• Kathy

How do I know if I'm an artist?

I didn’t go to art school, I wasn’t born with a golden paintbrush in my hand and I don’t know what the heck one does with graphite putty, does that mean I’m not an artist?

Hmmm, let me think about this a little more.

I am inspired by beautiful things around me. Seeing amazing coloring projects make me run to enroll in the class. Does that mean I’m not an artist?

I hate to admit, but I probably have more art supplies then I will ever use in my lifetime. I don’t remember what some of these supplies are or why I bought them.

Could that mean I’m not an artist?

Seriously, I don't believe that any of the above disqualify me from being an artist. Perhaps, it's just the opposite. After all, if I learned anything at all it is that artists are willing to experiment. Not only with techniques but with products. Goodness knows that I am quite willing to experiment too. My purchases of art supplies and albums of completed coloring projects validate that.

I have also learned that artists do somethings just like I do. For example it’s not beyond an artist to print their images so that they can get to coloring or painting faster. So, if I print my images, I’m not cheating. Funny thing, I’ve come to enjoy the image preparation processes that starts with transferring my image to my project paper. It gives me the opportunity to really study the image and understand what it is I’m about to color. That might even lead me to finding more unique photo references.

I never stopped to think about why I thought artists have a natural ability to come up with brilliant art ideas and then executed them from start to finish without any thought or mistakes. Thinking about it now, I guess it’s because I never saw their process. I simply saw their finished artwork. But now I understand how unnatural it is for anyone to have brilliant ideas on demand. Let alone be able to execute an idea from start to finish without any errors. The path from idea to completion is (and should be) full of challenges and experiments.

I love that I’ve learned to embrace these challenges. I love to experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t work for myself. That is how I have come to know and appreciate my art supplies and how to use them to make the art I desire. It also means that I don’t obsess about having the exact supplies called for in a class. If I find myself in a class without all the supplies on the list, I might just improvise and come up with my own color version of the project and like it even more!

When I finally accepted that there is no “magic creative pill” or art supply that will guarantee that I make perfect art every time I color is when I crossed the threshold from crafter to artist.

Now I truly enjoy the entire creation process as well as my finished artwork.

I bet you are wondering how I crossed that threshold. It was simple, I kept coloring. When I color, I ask questions, When I experiment, I get excited, and when I get excited, I color some more. It’s been the best merry-go-round ride I've ever been on.

What will you do today? Why not pull out your coloring supplies and start experimenting?

What's happening in the Corner . . .

We are now focusing our attention on coloring eyes because it's amazing how something so small can add so much emotion or attention to the image you are coloring. Big or small, there are details that will help you color successful eyes every time.

If you are reading this after we moved on to the next technique, you can find the Practice Technique Pack for Eyes here.

You can see more of my work or follow me on Instagram.

Follow the Practice Corner on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more inspiring stories and tips to help you keep practicing and finding new joys through your coloring.

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