Am I an artist?

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Artist

  • a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby
  • a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker
  • a person skilled at a particular task or occupation

I have never considered calling myself an artist until recent months. It took me many years to claim the title of writer, as while I’ve been passionate about writing for a long time,  I felt it was a bold step to proclaim it. Before this year I would say I’m a facilitator, and coach, I love writing and one day I plan to write a book. Now I proudly call myself a writer.

I’ve always greatly admired art in all its glorious forms, and to be honest completely in awe and incredibly jealous of those people I considered to be artists. You know, painters and sculptors and people who make things from other things. They have studios, messy clothes dappled with remnants of their art and get lost for hours on end producing their beautiful work. Time stands still for them as they get absorbed in the flow of their art, nothing else matters in that moment.

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Writing my morning pages

I recall about 15 years ago when a friend of mine began painting, visiting her home and seeing her studio set up, the overwhelming passion she had for her art, her itchiness to get back to the canvas and stay there forever, and the incredible pieces she produced as a result. She held a very successful first exhibition and I stood there in total admiration of her courage to put her self, her thoughts, heart and vulnerability out their for the world to see. Such bravery I thought, while continuing to mutter in my mind “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, and I can’t even draw a straight line”.

I love art in all its amazing heart opening, raw and rich forms. I am happy to say my definition of art has changed and I’m embracing the fact that I do have artistic bones, right throughout my body, as we all do. I learnt to bead in Ghana and to this day when I look at my pieces on the wall I feel a wave of warmth in knowing that I made that.

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Me with my first beaded wall piece in Ghana – it’s on the wall in our home

I work with clients creating and maintaining dreadlocks and hair wraps as a beautiful outlet from my usual work of talking about mental health. It gives me such joy to work with my hands, create beautiful things and stand back at the end of a consultation and see the art I created and nurtured. You can be an artist in anything. How you arrange your home, your garden, cooking meals, how you dress or how do you hair. The definition of art is limitless and only cramped by the restrictions we place upon ourselves.

It is only now that I’m feeling confident to say that as a writer,  I’m an artist. What do writers do? Much like painters, sculptors and other artisans, we use tools and our heart, mind and vulnerability to create beautiful pieces. I use words and join them together in different ways to create my art. I take the pieces of my heart, my mind and my soul and spread them onto the canvas in the form of sentences, paragraphs, stories and poetry. I paint pictures and I sculpt beauty, from the depths of my vulnerable soul.

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Writing in my office this week

I don’t have a studio, the world is my studio. I am blessed that I can take my art anywhere and I’m always inspired by my surroundings. Right now I’m sitting in my room in a beautiful village in Penestanan, Bali with the sounds of community, family, nature and nature life surrounding me. The heady scents of jasmine, frangipani and incense waft up occasionally into my room and stimulate all of my senses. I don’t have an artists outfit with drops of my art on my clothing, but my words linger in my mind and stay in the air long after I release them onto the page.

I am here with the intention of finally writing my book and I’m working on it. This has been a very different process for me as usually I have an idea, grab my laptop, the words fly out across the keyboard and I hit publish. I never plan to write, never. It is always a moment of spontaneity inspired by a word, song, conversation or a thought in a quiet moment, usually the shower.

A book is a completely different animal and as someone wisely said to me this morning, it requires different muscles. Similar to running a marathon versus a sprint. This blog is my sprint and where my passion and heart want to open and share. This morning this post demanded to be written before I could do anything else, so write it I must. The book will be a marathon of so many precious stories and memories that take time to digest, reflect upon and share. It is a labour of love, and there have already been many tears.

Am I an artist? Hell yes I am!
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