We Are All Artists

Cassandra Tondro, "Passion," collage art

Hello Friends,

Last week I was listening to an Art Juice podcast where artists Louise Fletcher and Alice Sheridan were talking about limiting beliefs. These are some of the common ones they listed about artists and art:

You can’t make a living as an artist.
In order to be an artist you have to be able to draw realistically.
Real artists use oil paints.
Artwork that comes together quickly and easily is not real art.

One that held me back for many years was the belief that I didn’t have artistic talent — I didn’t have what it takes to be an artist.

I went to college as an art major right out of high school, and it was a rude awakening. I had to take the usual beginning art classes — drawing and design. It seemed like everyone except me could already draw realistically. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t an artist because, not only could I not draw like that, I wasn’t interested in it and didn’t want to spend the time it would take to get good at it, if that was even possible. I gave up and went on a long detour that took me far away from my love of art.

It was a very long process to return to my art, and many additional years before I felt comfortable calling myself an artist. Even then, I felt that my art wasn’t as good as other people’s art, and the gallery system reinforced this belief. My type of art was considered “decorative,” and therefore not “real art.”

It’s only been the past four or five years that I’ve come to believe that art is about more than drawing, design or having a lofty concept for your work. Now I believe that art is about discovering and expressing our authentic selves, and for me, it’s also about showing others that they, too, are artists.

I want to demystify art and show you possibilities — maybe give you some ideas. I want to show you that we’re all artists, each in our own unique way. We may not all be visual artists, but we each have something that speaks through us and expresses itself as art.

It could be singing, writing, teaching, leading, gardening, building things, creating apps, taking care of people, parenting, or collecting trash. All of these things can be done in an artful way that creates more beauty and love in the world.

What is your particular expression of art? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

Piece at top: “Passion,” 14 x 11 inches, collage on wood panel.

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6 Comments

  1. I agree completely. Being an artist is letting Spirit speak through us and TO us, and that in itself is worthwhile and illuminating. We each have our own instruments to play to create they symphony in all its glory.

  2. Thank you, that is exactly what I needed to hear! My husband and I are both artist, so when we joined an art group we thought we had found a home, but they if you did not fit into their tiny box, you were not good enough, so they let us know in many different ways. My goal is to run an art studio, one filled with new artists, older artists and always helping others to find their own artist. Your message hit home and thank you for sharing your gift with many. So glad our paths have crossed.

    1. Hi Kim. What a lovely idea, to encourage other artists in their work. I’m not sure why some art groups are exclusionary like that, but I’ve seen it, too. It sounds like that experience has spurred you on to greater heights! Good for you!

  3. Holly WOW. You really hit it with the drawing, Cassandra! I’ve made my living as a decorative painter for the past 20 years but never called myself an artist because I don’t draw well. And really, I’m not interested enough to practice.

    Now that the pandemic has hit and my business is shuttered I’ve turned to all kinds of other art forms. Which I’ve done all along, but always considered myself an artisan, not an artist because I don’t make representational art.

    So thank you so much for this!

    Be safe. We’re in fairly heavy smoke up in the Pacific Northwest from fires here in Washington, in Oregon, and now blowing in from California. I’m feeling so fortunate to ONLY be dealing with the smoke. I know California has been hard hit again.

    Blessings,

    Kay

    1. Hi Kay. I’ve heard from a number of people that they don’t think of themselves as artists because they can’t draw realistically. But when you think about it, who set drawing as the gold standard of art? I suppose drawing was relevant in the days before photography when people wanted a realistic rendering of themselves or loved ones. But now photography does a better job of it than drawing or painting, and for a lot less money.

      We’re in smoke here, too, but it’s not as bad as what you’re experiencing. I hope you stay safe. Thanks for sharing your thought!

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