Saying it just makes me feel flighty. I picture myself in goucho pants, green framed glasses, and and curly frizzy hair. As if my straight hair would ever do such a thing. When I describe myself as this word I feel irresponsible, poor, and addicted to herbal teas. I picture a really messy office, my desk covered in papers, and a bright yellow sofa for guests.
I don’t know why I have such an aversion to saying that word, because none of those connotations are true for myself. What is true is that I’m not just hired to document your day. To stand in a corner and press a button when something good happens. I’m hired to tell a story. And yes, standing in a corner and clicking when something good happens is, indeed, a part of that. But in telling a story, I’m also hired to know the story first. To know that this may be grandma’s last year; to know that your father is going to cry because you’re his only daughter; to know the qualities about your man that makes those butterflies soar through your stomach. I’m hired to know and then to tell.
But I’m also hired to create. I’m hired because I see things in a different way than you would. And in doing so, it is my job to create images. To see the light, to know the people, to know the camera. To create. And I know when I’ve created something rather than just captured it from a corner. I know when I’ve created something because that images keeps coming back to my mind’s eye throughout the day. I know when I’ve created something because I can look at that image and be instantly encouraged. I think, “I’ve got this. This is a beautiful addition to their day. This adds to their story. No one will see this moment or this bouquet like I saw it,” and above all, “This image makes me feel good.”
And to create is something an artist does. Even dictionary.com says so: a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria. And that’s just it. An artist produces. But you can only produce so much for so many other people before your inspiration dies out. You’ve got to produce for yourself.
And you know what, I like producing for myself. I like envisioning something and making it happen. So I guess, I am an artist. Deep down I know I’m an artist… Because creating images likes these below of my niece and nephews gets me excited, inspired, encouraged, and ready to create for you. I just hate saying it…
Here’s to being an artist.