The label of artist

The Sparkle Experiment small creative play equals connection

If you make art for fun can you call yourself an artist? The label of artist means different things to different people but if we take one dictionary definition of “a person who creates paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby” then surely we can all be artists? Of course there are far more ways to make art than painting or drawings, but the point is that anyone can do it. There’s no entrance exam to being more creative. There’s no mention of selling work, studying art academically or reaching a certain level of craftsmanship.

Kara Walker in Art21’s Extended Play Series suggests “There’s no diploma in the world that declares you an Artist. It’s not like becoming a doctor or something. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.” Nominate yourself to be an artist and you are one. While we can choose to lean into the artist label, we don’t have to adopt it to get on with being creative. Stephen Fry argues “I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next.”

Call yourself an artist, or not. It doesn’t matter. But know that an artist is anyone who makes art. That includes you if you choose to make art.