Welcome to the BIG BRAVE BLOG HULLABALOO, a celebration of gutsy women from all over the world, connecting and claiming our power! It’s not too late to join our circle… if you’d like to share your story on my blog over the course of the summer, please read what this is all about HERE, and connect with me!
We have so much to learn from one another!
Today’s guest is someone I’ve eyed from afar for a great long while, seeing profound connections in how we each see the world, adorned with paint-stained clothes and a desire to heal through art. I’ve wished many a time that it was possible to wiggle my nose and magically appear in Oakland, California, where I would partake in all of her lovely offerings in her colorful studio… and even though we’ve never met in person, I think it’s quite possible that we might be sisters separated at birth. I’m tickled at the opportunity to share this little corner of the ethers with…
…the OUTRAGEOUS Chris Zydel!
In my intuitive painting classes and workshops I always create talking circles where people can take a few minutes to share about what I like to call their “point of greatest aliveness”. And one of the most beautiful and poignant moments in these containers of trust is when someone will speak out loud, often for the first time, these four magic words: “I am an artist.”
The way they say it can run the gamut from shyly to incredulously to boldly to fiercely with a great burning pride. But there is always something so incredibly tender underneath how they express this new found realization.
When most people come to my studio it’s because they have begun to feel the stirrings of a deep desire to express themselves creatively. And to express that longing with paint.
They know, because it’s the promise that I make, that they can explore these longings in a safe environment where they won’t be judged or criticized or held to some impossible yardstick of perfection that they could never achieve.
But when they come to my studio they also have a secret desire. One that is so secret that they can’t even let THEMSELVES know that they have it. And that is the desire to fully own their identity as an artistic being.
One of the reasons this desire is so hidden is because it’s forbidden. Saying you’re an artist , claiming yourself as a person who belongs to the artist club is perceived as incredibly risky because we are taught that a true “artist” is an extremely rare bird.
We are told that being an artist means you have to be special. Out of this world gifted. Ridiculously talented. There are criteria that you have to meet. Hoops to be jumped through. Standards to be achieved.
I was talking about this issue with a few of my friends recently and some of the criteria that were mentioned were having gone to a prestigious art school, having your work being shown in a gallery, having a recognizable style that is based on a genre already well defined and of course, the holy grail and the REAL proof that you are an artist, being paid for your work.
There was also discussion about how scary it is to make that claim because doing so makes you visible. And visibility means that you open yourself up to the possibility of criticism. Of being shot down. Of someone saying to you “Who do you think you are? How can you call yourself an artist? You are not good enough to join our artists club!”
So the secret wish and truly secret identity remains hidden and stays underground.
Which is incredibly sad for everyone because that means the world is deprived of the beauty and vision that only that person can bring.
Because do you want to know the truth? Being an artist is something that is available to anyone and everyone. And the true criteria are actually very simple to achieve. So if you are still asking yourself the question “Am I an artist?” here are some ways that you can tell.
If you think you’re an artist, you’re an artist.
If you want to be an artist, you’re an artist.
And if you are someone who has devoted themselves to making art, no matter where you went to art school or if you never went to art school at all and even if you’ve never made a dime off of your work YOU ARE AN ARTIST!
An artist is a person who is in love with art. In love with life. In love with the creative process.
An artist is a person who creates because creating is what they were born to do. And since we were all born to be creators we all have the right to proudly claim that title.
So if you are someone who has been holding yourself back from saying YES to your artist self because of fear or shame or doubt, consider this post to be a permission granted slip from the Universe. Use it as a nudge and an invitation to come out from the shadows and stand tall in your full creative awesomeness.
And don’t let anyone tell you ever again, that being an artist is something you could never be.
Because, guess what? If you are reading these words it can only mean one thing.
Congratulations!! You are unequivocally and without a doubt already an artist.
Chris Zydel, MA is the founder of Creative Juices Arts, and has an unshakeable faith in the power of creativity to heal hearts and to change lives. She also knows deep in her bones that everyone is creative. She is on a mission to prove that to the world by providing nurturing and joy-filled creative sanctuaries of encouragement, permission and trust in the sacred energy of play and creativity that lives inside of us all. You can find out more about her work at http://www.creativejuicesarts.com