I Am Not An Artist?

I have come to the realization that I’m not an artist (before people get angry I should clarify that by artist I mean fine artist). I like design and maybe a little bit of illustration (yes there is a different (apparently)), but fine art isn’t for me. It takes too long and I’m constantly frustrated that what I paint doesn’t look as good as I want it to. Part of that problem stems from me not wanting to take the time and get good at drawing portraits or painting landscapes.

But in a way it’s a good thing because it’s helped me realise that fine art isn’t the thing I want to be doing. I like design, I like playing with colours and shapes and turning them into patterns. I like illustration. I loved my corporate identity projects at college because they were essentially just doodling.

I don’t even know if there is a point to this post. Basically I’m not an artist and thats fine because I don’t want to be.

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11 thoughts on “I Am Not An Artist?

  1. I’m currently trying to practice my own drawing skills and I know what you mean. I’m noticing slight improvements, but I do get bad days where I feel down about it. It does take a lot of dedication to keep up with a skill. I think that people who are really good at something will also be pushing through even when keeping up with practice gets boring/frustrating. Even so, they’ll still care enough about the end goal to want to do that. For me, looking back at old drawings and seeing my journey makes it all worthwhile. That feeling of mastery and achievement is something I enjoy. If taking that time and pushing through the frustration seems unappealing then it probably is a sign that fine art isn’t for you. It can lift a weight off our shoulders to acknowledge what isn’t for us, because then we can stop beating ourselves up over it and use that time to focus on what does make us happy. Creation is about self expression too, and nobody will be able to create images in exactly the same way you do, so go for what you enjoy.

    1. I think thats something a lot of people don’t realise about art. Having a natural talent helps but most of it comes from constant practice. Whenever someone tells me they can’t draw now I just assume they don’t want to rather than can’t. And it’s really surprising how much better you get with just a little work.

      1. Belief in natural talent can hold us back as then we’ll only encourage the abilities that we believe ourselves to have and ignore the rest, a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hearing the words ‘I can’t draw’ seems to be a pet peeve for a lot of artists because it overlooks all the hard work and dedication we’ve put in. It’s a good idea to reinterpret it in that way, I’ll try it myself. 🙂

  2. I wish more people would realize that. Know your strengths. You have plenty of them without foisting some alternate identity on yourself that won’t make you happy. If you don’t enjoy the process of learning how to paint, then don’t do it. If you have fun doodling, do it more. If you’re not enjoying the journey, it’s not worth it.

  3. By trial and error, we realise what we are meant to be doing. The daunting part for some people, is to keep trying new things, in order to find out. I’m glad you have found which type of art is best for you.

  4. Hmmm. I went to school (a long time ago) to study graphic design… ended up in the fine arts… graduated a sculptor… worked every kind of job imaginable… found myself broke and at an advertising agency, kind of clueless with a portfolio of drawings… and have spent the last 30 years in the design industry. A Creative Director dipped in fine art. I love your post and your name Bluechickenninja…

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