I've been struggling using the term "artist" when referring to myself. I guess the problem comes from the definition I held of an artist for most of my life.
Up until I joined the etsy community in 2009 my definition of an artist was based solely on the only artists I had studied. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, van Gogh, Monet, Morisot, Gaugain, all the impressionists really. You know, all the masters. Interesting to me for their personal lives as much as for their art. And if you'll notice, all painters.
To me, in order to be an artist, you had to be able to draw. I mean really draw. That was the minimum you had to be able to do to go around calling yourself an artist in my book.
I joined Etsy to sell the jewelry that I made, just because I thought it was pretty. Not ever thinking for a second that I was an artist, I've learned a lot. This amazing artistic community has just opened my mind right up.
Here almost two years on, I find it harder and harder to deny that I am some sort of artist. I've always made things. Ever since I can remember I started teaching myself how to make things. Crocheting, embroidering, beading, knitting, painting ceramics, sewing, candle making, and on and on. You name it I've likely tried it. And now the metalsmithing thing.
I am slowly working on accepting a broader definition of what makes a person an artist, because I can no longer deny that there is a certain amount of artistry in what I do. I mean, I still make stuff just because I think it's pretty. But sometimes I feel driven by something else while I am creating and that is when I feel I am making art.
It is a fascinating journey.