Welcome! I predict that this will be an exciting, if not perception-altering experience. What we want to do here is write from the soul and speak our individual truths. I’m not going to bore you with TeachSpeak. What I will do is model for you the kind of exploration I would like you all to embark upon through this site, and in your writing for this class. Here goes…
My life as an artist began very early; however, I didn’t know that my life was so artistic. Not until I became an adult and met people who never danced, listened to music or had any outlet for creative expression did I understand what a beautiful beginning I had. Family talent shows, storytelling circles, and the constant stream of musicians and actors flowing through my grandmother’s house was fertile ground for my imagination to grow. Often, I feel as if I had little choice but to live a life of creativity—on stage, in the classroom, through words. This is not to say that I have not had my share of challenges. On my journey as an artist, I have struggled with having a life of freedom without limits. For me, it appeared that living a normal life was safe, secure, and free of chaos—graduate, get a job, find a mate, procreate, get fat, pay taxes and die. Despite the warnings my parents gave me to be my authentic self, I tried very hard to follow other people’s trends and accept their norms. As recent as the last two years, I have discovered some truths about living as an artist and as myself.
One thing I have finally accepted about myself is that my art is part of my journey. Performing or writing is the only thing that can pull me out of my many facades and social charades. There is difference between identifying myself as a performer; a performer enjoys being seen, but an artist enjoys seeing. When I am in my art, I am in my essence as a BEing. I tend to focus on looking within because this is an incredible journey, this life is and who I started off as has evolved in ways I could have never predicted. So, I write this as an invitation to you to consider what being an artist is beyond a career or something you do that you happen to be skilled at.
As you are enrolled in art school, I would make the logical assumption that you consider yourself an artist. I want to know, based on your experience or insight, what is an artist?