You are NOT an artist...

I have something difficult to tell some of you. You’re NOT an artist, but guess what? That’s ok. You don’t have to be a professional, or enjoy working on stuff all the time. You don’t have to be part of the “in crowd.” You can just be a fan. Or a drawer, or a painter…without being an “artist.”

This is something that I see far too often. While I for one will encourage everyone giving them the honorary title of “artist,” some people are only going to be drawers/painters. The biggest distinction to make here is that there is a difference between “artist” and “craftsman” or “artisan.”

We all want to encourage each other, but it’s important to make the distinction between the imaginative creative mind and the technical skill of a good draftsman/craftsman. This isn’t to say though that those with technical skill cannot be trained to harness their inherent creativity, but it should be noted that creative thinking is easier for some than others. While, there is some debate on whether creativity is nature or nurture, I will be one to say that it’s a bit of both. Most artists you will talk to will talk about drawing and being creative from an early age. However, the nurturing and fostering of creativity can indeed be taught.

Earlier this year, Sarah Urist Green (wife to author and youtuber John Green), partnered with PBS Digital Studios to create a series of creative projects for less or seemingly not creative people. The concept was fostered by the “nerdfightaria” community from John and Hank Green’s channel “vlogbrothers,” as well as great use of social media to spread the word. While the series features successful artists creating revolutionary and remarkable creations, they also challenge the audience to unlock their creative juices in order to produce something of meaning and value (aka. Art).

But what does any of this mean for you? I don’t want to be someone who will crush your hopes and dreams, far from it in fact. Asking these big questions of yourself should and hopefully will help you grow as or into the artist you want to become. However technical skill should never be confused with the same creativity and drive that backs the working artists of today.

What are your thoughts on this? Can everyone become an artist, or is it harder than just learning to harness your creative side?  Share your thoughts in comments.