“I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty spaces in my life. Some of them. Not all.” -Neil Gaiman
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. Now, being an artist does not necessarily mean “making a living” as an artist. I certainly wasn’t bringing in the big bucks when I was three years old drawing pictures of bunny rabbits. Creative folks know art is just something that breathes within us and should be nurtured. Picassso famously quipped “Every child is an artist...” I never lost the notion that I was an artist. My momma saw a tiny flame growing inside me and she refused to let it be extinguished. I was very fortunate to have a mother who understood the importance of creating. She encouraged me every step of the way, from the oil painting set complete with french easel when I was 10 years old, to the fancy leather portfolio I carried my high school art projects in, to the work she purchased when I was just starting out on my professional career. Mom recognized that ART HAS VALUE. No, not just the product of art, but the creation of art. Mind you, it is always nice to have something beautiful at the end of your labor. However, it is not a necessity. Creating “ugly art” does not mean you are not an artist. Maybe you need to hone your skills but if you are honestly trying to discover something when you create, then you, my friend, ARE AN ARTIST. As I have aged I have come to realize art is about the process. It is about the journey. What do we discover within ourselves as we create? What connection do we have with the rest of humanity? I hope that when people view my work they feel a sense of connection to me and the rest of the world - to nature. Seek those connections through art. And if you need a reminder of how we are all connected, buy some art, hang it on your wall. Let it inspire you. Share in the creative spark. My favorite pieces of art are not my own, but of other artists who share my vision. I hang them with joy knowing we really are all in this together and I am not alone.