Managing expectations as an artist/maker/creative

... We tend to use that characterization of aspiring this or aspiring that as a way to say someone has not become fully realized until someone else acknowledges them in some grand scale way. You know, they sign a contract – with some big company. They're on some TV show. They've made it into the New York Times. They've achieved any number of standard measures that we consider as having "made it." Then you can win the title without the aspiring before it.

But, if you step out there on faith, if you have it in your purview, if you put it in your mind, your heart and your mouth that you ARE a rapper, actor, filmmaker, painter, jewelry designer, entrepreneur, if you're acting on that in earnest, then so be it. If you don't need a license to do it, no one can definitively say otherwise.

Obviously, you can't go around saying you're a medical doctor or an attorney without proper education and credentials. In America, those occupations require official standing under the law. But, as far as artists are concerned? Just claim it. And, own it.

While you don't need anyone's permission or authority, you won't likely get very far with declaration without dedication. To be it, you'll need to be about it. As far as when will one achieve those more dramatic notions of having "arrived" in the public view or imagination? Well, that's where we must manage our own expectations.

The image I've posted with this entry is called "Lena." I drew her using digital software, an app called Procreate, that I've been slowly teaching myself. I'd never drawn previously. But, I do now. When I finished this particular one and posted it to Facebook, my niece said it looked like her great-grandmother – my own grandmother. That's how she got the name, Lena. It was my grandmother's name.

"Lena" is real to me, and I expect that she'll be the focus of future drawings. From my very own hands – and from the digital artist that I already am.

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