Are You a Real Artist?

"Am I good enough?" "What would a real photographer do in this situation?" "Am I not a real photographer because I just asked that question?" "Am I even a real artist?" If you’re an artist, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the, “am I real artist”question a few times. I’ve heard this question from other artists, and I’ve certainly inquired my own authenticity as an artist a multitude of times. It’s tough, because you want to think you're good at what you do, but there’s always someone out there doing better work, making more money than you, and they seem to have all the answers to questions you don’t even know to ask. 

Kudos for them! But maybe not so encouraging for the rest of. For a lot of people, I think we have this strange notion of what it means to really be something, or what it means to be successful. This reality is true even more so for artists. We think because we don’t know what we are doing right away, that perhaps we never will. That because we haven’t perfected a certain technique, that we’re lost causes. Or if our social media following isn’t where we hoped it be after a certain point, that nobody will ever be interested in our work.

 Well, I’m here to say, this couldn’t be farthest from the truth. I’ve been doing photography for a year now, and I’ve gone back and forth with my work and it’s worth as art. “I can’t succeed because of this.” “That professional told me that.” “This doesn’t look like how I intended." "I am such a screw up, and failure.”

I’ve been my number one critic from the get-go, and I've beaten up my ego till it was black and blue. Yet, because of my constant self beat down, I couldn’t see the progress I was making in my craft, or as a person. When I look back to my first portraits compared to now? The difference is astonishing. My point is, a real artist knows there’s a lot to the cliched statement, “Practice makes perfect”. 

So you don’t know what you’re doing? Well, keep at it till you do! The internet is full of information, Youtube is abundant with self help tutorials in just anything you can think of. There’s also millions of bloggers with their own websites offering their own opinions, techniques, and advice. And even within your own community, you might just be surprised to learn what resources are available to you. So, you think you aren’t good enough? 

Make yourself good enough. A real artist doesn’t just complain about where they are, they practice till they get where they want to be. And a little secret? There’s very few real artists out there that believe that they’ve truly made it can be all that they can be. I’ve seen astonishingly talented individuals humbly look at their art and think they can do better. It’s not really even just about reaching a certain level of expertise. In my own opinion, it’s always about growing as an individual and as an artist. We’re always growing. So don’t sweat not being at a certain level of greatness just yet. You'll get there!

Finally? If you create art, you’re an artist. Point-blank.