You are an Artist

Today, I’m sharing an idea that’s been running through my mind for a while.  The topic seems to slip into conversations, left and right, so I figure I should share my thoughts with you, as well.  Before I do, I want to share a card I made last summer with Gorgeous Grunge.  I made this card was for a coworker’s art class.  As you read-on, you’ll see why I’m sharing this card (you can click on the card to see the original post):

Gorgeous Grunge, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

My Thoughts

We all love to make beautiful cards, and we all love to share our projects with important people in our lives.  How many times have you shared a handmade card with someone who compliments it and says, “I could never make that – I’m not artistic…”?  I get it – I understand the feeling of insecurity that comes from not knowing how something is made.  We want to immediately quell their fear, so we start showing them how easy or enjoyable it is to make.  But, the unknown is not always at the heart of their fear.  I’ve often found that their understanding of the word “artistic” is truly what feeds their anxiety.  If you let that person keep talking, the next thing they say is inevitably, “…I’m just not good at drawing.”

When did we start to equate “artistic” with “ability to draw”?  I think it starts with elementary school art class.  (This post is DEFINITELY not a diss on art teachers – I had some amazing art teachers in school who introduced me to claymation and painting and ceramics.)  Drawing is the most basic form of artistic expression at a young age, and it’s the easiest to encourage over a large population of demographics.  Somehow, that sticks with us the rest of our life.  Does my bowl of fruit look lifelike in this sketch?  Can you tell this picture is supposed to be a cat?  If the answer is “no,” then I can only conclude that I do not have artistic ability.

But “artistic” goes far beyond the ability to draw.  An artist observes color combinations that inspire emotion and feeling.  An artist understands what combination on shapes and spaces are aesthetically appealing.  An artist knows that a beautifully crafted project can tell a story while it inspires or consoles.  I’ve been blogging about cards for almost two years, and I’ve never once rendered a drawing on my blog, yet I consider myself an artist.  I have a vision, and I know what I like.  More often than not, I know how to achieve the look I am going for, and I understand that my work can inspire and excite others.

I encourage you to listen when others look at your work – and when you assess your own work.  Sure, it’s perhaps a natural reaction to say, “I’m not artistic,” but maybe you are not giving yourself enough credit.  Paper crafting is an art, and we are all artists as we create and arrange colors and perfectly create the images we want to share with others.  Art energizes all of us to energize and share with others.  Give yourself credit for what you do and allow others to embrace the artist in them.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


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  1. Not only are you an artist but a very eloquent writer! Loved, LOVED your card and truly enjoy your blog. Thanks Brian for making me feel like there’s hope for me yet! Lol

  2. Laurie Burns Gachewicz

    Thank you for sharing your “musings” Brian!!! Two years ago, before my Mom introduced me to paper crafting, I was one of the people you are referencing. My favorite lines about not having “traditional” artistic talent are 1. I have trouble drawing stick figures! & 2. I can’t even cut a straight line with scissors!
    Thank you Mom, thank you Brian, thank you Crystal (my awesome upline, AKA Super Stamp Girl), and thank you to all the demonstrators and paper crafters that not only told me, but took the time to teach me, and thus helped me learn what I truly now know and believe… I do not have to rely on my drawing skills to be artistic!! My answers now: #1- My Stamps and Ink!! & #2- My Paper Trimmer!! Thank you Stampin’ Up!!! 🙂

  3. I agree with you Brian. And I’ve just joined you on Facebook! 🙂

  4. Interesting post on the meaning of artistry, Brian–I agree with you! While we were doing our taxes this year, I logged on to my bank website and discovered that under occupation I’d listed myself as an artist. I’d forgotten that, but I like it!

  5. I totally agree, Brian! Thanks for the wonderful post and sharing your awesome artistic ability!

  6. Well Brian, I could not draw anything to save my life, but on the other hand, my 16 year old granddaughter has this amazing ability to just pick up a pencil and draw incredibly beautiful images. She has never taken any specific classes to teach her how to draw, she just does it, in my humble and grandma-ish opinion, she is an artist.
    I love water coloring. About 5 years ago I took 5 days of beginner classes at the High School and I’ve seen some shows on TV. and Utube about water colors but that is the extent of my “training”. When I started making cards, water color was my favorite way to color the image and the recipients of my cards always liked them. It’s really sweet to get a phone call or an email from family and friends telling me they loved their cards. I’m thankful that I can enjoy make cards and share them with all the people I love, if any of them think they are artistic, it’s like the icing on the cake.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful words of encouragement! Your work is definitely art! I would frame it.

