially since much admire your art! it is to be an artist? only that express, fun, say through work. Thanks for so much inspiration!

Нюркино гнездо said...

Finn, thank you for your work! This is really important to share these thoughts. Very difficult for me to realize myself as an artist. I find it difficult to accept fully my love for creativity, accept the fact that my strange and special way. I'm afraid that I did not understand and accept. But something makes me go ahead. May be it is inspiration. May be it is desire to express themselves.

MARCH said...

C'est aussi grâce à vous que que je me suis "lâchée" dans mes créations.Je ne me considère pas comme une artiste mais j'aime "essayer" de créer quelque chose et parfois j'aime le résultat ;-)
Merci pour votre Art car il m'inspire

whyducks said...

You are right in what you say, but I have a big voice in my ear telling me I am rubbish! Hard not to listened to it.

whyducks said...

Oh and by the way your pictures is wonderful x

cecile graven said...

Amen to what you said Anna :)

Darlene G said...

Oh my gosh, your art is absolutely beautiful. I really love this piece. Thanks for the encouragement.

Darlene G said...

Oh my gosh, your art is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the encouragement, I need it.

finnabair said...

Svjetlana, I understand - I was there too. Sometimes I am still there... but the most important is we do it all for ourselves, right?

finnabair said...

Scrapalex37, thank you so much - I'm happy I could help a bit...

Helen Tilbury said...

Fantastic post! I agree 100%!!

brantics said...

I've always considered myself more of a designer than an artist, it felt weird (and still does) to call myself an artist. I'm a graphic designer by trade so making the jump to suddenly call myself something with more artistic connotations was a real leap. I don't know why it's so hard to call myself one though, I think it all comes down to confidence really, something I still lack...

Isabel said...

Maravilloso trabajo!!

Anguree said...

Oh Finn, sure you are an artist, an inspiration in everything you do and say. Your classes are awesome and most likely the best I've ever been to so far. But hey I do agree I don't see myself as one sure I take that I can be creative and love it when the mojo gushes and flows and creating becomes second nature, but there are a lot flat days and sometimes flat months. Experiencing an awesome flow now but normally that leads to what I call my resting time and it's almost like hibernating until it all happens again. But an artist, me, Mmm not so sure nothing like Da Vinci or Picasso. I guess it's a very old struggle for many if us. Look and Vincent Van Gough, poor fellow thought he was a failure and now many years later he is still one of the masters of all time...

frezja said...

szkic Twojej tworczosci wymiata,....leze i sie smieje pod nosem :) genialna Finn :)

Julie Ann Lee said...

This is a beautiful post in so many ways. I wanted to be an artist when I was a little girl and then all my enthusiasm and experimentation was crushed by poor art teaching at secondary school by weary, cynical teachers who had lost the desire to inspire their students. The internet has provided me with wonderful teachers/facilitaters like yourself and I shall always be grateful! Now at last I feel that I can begin to spread my wings and fly. That, I think, is what it is to be an artist. Thank you. Julie Ann xxx

Sharon Estes said...

This is a beautiful piece of art. and Yes I do struggle at being and artist, I have been trying for twenty years and at age 70 I think I found what I like and this is it..your a super...artist.

Keren Tamir said...

Finn, Thank you for writing this post. Like many before I agree with everything that you said.I've been struggling with this issue not because I don't believe I'm an artist, because I do. I struggle because some people from this industry claim that only fine art artists are true artists. I've always believed that not only there's an artist inside of me but that there are so many different types of artists in the world. It bothers me when people say that only fine art artists are true artists. They claim that scrapbookers/paper crafters are not artists and put down those beliefs. I have no problem if someone doesn't believe they are an artist in their soul, however that's their choice. Telling others that they aren't artists is like Picasso telling Jackson Pollock that he's not an artist because his style is different. I believe that artists feelings come from within and the art that they produce comes purely from the soul of the universe. It doesn't matter what type of artists you are and even if you didn't go to school for it. Not every successful person has gone to school, some people have it innately. Some of the richest people in the world never finished high school. So as long as you let others feel their own inner artist without putting them down, then one can believe they are an artist within.

suzieq23 said...

