Friday, January 21, 2011

decisions and realizations

this post has been such a long time coming, i just haven't been able to wrap my head around the correct words i want to say. instead, i will start with a conversation i recently had with a friend.

me: so i am going to meet a lot of art people this coming week, what is a quick description of who i am, if someone asks?

her: well, what do you want to be known as?

me: um, i am a graphic designer, a stitcher, a crocheter, an illustrator, a lamp maker and other things as well

her: say you are an illustrator, that covers a lot of areas

me: ok, that sounds good

so that is how i cornered myself into the role of "illustrator". don't get me wrong, i LOVE that title even though it is a bit self proclaimed. but i fully believe in dressing for the position you want, so why not?

fast forward to a night last week when a very sweet woman opened her very amazing downtown loft to a bunch of artists in town for the gift mart show. attending this party, i so felt like i was back in my element again. back in the days of art school where all your friends are artists and everyone understands you. it was bliss. some very big art names were there, but big egos were not. this was a group of such warm, welcoming, and generous women. conversations progressed as they do and i asked a few women what they did and the strangest thing happened, they were tongue tied with a lot of "umms..." and "wells...". these women who were so advanced in their career still could not give themselves a title. it was fantastic! i swear this is the biggest aha moment in a long time. why was i so hung up on a title for myself? the greatest thing about being an artist is that you have talents in so many areas. in fact, defining yourself as one thing is not being an artist at all. it's in our nature to want to be free, try different things. an artist yearns for new discovery and can feel trapped if forced to work in one medium, or genre, or style for their entire life.

lesson learned: it is perfectly ok for me to be a graphic designer, a stitcher, a crocheter, an illustrator, a lamp maker and other things as well. having multiple outlets does not make me any less desirable as an artist, i think it only enhances my overall ability.

ps. don't forget to cast your vote for my newest chandelier color over there in the column on the left :)


  1. I am on the same page with you. I struggle also...I end up just calling myself a designer...because really that is what I do....I design stuff.
    If you think that is hard...try being in a committed long term relationship and not being married....this is my...boyfriend, partner, significant other, better half.... of 13 years. No term describes what we are...

    Perhaps we are just to caught up in, "labeling and categorizing."

  2. Me? I'm, uhh,... Well, I, make, ummm...

    I'm an eclectic artist. Sort of.

  3. I have the same problem but I usually just say I am a designer because it encompasses so many things. I do like the idea of not having a title though and just being free with the idea that I am an artist and that is enough.


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