  8. Absolutely love this card! YOU are an artist, Brian!

  9. This card is a work of art ! Love it !

  10. Well said Brain…everyone has artistic abilities. Sometimes they need to be discovered and what a thrill it is to watch that happen in class or at a demonstration.

  11. So true so true!!!

  12. I am an artist.
    I can’t draw, so I stamp.…with Stampin Up.

  13. I still LOVE this card!! I tell people that you don’t have to be artistic to make cards. To me it’s a learned skill. I still have the very first card I made at my first SU Card Club as a guest which I proudly display I might add! I’ve come a long way since then but with the help of others such as yourself to help guide me and inspire me! 🙂

    I tell people the more you do something, the better you become at what ever it may be. The same thing applies to creating cards or scrapbooking. Loved your post today!! 🙂

  14. This card is as nice to look at today as it was a year ago. A great inspirational post, Brian. Thank you for encouraging everyone with the contents of your blog today and everyday.

  15. So true. Sometimes you may have to ‘dig’ deep to find your inner artist. No matter how big or small, I believe everyone has something to contribute.

  16. You are so right. How do we get so mixed up in our thinking?

  17. I’m sure that this is why I love the art of stamping and punching. I can do color combinations and I can see a certain balance of images or elements, and with that I can consider myself an artist. With those two skills, I can teach anyone willing to step into the studio they have artistic skills too!

    Thank you for this post, Brian.

  18. Loved this thought-provoking post. And love your artistry.

  19. Fabulous post Brian and yes, I remember this card. It is bright, cheerful and beautiful both in design and color. I have found that since I started stamping my style keeps changing. When I first started making cards I stamped an image and colored it in. Now that just isn’t good enough any more. It seems my style continues to get refined to the point that now my friends say they can tell if a card is made by me just by looking at the different elements incorporated. And to think this all started when I went to a workshop as a guest of a friend 12 years ago.

    Sorry to say that I don’t do Facebook Brian. Please know that I “like” you but don’t like social networking. I know, I know – “everyone does it” but I choose not to. I hope you don’t give up the blog to Facebook.

  20. I love this card-so bright and beautiful!

  21. Oh Brian, well said. We are all artists! I’ve been an art teacher for 8 years and now an instructor of paper-crafting. Paper-crafting uses the same elements that basic art call for, therefore it is art! Keep up the amazing encouragement, and continue to make art and share it with the world! Have a lovely day, be well –

  22. Brian!! I am one of the people you reference in your article and your words just shifted everything for me, so thank you for solving a puzzle that has had me stumped for years. I make beautiful cards and have just started painting but the idea that I’m not an artist because I can’t draw is always holding me back. Thanks to you I just kicked that idea to the curb and I feel like I just lost 20 lbs!

  23. I loved art class all throughout elementary. Our teacher was phenomenal. Entering middle school we were graded on our abilities which consisted of almost all drawing projects. I was an A student and only received Bs in Art class…I was discouraged and stopped enjoying art. Stampin up has helped me find the artist in me again 🙂

  24. I remember this card and how great it thought it was. Your blog always leaves me with something to think about. I’ve always loved art, but never felt I had the ability to bring my ideas to fruition as well as others. These days I just try to make things that make me happy.

  25. Well said Brian!

  26. I remember this card. It’s one of my all time favorites. Great post too. Great insights.

  27. I have thought about what I wanted to say all day! Anyone who ceates something out of nothin is an artist I think paper crafting is defantly a art form. We take paper and turn it into someting plesent and beautiful using a blank pice of paper adding color, textur, images to a final result. Paper Crafting is in my mind closely related to design We all know design is a art form. Design school of Art comes to mind. I think we have to look past the ovious forms of art like Drawing. Of course, people who can draw have great talent But, they have to work hard at learning how to get it just right. Most people call it doodling….They(the ones who can draw) probly think of it as practice. Just like learning a new paper crafting procudure takes practice. I think all people who creat are artist.

  28. Wow, Brian… great post, and I love to look at your work. Oh, by the way, this card was truly a favorite of mine…remember it well.

  29. I love this…. I love making cards, putting pieces of paper together stamping them, coloring them, and then sending it off to someone… all I am after is simply this: to make someone smile… I dont think anyone ever tires of getting a card in the mail, it reminds people that they are thought of.
    that is what I love about making cards, and receiving them in the mail. it is a small simple guesture, that makes someone feel special.
    Thank you Brian, for reminding all of us, being an artist is not just about drawing, but putting it so simply to give ourselves credit where credit is due! your blog makes me smile! 🙂

  30. Thank you, Brian. I am guilty of not being able to accept compliments of, “you are so creative!”. I love what you’ve written, thanks for the reminder and encouragement. ♥

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