Being an artist means more than creating just art. Far more. But, for the sake of discussion, what artists do at the most basic level is create. And in this regard, creativity is a broad, warm brush stroke that covers some of the most seemingly uncreative activities. For years, I blocked the idea of being called an artist. I didn't feel the quality of my work qualified me for the title. I've worked for years perfecting a craft, and I felt I could take on the word craftsperson far more easily than I could accept artist. But I'm softening to the idea. Not because I think I've reached some new height with my talent, but rather because I've broadened my personal definition of artist. Here it is:
An artist is someone who creates something where before there was nothing.
Armed with this definition, I'm an artist, and guess what? You are, too.
When we put aside our fear and embrace our vulnerability, moving forward step by step, we create what was not there before. That's how the world has always been. Someone takes the spark of an idea, carries it out to the next step, and soon, after days, weeks, or years of thought and action, something new results. The Pyramids. The cocktail of drugs that keeps HIV from killing people. Panels that collect the sun and produce electricity.
All of those, and many significantly smaller achievements are artistry manifested. Human beings, given the right tools, will create the most miraculous things. The problem is, we don't give so much of we do enough credit. We create things from nothing every single day and consider ourselves the most uncreative beings on the planet. We create and mould and foster life when we have children. We nurture and help ourselves and others to thrive when we cook. We bring a new idea to life when we help a friend make a decision. We are creating from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep, and don't think we're artists unless there's a painting on the wall with our name in the corner.
We create with our hands and our minds. We create with our thoughts and our deeds. We are born creating and don't stop until we're pushing up daisies. We manifest newness by focusing energy.
When I view myself like this, I see my beautiful old home that we've so painstakingly restored, I see my pottery and my writing, I see my family and friends, I see my loving relationship, and I think, it's all art, isn't it? I've been put here to manifest these miracles.
I am an artist.
You are an artist.
Something from nothing. Miracles from nothing. That's what we humans create, every day of our lives.