Don't Ever Tell Me You're Not An Artist

I got speaking with a lovely woman at a recent drawing event. She told me her husband’s “the artist,” she was just doodling.

Well that got me all riled up. Having spent a lot of time thinking I wasn’t creative (that’s a whole other post), I’m particularly sensitive when someone tells me they’re not an artist. Or not creative. Or they’re not anything fill in the blank, really. All these made-up labels we put on ourselves that only serve to limit us in some way. 

What does that even mean? Who gets to define who is and isn’t an artist? Who even cares?? I mean, really, WHO CARES!? Who are we trying to impress? Are we trying to create a career out of this? Why can’t it just be for FUN! Because it is fun.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in Big Magic. She has a friend who begins taking ice skating lessons in her 40s. We tend to poo poo things like this. What’s the point? She’s not getting into the Olympics at this age!

And...SO?? Why does every activity have to lead to some epic goal, or it’s not worth doing?

That’s the other thing. We silly adults. If we’re not “good” at something right away, we tend to claim we’re bad at it. So dramatic. 

So what happens? We give up. Now just imagine. What if you did that as a kid? With things like, I don’t know...learning how to walk? Reading? Tying your shoes? Playing the recorder? 😂

I don’t go to these drawing events in hopes of making a living on my art. I go because it’s fun to get creative again. To be in my community. To do something I enjoy. Just for the fun of it.

My favorite little sketch from this past week happened when I started experimenting with another medium, let loose a little, stopped caring about trying to get it “right.” Perfect? Far from. Fun? Yeah!

We are ALL artists. We are ALL creators. Of our lives. Of moments. Friendships. Connections. Experiences. Don’t ever tell me you’re not an artist.

Instead, tell me something you’ve been wanting to do, JUST for fun. With no connection to trying to figure out career, or any sort of outcome other than PURE FUN!

I want you to book it now. Not one more second of hesitation. (Hesitation is a dream killer.) Just do it! It will feel amazing. And then share what it is below. 👇



Christine O'Neill