You are so amazing! I am speechless! Just GORGEOUS (as always). Sue

Danielle M said...

I have a degree in fine art but once I graduated I was so burnt out I didn't paint for 5 years. I think in some ways my light/passion was stripped. I have been a crafter my whole life and these two sides fight against each other every single day. Sometimes its over-whelming because I love everything creative one is not better than the other. Before I went to college my creativity roamed free but I noticed when I was in school I was so timid because I was afraid of making a "mistake." There is no such thing. What I make is mine. So, my solution is to create everyday regardless of what's going on...I continue to create. You have a very nice post.

Yvonne Garner said...

You are both talented and wise! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.

neetoldstuff said...

Dear Finnabair, I took your class this year in LifeBook. I loved it! I have done all sorts of creative things over the years, but always hesitated to call myself an artist. I felt like there would be someone waiting over my shoulder calling me out, saying, "no You Aren't!". I am gradually getting more comfortable with saying it, because I Want it To Be True! I love making art, and i feel like I do my best, most meaningful art when I relate to my own personal story and situations. I hope I Am Finding My Own Voice! Thank you for your wonderful lesson, and thank you for sharing your story, it gives me such Hope!

Danielle Champagne said...

I have also struggled with that concept. what is good enough to be considered ART, and am I an Artist? I was unable to solve the problem myself... found out most of my answers in Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST WAY. after 24 weeks of this program,yes I am an artist, cause I create, not only in arts! I create each and every moment of my life because I am conscient of it. this is what makes me an artist! Of course, to me being an artist does not mean SUCCEEDING, seeing results. NOpe... being an artist is follow the flow, the path,and learn, be totally myself, and enjoy, and have fun! Have a wonderful day! Enjoy each and every moment of it! xoxo

Danielle Champagne said...

oups... I clicked much too soon! I simply adore your page. it warms my heart. and raise so much joy in me. Love all the textures, the shapes,so very symbolic and etheric atthe same time. I guess this is what art is all about. Creating...and sharing. Hugs. xox

Carole Dion said...

Hi,I'm 51 and it's been only a year now that i am confortable to present myself as a artist even if creating was always part of my life.I love your style and your work you inspire me a lot. I send you a ''BONJOUR'' from Québec Canada!

boomer said...

Dear Finnabair, I am 66 and discovered my love of paper arts about 18 months ago. To put it mildly...I am totally consumed with this new found love. After all the years of raising children and working, I'm finally able to express my feelings through art. I have watched hundreds of videos, visited hundreds of websites and slowly I'm learning...but, everyday I create something. And...you are such an inspiration...your work is ART and truly inspirational. Thank you.

Ilana Polakiewicz said...

Hey, Finn! I really enjoy reading your text. I agree with you. But I think everybody must feel comfortable calling themselves artists. Why not? Art is something so subject! I think your canvas and everything you do is brilliant and very inspiring. For me you are a fantastic artist.

Maura said...

Love how simply put this is and oh so very true. Always admire your art!

agnés said...

Il faut laisser parler et vivre ses rêves.
Belle journée

Gil Jussara said...

"I agree with you.It takes more sensitivity to create than academic training. We must dare, practice and let our heart speak for itself."
Hugs from Brazil

Crafty Granma said...

It's now May 2016 and I have just found this beautiful post. Last December I travelled to Timaru (NZ) to take a Finnabair class. I loved it and it opened the Mixed Media portal for me. I am only a few steps along this exciting road but I can see where II want to go (albeit slowly) and I am loving it. I am grateful to so many who are so generous with their talent and time to share their ideas and technique step outs and videos. Thank you Finn and all you other Ladies. I have learnt a wonderful saying whilst browsing the many resources available - THERE ARE NO MISTAKES IN ART - I think this fits in with what you are saying in your post Finn.