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My Definition of Artist

A friend of a friend phoned me recently. She is in charge of the fundraiser for the local Humane Society and would I be interested in painting a chair to be auctioned off to raise the money? I said yes, of course. I was flattered to have been asked. She would send me a form to fill out with my artist information.

There are 29 other local “artists” participating. And I wondered, as I attempted to fill out that daggone artist info sheet, what defines an artist? We’ve had this conversation before. And we’re having it again. This is my definition of artist.

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I am creative. I have not, however, had a lick of formal fine art training. I’ve a BS in communication. There’s some who say, once you’ve made money from something, you’ve graduated to being that occupation. I sold original collage pieces so I suppose I qualify as a collage artist. It was super cool to be paid for my writing too but I think I was a writer and a collage artist before I received payment. 

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Another delineation I’d like to blow to smithereens is that between crafting and arting. The popularity and merchandising of crafts of all sorts, from scrapbooking to sewing, has increased the accessibility of the supplies and number of crafters in the world. That’s a fun plus. No not all crafters are artists but some of us have crafty methods and the product is proof of good design and art in its own right. The lines are blurred somewhat between design and craft. And if the fine artists know their own talent, I’d think they wouldn’t be offended if a crafter defined themselves as an artist.

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If you are a devoted designer, be that quilter or a paper maker or graphic artist, are you an artist? My vote is yes. People are calling themselves “creatives” and that is fabulous. In the end, the proof’s in permitting ourselves to just create,

No Matter How Untalented We Think We Are Or May Not Actually Be. Talent has nothing to do with definition of artist.

Just saying yes to the block of time to get lost in the flow of creativity and find out what we’ve made on the other side, that is the stepping stone to our art. I am the beholder and my eye matters most.

Any thoughts? Is it all about semantics? Is my child (or inner child) an artist if they think they are?

Write Me a Letter

I am fairly certain you would agree that getting an actual letter in the mail from a friend is one of life’s little gleeful joyous gifts. It feels nice to get positive comments on our Facebook pages, yes. But a card in the mail with words meant just for your eyes? Heaven.

Thank you card from Write Me a Letter on Shalavee

I was so incredibly intrigued when I fell upon Kim Werker’s Write Me a Letter page on her blog. She seems like a super swell lady and she would like for you to entrust to her your creative fears put on paper and delivered to her door in Vancouver. Of writing letters to friends in her younger years, she says, “Even if my friend never wrote back, I needed to have the experience of examining myself from what I anticipated might be their perspective. And I needed to feel, sometimes, like I got things off my chest. I needed to share the burden.

That sharing and letting go of mental burdens was certainly the impetus behind the PostSecret project. If you are unfamiliar with this project that turned into something amazing, visit the post secret page and you’ll quickly be stunned.

Close up of thank you note from Write Me a Letter on Shalavee

I have very fond memories of a pen pal from grade school. And I was once voted the person most likely to have just sent you the last card you received. I love sending people stuff by snail mail. And I suspect I am not alone in this love. I am awaiting a new pen pal match up exchange from the postmark society arranged by Bedside Design’s Christie’s Jones and Kory Woodard. View the description here and here.

In the end, we are made of our connections. They are scrolled on our hearts with calligraphy flourishes. And they can only be installed there with interactions. Kind and thoughtful interactions. Ones that mean more. Like a piece of you someone can hold. A letter, a photo, and words you have touched.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone you liked or loved or wanted to gift your support or admiration to? If you want me to write you, find me on Facebook and direct message me. I’ll be glad to.

Winter Will Continue Until Morale Improves

 

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Like in earlier years, the week of Martin Luther King’s Birthday holiday nearly took me out of the game.

I had prepared myself for the agonizing three-day weekend. But was ill prepared for the surprise snow days that created a 10 day holiday.

Smoke from my neighbor's chimney on Shalavee.com

I begged people for playdates with no results. My kid got so stir crazy, he was crying. I said last week was the longest month I ever spent.

And when Eamon mentioned the winter break seemed like it was still going, I said I was winter broken.

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As the thawing finally began though, there was that sense of hope that thoughts of Spring brings.

The birds are hinting with their twittering in the distance.

Eamon and the Snowman

 

 And the snow was melty enough for me to suggest Eamon try to make a snowman.

I forget his name, if he had one, but we all agreed he had leafresy.

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