It's taken me quite a while to believe that I am an artist. It's not that I was trying to reject it as a label, to the contrary, I love being what an artist stands for. It's like a free ticket to weirdness, being an artist makes acceptable to be different, even mandatory.
I saw a quote the other day though that got me thinking, it said 'creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, art is knowing which ones to keep.'
This really struck a chord with me and it was the word 'mistakes' that rang in my head. The reason for this is because I feel like I am constantly making mistakes in my art. I felt like I was always having to fix stuff.
Because of this I felt like I simply wasn't good enough. How could I call myself an artist if I couldn't create what I initially intended? Or if paint splayed out unintentionally, or even when working digitally, lines didn't go where they should?
But the quote made me rethink my story. I wasn't making mistakes because I wasn't good enough, it was simply part of the process.
They say in writing that the biggest part is actually rewriting and I think this applies to art too. You make some marks and then you can see where they should be. The act of getting something down makes it possible to be objective and them move closer to where they should be.
I think that this applies to life in general too. We can be so hard on ourselves for making mistakes, but it's just part of learning. Similarly if we don't fail then it means we aren't trying.
I have been listening to some interviews with Brené Brown and she talks about the inevitability of failure. The act of trying will ultimately lead to failure. It's a bit like surfing too - you will never learn to ride the waves if you don't fall off them.
So, I'm learning to be okay with my mistakes, because I'm discovering that it's actually pushing me forwards. Having to fix things makes me quite analytical and actually the solution comes from 'seeing' the problem.
I am not a perfect artist. I am a gloriously imperfect, mistake making artist who likes to tinker until things look nice. But I definitely am an artist.