I used to think I was not an artist. I can’t really draw and my color selections are not very bold or brave and I used to inwardly shudder whenever someone told me I was talented. It was as if being labeled as creative or artistic was too high a bar that scared me. And then I decided that I really wanted to be an artist. Actually, I just wanted to make art. I wanted to draw little cartoons and learn to watercolor pretty flowers. So I decided I would just pretend I were an artist. I started printing out Mandalas and coloring pages with pretty designs and would color them using my coloring pencils and stick them in my journal.
And then I started looking at drawings of people and practiced. I realized I have a specific style. I like drawing cartoons with big heads and little bodies. If you were a psychoanalyst you would probably be shaking your head at this right now and trying to figure me out. Hint: I really like Japanese style chibbis and kokeshi dolls so that might explain why my people turn out looking like bobble head dolls, they also look a lot like my crochet dolls.
And then I started looking at art classes and techniques online. It turns out that there is a lot of technique involved in how you color something and if you can do that fairly well you can make pretty things. That is all. It reminds me a lot of when I started learning how to crochet, and the AHA moment when I realized that understanding tension and technique means you were 90% there. It is exactly when you look at two items made using the same pattern but one is done well with even gauge and the other is all over the place.
I even tried lots of zentangle patterns and found them to be cathartic. I love drawings done only in black, in fact, I only use black pens. These need no artistry at all, just patience and some googling for ideas.
Finally, today I got myself some supplies to try some new things. I know the probability of me being the next Monet is pretty slim, but at least I am having fun. I am also learning that most of the boundaries between myself and the things I want to do are weak and non existent if only I have the courage to try.
So there you have it, if you really want to be an artist, just pretend you are, just make art and keep showing up and eventually you will be an artist.