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  • Writer's pictureHeather Hauptman

The difficulty with saying I am an artist.

What does it take to be an artist? Do I declare, I am an artist, and that's it? I'm an artist. Is it because I feel compelled to create? Maybe an artist is just as any dictionary would define it. In its most basic form a noun, someone practices in the creative arts.

Why is there such discomfort in embracing the phrase I am an artist. Is it because I've sold only one thing? And that was to a friend who insisted on paying me. Is it because I am uncomfortable selling my work period? What is my work worth? Is there value in what I create to anyone but me? Would I rather create from the song my heart sings, and disregard profitability. Am I just avoiding rejection and criticism in doing that. Am I also avoiding acceptance and praise?

I don't know, none of this is clear to me at this point. Nevertheless I keep pushing, despite my doubts. I keep pushing because I feel at home while creating. I keep creating, and time flies. The characters I make talk to me. I listen to them, and they make me smile. I put my things under the noses of those who might be interested. An unseen engine keeps moving me on. I create and then send my work out into the wedge of the art universe I am aware of. I respond to open calls for art, filling out the forms and uploading my images. I write it all down. Keeping track of the no's to the yes's. I join a co-op art gallery, go to the art openings of the fellow members. I wait for my turn. All the while visualizing my things on the gallery walls. Imaging my name, next to my things. When my day comes, I'd take a pictures. Pictures with my mom, my sisters or nieces and nephews. Pictures with those in my life who have encouraged me, told me I was talented or that my work was great. I'd take pictures with them, next to my stuff on a wall in a gallery. Some day. When I am an artist.

The meditation of embroidery. The hypnotic sound of needle and then thread moving through fabric. Embroidery project in process. Untitled as of yet.


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