I’ve been teaching art at my children’s school this year and this quote by Picasso rings so true. Up until a certain age, all children create art, many of them prolifically, with pride and exuberance. Those of us that remain artists into adulthood are the ones that somehow survived all the forces that conspire to stop us in adolescence; self-doubt, shame, mockery, conflicts of identity.
I’m thankful every day that my family supported my artistic interests and the biggest battle I faced was with my own fears and insecurities. These are not small battles – our inner voices are with us 24/7 and for years I lived with the questions, “Am I good enough? Can I call myself an artist? Do I have what it takes? Can I succeed as an artist?”
For a long time I looked for the answers to these questions in externals; in praise from others, in seeking to win awards, in dollars made through art sales, and that put me on a roller coaster of emotions. It was the example of other artists who were finding great fulfillment in the act of creativity that put me on the path to satisfaction and joy in my own work, regardless of the opinions of others.
Today I’m launching a new look in my web site, and a video that shares my “why” as a watercolour painter, and what is truly thrilling is not the professional look and feel of these new elements, but the love of watercolour that is revealed in every second of video, and every page of the web site. I became more truly an artist when I gave myself permission to fall in love with watercolour and my own work, and that love diminished doubt and fear until those voices didn’t matter anymore.