I used to have trouble referring to myself as an artist. Didn’t an artist have to do art all the time and maybe even make money doing it? Didn’t an artist have to be really good? Didn’t an artist have to be recognized by others as an artist? I’ve since realized that I can apply whatever label I want to myself.
The question I’ve been pondering lately is: am I, in fact, an artist, or just an art blogger? I ask the question partially in jest—I don’t really think that I can’t be an artist just because I happen to be blogging about my art. The question is really about why I’m making art these days; to what extent is my work influenced by the prospect of putting it into a blog post? Am I doing art for the sake of the craft itself? Or is it simply so that I can blog about it? Another way to ask the question is: Do I blog so that I can draw, or do I draw so that I can blog?
When I started this blog, I would have said that I was an artist, and not a blogger. When I kept posting, fairly regularly, for a year, I started to consider myself a blogger. At the beginning, I was using the blog to keep track of my art journey for myself, and to share it with others. It was a way to visually group together my projects, and it helped me see connections between them that I otherwise may not have seen. All good things! I like writing, and sharing my work. However, at a certain point, when I stopped having regular ideas and inspiration for my art, I began to come up with ideas for the blog, rather than for my art.
But is it really such a bad thing if blogging encourages me to pursue my art? When I’m not feeling super motivated to do art, I may use the blog as a push to get a project started. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
In conclusion, I am not just an artist OR “just” a blogger. One doesn’t preclude me from the other, and I actually think I have managed to strike a pretty good balance between the two.
What do you make of this opposition? Do you consider yourself an artist, a blogger, or both?
My charcoal rendition of a Degas painting, part of a “Master Study” for a college class, circa 2007