This is how I see it: anyone who makes art and feels like the creation of their art is crucial to the nourishment of their soul is an artist. And anyone who is an artist in that sense, that wants to call themselves “an artist,” should give themselves full permission to do so. (Side note: anyone who disagrees with this is likely not an artist!)
There are so many people who feel uncomfortable with the “artist” label because they don’t make art for a living. They aren’t professionals. But those lines are so blurry in today’s world. I make money from instagram. Am I a professional instagrammer? Definitely not. On the other hand, I make money from djing and am absolutely a professional dj. It’s about feeling into what resonates, what feels like you, and trusting yourself.
What I’m working with now is redefining the very narrow way our culture thinks about what an artist should look like. A lot of us grew up thinking about Picasso and Mozart when we thought of “great artists.” Newsflash: Picasso and Mozart did their work before the internet. Before Scooter Braun discovered Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber on YouTube.
I am a writer. I am a fiImmaker. I dance. I play music. I take photos. I’m in school studying and making art. If I were to measure myself by the old world standards, I might not qualify as an artist anymore now that I don’t have one consistent medium like I did when I was a dj or an actress.
It’s safe to say that millennials are breaking all the norms in terms of creativity. There’s the whole selling billion-dollar tech companies in our twenties thing, but then there’s also just the fact that we are just crafty-as-fuck. We have learned to pay our bills doing several gigs at once, AND: we are the first generation to work more than one job at a time because we WANT to.
Isn’t it fair, then, to think that, along with the updates we’ve made regarding what constitutes creativity and productivity, that we’d update our idea of “art” and “artist” as well? I actually would say that, at this point, instagram can be an art. Web design is an art. I also think of the design of my personal space as an art and my personal style as an art.
I see my entire life as one big canvas. The goal is for my vibe, what is innate to me and my soul, to spill out of my pores and my heart onto this canvas and color and animate everything I do. I may have gotten to avoid the discomfort of claiming the “artist” title by getting paid throughout my twenties for making art. But even if I hadn’t, I’d still shout it from the rooftops. Because I FEEL like an artist. And I trust myself.