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):
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.
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