“Am I a Real Artist?”
This question is slightly different from last week’s question, in which nuclear physicists and non-nuclear physicists ask if they are artists – the edition of the word “real” adds new dimension, along the lines of the Velveteen Rabbit.
Have you read that children’s story by Margery Williams? It’s a great one – a sawdust-stuffed rabbit toy is literally loved to pieces by his little boy owner, but agonizes because he’s not really real – he’s just a stuffed toy, until one day, after the family has thrown him out because he was contaminated during the little boy’s bout with scarlet fever, the Nursery Magic Fairy turns him into a real bunny – one with workable legs and warm skin and the ability to breathe.
So what is it going to take to turn you into a real artist?
Will it be selling a piece of your art for a certain price, or just selling a piece, period, to someone other than a friend or relative?
Will it be being accepted into a gallery in Scottsdale, AZ or Savannah, GA?
How about winning a prize at a major exhibition, or being accepted into an exhibition in the first place?
You know what it took for the Velveteen Rabbit? Being loved enough, and manhandled enough, and played with enough, and needed and wanted enough to be real. Actually, even when he was still filled with sawdust and didn’t look like a real bunny, he was – deep inside, where it matters.
If you love your art, manhandle your paint brush, play with color, and need and want to create and get better and deeper than what you create – then you, my friend, are a real artist.
Whether or not there’s still sawdust spilling out of you.