Yes! Yes, I am!
"You should make artwork based on a real artist's work, not from your imaginations, because you're not real artists yet."
How would you feel if someone said that about your friend's work? Your friend's incredible, conceptual, mesmerising work.
How would you feel if someone said that about yourself? About your work which nobody ever really understood the meaning behind because it's so strange and unheard of, nobody's been through what you were going through while creating it.
And as I tearfully write this, how would you feel if I told you the great Pablo Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up."
And this doesn't just concern art as in putting paint on a canvas.
This concerns EVERY type of art.
Is a child not an artist? It draws. It draws beautiful abstract pieces and every person will find a different meaning behind each colour, each line, each curve and crevice, every spot of white paper left unpainted, every drop of splattered paint.
So, is a child not an artist?
Yes. Yes, it is.
Am I not an artist for writing poetry, hobby or not, amateur or not, experienced or novice, simple or complicated? I'm conveying emotion and experiences through writing. Is that not what art is about?
Yes... Yes, I am. And yes. Yes, it is.
Am I not an artist for writing short stories? I paint pictures with words, I create movies out of letters and punctuation that gallop through the reader's mind and yet every reader will see each character in a different light, they may relate to a character more than another, they may understand one's struggles but not another's.
The answer is: Yes. Yes I am.
So... After all that... Am I not an artist for creating my own work? My own paintings? Pulling concepts and meaning for my work out of my imagination? Is that not art? Well, if that's not art... Then what is? I doubted myself for a long time after that. The teacher had gone outside the classroom and I just continued painting as tears rolled down my cheeks and onto the paper of my sketchbook.
Inside I was burning with fury and anger.
I cried because I wanted to shout and scream and yell at her that she's WRONG! That that's NOT how art works! That I didn't know what sort of artist she is if she says that that's how art works!
I wanted to shout and scream and yell that:
YES! YES, I AM AN ARTIST! WE ALL ARE AND YOU'RE WRONG!
And to this day, I still think about it.
But now I don't feel broken.
I feel like my wings have spread because I no longer have to deal with people like her.
Because I can be my own person.
My own ARTIST.
When I put paint to canvas...
When I put pen to paper...
When I spin stories out of fiction...
When I pretend I'm dancing among clouds...
It's to ease a pain within me that not many people know of. Not many people know what really happened. Every time I walk into a classroom I'm the quiet girl, I'm the one who has a lot of friends but only a few close and trusted. And I want to thank those close and trusted friends with all my heart because they've been there for me through a lot and it means a great deal to me.
But when you tell me I'm not an artist, the ground disappears from beneath my feet and the world ceases to exist. I become stuck in oblivion, surrounded by darkness, my body aching, only being able to hear the sound of blood being pumped through my veins.
But you know what?
I am an artist!
Yes! Yes, I am!
There. I said it.