Own Your Identity as an Artist

By Carolyn Edlund

Are you an artist?  It can be an easy question to answer, or a difficult one.

What is your definition of an artist? Someone involved full-time in their artwork? A commercially successful person?  A person with great ideas?

Defining “artist” is part of  owning your identity as an artist. When we feel that we love art, study art, make art but cannot identify ourselves as artists, we limit ourselves emotionally and professionally. Cross over the line and allow yourself to think of yourself as an artist. Own that identity. What we think, we create.

Steps to try and for discussion:

  1. Identify yourself as an artist. Put this on your profile – on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, your resume.
  2. Tell others. You may lack confidence, but this is a major step in reinforcing your identity. It inspires you to follow through.
  3. Take pride in your identity. Artists have a “mystique” – others appreciate and value artists who have a talent they would love to have. Observe how people react to your statement that you are an artist. This can be powerful – and affirming!
  4. Allow yourself to be imperfect.  Take a look at how self-criticism can limit you.
  5. Appreciate your gifts. You are incredibly fortunate to have talent, a creative mind and means of expression. Having an “attitude of gratitude” works for everyone, and is a great energy which draws others to us.

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