For as long as i can remember i have loved doing creating things and even though it's considered cliche and cheesy to label yourself a creative i still quite like the term. It's basically the same as considering yourself an artist which i do, even though i don't feel like i fully represented myself effectively as an artist. However, getting older offers a built-in penchant for caring less about most things and these days i don't really care if i communicate that i am an artist directly or otherwise. Instead, i find it liberating and cozy to just consider myself an artist or a creative. The brutal reality is that no one else cares whether you are an artist or not. Most of the time everyone else is too busy in their own life and why shouldn't they be? We're all the same really. Our focus is primarily on our own universe and we're often at the centre, it's normal and everyone does it whether they are neurotypical, neurodiverse or otherwise.
Now we have determined that you probably dont care(or at least that you should not care) and we also verified that no one else probably cares either. So, really there is nothing stopping you from being whatever you want. Therefore, if you have ever wanted to consider yourself an artist but didn't feel like you measure up, were worried what people may think or are scared to accept your inner artist then maybe, just maybe this article is for you.
All the things i love doing involve some form of creating unique things and while it's impossible to be one hundred percent original it's for sure fun to try. Where do i start? Trying and failing to be an illustrator, i've done it. Doodling on post-it notes at work, every day of every office job i worked, check. Spending hours creating my own magazines, websites or starting various failed book projects. Been there and done that. Painting, drawing, digital painting, photography, web design, logo design. Yep, all tried and i'm decidedly bad to average at nearly all of them. I know for sure i'm not the best at any of the creative things i tried but that never stopped me from enjoying them. What's more, just because you consider yourself an artist does not mean you have to be the best. If you think your the best in your single sphere of focus chances are that you just haven't your superior yet.
It wasn't until i started web development that i found that it was the perfect blend of technicality and creativity that made me realise that this was the creative outlet for me. Writing, design and programming all wrapped up with a technical slant led to web development being my primary hobby and my full time occupation. I know with certaintity that i am not the best at any facet of web development but i just don't care. I don't mean that i dont work hard to try to do a great job, i do. Rather, i just dont care about being the best and comparing my skills against everyone else. I try to never measure myself against anyone else but instead just against my historic self. If i'm better than i was last year then i am making progress and that is all you can do if you want to stay sane. There is plenty of room in web development for people of all talents, skill levels and amounts of passion, so you should never worry either regardless of where you sit on the scale.
It personally took me years of doing all kinds of jobs to find my passion, i know plenty of folks who have had easier routes. On the other side of the fence i've also met people who still don't know what they actually want to do. So, i don't worry that it took me a lot longer to get where i wanted as i could have never even got here at all. Sometimes when you get what you want too soon you don't understand how important it is to you. So, there is nothing wrong in having to earn things the hard way and while i'm a big advocate in trying to learn from others mistakes, it doesn't mean i can always apply it to my own life. Enough about me anyway, this is about you, so let's get back on track.
So, if you had the choice of being an artist or not being an artist then what would you choose? If you consider yourself an artist are you? Does being an artist require external validation? Do you have to have work published in a gallery or have sold your artwork? What even is artwork? Is a doodle art? Is interior design art? Is programming art, what about gardening? The way i ultimately view it is anything can be art. It's almost a mindset rather than a task or a skill. Even the most mundane of tasks can be approached with passion and dedication. Is this in fact what being an artist means to have artisty in whatever you do?
From the Collins English dictionary:
I should add with point three i feel like you can apply great skill in producing bad art. You might produce bad art better than anyone you know. Regardless of whether your art is bad is a consious or unconsious decision, you're still displaying a level of artistry! Looking more at point two, that as long as you make pursuits in an artistic direction you can have artistry. That means that just joining in makes you an artist and joining in is your choice alone to make.
So really that only leaves one thing to convince you of.
So, why would you want to be an artist? Well firstly i would say why not. Being an artist does not stop you from being anything else. Are you a gardener? Then chances are your already an artist and understand more about colour theory than most just from working with nature. You could be a builder who takes immense pride and dedication in building things that are always better than your last effort, long story short you are probably an artist. Are you a scientist, fine you can still love painting and drawing or have a love for fashion in your non science life. And finally for all you developers out there if you program or build things on the web then you can be an artist as well, code is just another material to build from.
To be an artist is to allow yourself to be creative in any number of ways. You can see the world in a creative way and find something amazing and wonderful wherever you go, whoever you're with and whatever time of day. Instead of limiting yourself to just being a programmer, a musician or a painter, be an artist instead. Even if you change careers or hobbies multiple times, being an artist will make those changes with you and will transcend them all.
Be an artist, you might just fall in love with it.